We had some interesting discussion a couple weeks ago about strategies for schooling children if you were to decide to live in the Philippines.
Most of the discussion sort of stopped at the high school (secondary) level. But what about those with older children … baccalaureate or higher education here in the Philippines for foreigner or foreign/Filipino children?
Possible: Absolutely. There are a number of great universities here in the Philippines … several were already mentioned, University of the Philippines, the Ateneo family of schools, De La Salle University, University of Santo Thomas, Silliman University , and this just names a few. (Google is your friend … I’m always amazed by the number of people who still haven’t discovered the wealth of information that is out there on the ‘Net. At the best, what you will get from me, and other expat writers, is our opinion and our own personal view of things through our own unique and individual ‘leneses’. You need to do real research on your own, not take as Gospel what Dave or Tom or Dick or Harry has to say … remember YMMV. (you can look that up on Google too 😉 ) ).
But Dave, I hear you ask, are these schools any good? Hmm, that question begs an answer that is about as subjective as an answer can be. I think all the names I mentioned are more than capable of providing a quality undergrad education. But how would I know, really?
I know a number of Filipino lawyers and businessmen who have received their baccalaureate at schools here in the Philippines and gone on to successful careers in law, medicine and commerce. I know several lawyers who went to post-doctoral programs at Harvard after they were already members of the bar here, and completed specialized programs there in the US successfully. The president of the Philippines, Maria Gloria Macaraeg Macapagal-Arroyo as a current example, finished her high school at another good quality Philippine School, Assumption College . ( editorial note: A big issue is often made by those who think education is only counted in years due to the fact that in the Philippines, students graduate high school after on 10 years of “official” education, rather than the 12 we are used to in the US.)
I’ll leave these issues to the professional educators to discuss, because I think the required number of academic units/credits are still taught. I am neither an expert, nor am I interested in that area of debate.
Apparently, though, the 10-year curriculum was satisfactory or better for Ms. Macapagal, as she started her university level education at Georgetown‘s prestigious Walsh School of Foreign Service in Washington, D.C. where she was a classmate of future United States President Bill Clinton and achieved consistent Dean’s list status.
So, what prompted me to get on this education kick again? A recent snippet I came across from the US Embassy, Manila. Ms. Goli Ameri, Assistant Secretary for Educational and Cultural Affairs at the Department of State was in the Philippines, addressing students at the University of the Philippines about the value of getting an education abroad. A native of Iran, Ms. Ameri commented “… “I understand first-hand the value of exchanges and the value of coming up-close and personal to a different culture …”.
So before you make all-important decisions based on the US (or your own home country) being the “only” place for your children’s education … make sure you consider all the possibilities. A multi-cultural education may be of more value (especially since the US may not be the world’s leading economy by the time your children reach retirement age) than you are currently thinking.
Oh, and by the way … I left this until last … because I am not all that happy with the continual emphasis on ‘cheapness’ that most Philippine-related blogs seem to suffer from (this one being no exception). The cost of a four-year college degree here in the Philippines will be, way, way less than a similar degree in the US.