This article lists the frequently asked questions about the University of the Philippines Open University.


Please read each item carefully.


You can click on any item in the Table of Contents to directly navigate you to the information you need.


TABLE OF CONTENTS


1. What is the University of the Philippines Open University (UPOU)?

2. What is an autonomous university of the UP System?

3. What is an open university?

4. What is distance education?

5. What are the advantages of distance education?

6. How is distance education different from the traditional mode of learning?

7. What is UPOU's mode of instruction?

8. How do students and teachers interact with each other in UPOU?

9. Can I enroll in UPOU even if I am based abroad?

10. Do students have to take examinations?

11. Is there an entrance or admission exam to UPOU?

12. What is UPCAT? What is UgAT?







1. What is the University of the Philippines Open University (UPOU)?


The UP Open University or UPOU is the fifth autonomous university of the UP System. It was established in 1995 to provide wider access to quality higher education through distance education.


The university envisions to develop in students the discipline and capability to become lifelong learners who are at home in today’s knowledge society.


The UPOU has been declared by the Commission on Higher Education (CHEd) as the National Center of Excellence in Open Learning and Distance Education in recognition of its achievements in this field and its vital role in pushing the frontiers of learning in service to the Filipino nation.


UPOU is the pioneer institution in distance education and open learning in the Philippines. While its base of operations is in Los Baños, Laguna, it is basically a virtual university—providing quality education to students in the country and abroad who are not able to attend conventional colleges and universities due to personal or professional constraints. 


At UPOU, students learn at their own pace and convenience. It has ten learning centers with 19 testing centers all over the country. For its students abroad, it has a virtual learning center to address their academic concerns. Examinations for these students, meanwhile, are either administered online or in the Philippine Consulates.


More details about UPOU can be found in this article. Visit the UPOU website for more information.



2. What is an autonomous university of the UP System?


An autonomous university of the UP System is an independent unit from the others. UPOU is an independent university from UP Diliman, UP Los Baños, UP Manila, etc. The administration, programs, services, etc. of UPOU are not the same as the other UP constituent universities.


While UPOU is coined as the "online university" of the UP System, it is not an online university for the UP units or campuses.



3. What is an open university?


An open university espouses a philosophy of open learning which differs in degree and dimension from institution to institution. For UPOU, its philosophy of open learning is evolving. Its emphasis at present is on widening access to quality higher education.



4. What is distance education?


Distance education (DE) is any of the various forms of study which is not under the continuous, immediate supervision of teachers present with their students in lecture/classrooms. It favors an independent self-learning style which takes place outside a formal classroom.


Despite the physical separation between the learner and the teacher, this does not mean that students are left on their own. Teaching and learning is mediated through the use of technology like print, audio, video, and the internet.



5. What are the advantages of distance education?


Studying through the distance education mode offers the following benefits:

  • Inclusivity;
  • No need to take leave from one’s job;
  • No need to be separated from one’s family;
  • Can immediately apply what has been learned to one’s work;
  • Access to institutionally developed learning modules.


6. How is distance education different from the traditional mode of learning?


UPOU students are expected to perform the usual learning activities and course requirements performed by students in traditional classes. Unlike in face-to-face classes, the course materials are usually the starting point for study.


Course materials may come in the form of print modules, online articles and exercises, videos, and audio recordings. Interaction between the teacher and students also takes place through the internet.



7. What is UPOU's mode of instruction?


UPOU espouses Open and Distance eLearning (ODeL) – a worldview that combines the philosophy of open learning, the pedagogies of distance education, and the technology of eLearning. This worldview guides UPOU’s mode of teaching. The key features of DE as practiced at UPOU are:

  • Students and teachers at UPOU are separated from each other by space and time. They do not meet face-to-face in a physical classroom to conduct regular classes.
  • Students partake in an asynchronous learning. They undertake guided independent study using the learning package especially designed by the faculty in charge. The learning package includes course materials, course guide, activity guides, resources and other information a student needs for learning.
  • UPOU utilizes an open source learning management system (LMS) as its virtual classroom. This is other otherwise known as MyPortal.
  • To enhance interaction and discussion, the faculty in charge uses various online collaboration and communication tools available today.
  • Final examinations are conducted either face to face at designated learning and testing centers, or online.



