Higher Education in the Philippines: Facts, Figures, and Opportunities for International Students

Higher Education in the Philippines: Facts, Figures, and Opportunities for International Students

The Philippines is known for its high-quality education system that produces skilled professionals in various fields. The country has made significant strides in increasing access to education, especially at the higher education level. In this article, we will explore the state of higher education in the Philippines, including statistics, the number of universities, and what sets it apart from other countries. We will also discuss the international student population in the Philippines and what they can expect from the education system.


According to the World Bank, the literacy rate in the Philippines was 97.95% in 2019. The country has one of the highest literacy rates in Southeast Asia. The government has been investing heavily in education to improve the quality of education and increase access to it. As of 2019, the gross enrollment ratio for tertiary education was 40.86%, indicating that more and more Filipinos are pursuing higher education.

Number of Universities

The Philippines has a vast number of universities, both public and private. As of 2021, there are 1,863 higher education institutions (HEIs) in the country. These HEIs offer a wide range of programs, including undergraduate and graduate degrees, vocational courses, and professional training programs. The Commission on Higher Education (CHED) is the governing body that regulates and oversees the operations of HEIs in the country.

What's special about education in the Philippines?

One of the things that set education in the Philippines apart from other countries is its strong emphasis on English language proficiency. The country has a bilingual education system, with English and Filipino as the official languages of instruction. This has resulted in a workforce that is proficient in English, making the Philippines an attractive destination for businesses outsourcing services.

Another unique aspect of education in the Philippines is the strong emphasis on the values of education. The education system places a significant emphasis on instilling values such as respect, honesty, and patriotism in students. This has contributed to the country's strong sense of national identity and the development of a highly values-driven workforce.

International Students in the Philippines

The Philippines has been increasingly attracting international students in recent years. According to CHED, there were 13,669 foreign students in the Philippines in 2019. The majority of these students come from South Korea, China, India, Iran, and Nigeria. The country offers a wide range of programs in various fields, including medicine, engineering, and business, among others. The cost of education in the Philippines is also relatively affordable compared to other countries, making it an attractive destination for international students.

International students can also expect a unique cultural experience in the Philippines. The country is known for its friendly and hospitable people, making it easy for foreign students to adjust to life in the country. The Philippines is also home to a rich cultural heritage, with a unique blend of Western and Asian cultures. International students can take advantage of this cultural diversity and explore the country's numerous attractions, including its beautiful beaches, historical landmarks, and delicious cuisine.

In conclusion, higher education in the Philippines has come a long way in recent years, with the government investing heavily in improving access to and the quality of education. The country's bilingual education system, emphasis on values education, and highly skilled workforce make it an attractive destination for businesses and international students alike. With its affordable cost of education and rich cultural heritage, the Philippines is poised to become a top destination for higher education in the region.


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