The Commission on Higher Education (CHED) on Monday said reports from 760 private and state-run institutions nationwide suggest that foreign students who are willing to study in the Philippines have skyrocketed in the last 2 months of inquiries.
The report said 80% of foreign nationals who inquired in different institutions are from Russia and China, and 78% are interested in learning English.
The Bureau of Immigration said the suddent increase of expected enrolles could generate more than P23B in revenue especially in real estate sector where foreign students would rent apartments. Additional teachers are also needed according to the bureau.
Nearly 20,000 foreign students held special visas at the end of the school year in March, according to the immigration bureau, which said the number would rise when classes began in June.
This excludes the tens of thousands enrolled in small institutions that offer short courses in English and are particularly popular among South Korean and Chinese students.
Nigerian medical student Dike Edward Ikechukwu, 22, said he learnt about studying in the Philippines at an education road show conducted by Manila schools in his country.
Then already studying pharmacology in Lagos, Ikechukwu said he was intrigued by the prospect of studying in a foreign country where he could expand his medical knowledge without depleting the family resources.
“It was cost effective for me,” said Ikechukwu, who is president of the 605-member foreign students’ organization at Manila’s 400-year-old University of Santo Tomas.
“I would have spent so much more in the United States for the same quality of education.”
A four-year degree course in the Philippines costs between 1,000 and 2,500 dollars a year, significantly cheaper than in the United States for example where one could spend more than 30,000 dollars annually, educators here say.
Another important factor for Ikechukwu was English. He said his father, a shipping consultant, traveled to the Philippines before he enrolled to inspect the university and liked the fact English was widely spoken.
The Philippines inherited English from the Americans, who colonized the archipelago at the end of a war with Spain in 1898.