8. How do students and teachers interact with each other in UPOU?


If traditional universities have classrooms and lecture halls, UPOU has course sites or “virtual classrooms” where students and teachers log in to discuss the lessons as well as do other learning activities.


Academic interactions, submission of course requirements, online quizzes, chats and other online activities can be done in the course site. The class interactions/schedules will depend on the Faculty-in-Charge (FIC) of the course. Some may have weekly interactions, others may have open interactions that happen throughout the term and the rest may follow an entirely different schedule within the term.



9. Can I enroll in UPOU even if I am based abroad?


Almost all courses are taught online, which means that you can study any course wherever you are. Around 15 per cent of UPOU students are based abroad.


Some subjects require pre-scheduled face-to-face meetings (e.g., laboratory work or field practice).



10. Do students have to take examinations?


Yes, students normally need to take examinations. The students sit for supervised examinations through either of these means:

  1. at pre-identified examination venues;
  2. at a Philippine embassy/consulate or any academic institution/credible organization abroad under the supervision of a qualified proctor in the area; or
  3. online.

Examination Services is a program under the Office of Student Affairs that is responsible for the overall administration and delivery of academic examinations done at a UPOU designated examination venue. Academic examinations include midterm, make-up exam, removal/completion, final exam, comprehensive exam and admission test.



11. Is there an entrance or admission exam to UPOU?


For the Associate Program

Yes, there is an admission exam, the Undergraduate Assessment Test (UgAT). The UgAT is designed to assess both scholastic aptitude and the applicant’s capability to undertake independent learning. The UgAT can be taken only once and it consists of the following subtests: Language Proficiency, Reading Comprehension in English and Filipino, Science, and Mathematics. Qualified transferees are not required to take the UgAT.


UPOU administers the UgAT. Details of and instructions for taking the exam will be emailed by the UPOU Admission Section.


Visit this page for information on admission to the UPOU Associate Program.


For the Bachelors Programs

Yes, there is an admission exam, the UP College Admission Test (UPCAT). The UPCAT is administered by the Office of Admissions in UP Diliman, and can only be taken once. 


Qualified transferees are not required to take the UPCAT. The UPCAT is also not required for AA graduates and applicants with previous degree/s.


Visit this page for information on UPOU undergraduate admission.


For the Graduate Diploma Programs

No admission exam/test. Visit this page for information on admission to UPOU graduate diploma programs.


For the Graduate Certificate Programs

No admission exam/test. Visit this page for information on admission to UPOU graduate certificate programs.


For the Master's Programs

Only the following programs have admission exams: Master of Arts in Language and Literacy Education, Master of International Health, Master of Public Management, and Master of Social Work.


Visit this page for information on admission to UPOU Master's programs.




12. What is UPCAT? What is UgAT?


The UP College Admission Test (UPCAT) is administered by the Office of Admissions in UP Diliman, and can only be taken once. Please visit their website (https://upcat.up.edu.ph/) for more information (requirements, procedures, etc.).


On the other hand, the Undergraduate Assessment Test (UgAT) is an exam administered by the UPOU to prospective Associate Program students. It is designed to assess both scholastic aptitude and the applicant’s capability to undertake independent learning. The UgAT can be taken only once and it consists of the following subtests: Language Proficiency, Reading Comprehension in English and Filipino, Science, and Mathematics. Qualified transferees are not required to take the UgAT. Details of and instructions for taking the exam will be emailed by the UPOU Admission Section.




Contact information of the UP Open University

Office of Public Affairs
(+6349) 536-6001 to 06 local 710
Los Baños, Laguna Philippines, 4031
https://www.upou.edu.ph/home/
https://helpdesk.upou.edu.ph