UP announces new degree programs in Mindanao campus and more inclusive admissions policy nationwide

| Written by Jo. Florendo B. Lontoc

UP President Angelo Jimenez speaking to members of the news media in a press conference in UP Mindanao. UP MPRO Photo.


University of the Philippines (UP) President Angelo Jimenez announced in a conference on May 7 that several new degree programs would be hosted and offered by UP Mindanao, in line with the University’s strategic thrust to contribute more actively to the growth and development in the region. Jimenez also unveiled concrete plans to make UP admissions more inclusive for applicants from geographically isolated and disadvantaged areas, including several provinces of Mindanao.

“UP has a mandate of public service, so here in Mindanao, we hope to build local capacities and expertise in order to have the greatest impact on long-term development,” Jimenez told the local media at Lemito Hall at the UP Mindanao campus in Mintal, Davao City.

UP Mindanao will introduce programs in Doctor of Medicine beginning Academic Year 2025-2026, in cooperation with the College of Medicine of UP Manila. UP Mindanao will become the first state university in Davao City to offer the MD program.

At the same time, the UP constituent university (CU) will also launch a program in Civil Engineering in cooperation with the UP Diliman Institute of Civil Engineering, an Associate in Entrepreneurship, and two new Master of Science offerings.

The Associate in Entrepreneurship will be under the CU’s School of Management and aimed at promoting a culture of innovation and support the local start-up ecosystem.

An MS in Quantitative Methods in Modeling will be instituted to help upskill graduates of BS Applied Mathematics and BS Computer Science to meet advanced industry requirements. UP Mindanao will also offer a new MS Biology program, with four specialty tracks adopted from the Institute of Biology in UP Diliman.

According to Rene Estremera, UP Mindanao Public Relations Officer, the launch of the programs was part of the UP Mindanao R2 – 5K agenda or “The Road to 5,000 Students”, which aims to improve the academic profile of the campus while increasing enrollment from the current 1,400 students to 5,000 by 2029.


Democratizing student admissions


This is also in line with a current UP System thrust to democratize student admissions. Jimenez spoke of encouraging more UP enrollment from public schools and the geographically isolated and disadvantaged areas of Mindanao. Part of the strategies is to increase UP College Admissions Testing (UPCAT) centers to at least one per province by 2025. UP is also setting aside funds for a program to subsidize living and study expenses of UPCAT passers who could not afford them.

Jimenez emphasized his Manobo roots as UP President and his intention “to make a pivot to Mindanao.”

The UP President, the first one to be officially conferred the title at UP Mindanao, also answered questions alongside UP Mindanao Chancellor Lyre Anni Muaro on establishing a UP-Bangsamoro Development Institute and a Mindanao Sports Development and Training Institute on campus; on internally generating funds to support UPCAT passers belonging to marginalized sectors; on finding means to logistically support the new UP Mindanao offerings; and on current UP programs to promote mental health among its constituents.