UP Diliman


1908 – 1948

–The University of the Philippines (UP) was established in 1908 by Act No. 1870 of the Philippine Legislature to “give advanced instruction in literature, philosophy, the sciences and the arts, and professional and technical training to every qualified student, irrespective of age, sex, nationality, religious belief, or political affiliation.”

–UP was initially comprised of three colleges: the College of Fine Arts, College of Liberal Arts and the College of Medicine and Surgery, all located in the City of Manila.

–As the student population continued to increase, from 67 in 1908 to 7,959 in 1938, the need for UP to create more academic units and buildings became more apparent.

–In 1939, the Board of Regents acquired a 493-hectare land in Diliman, Quezon City and began construction the same year. The development of the area, however, was stalled by the advent of World War II.

–When the war ended in 1945, the University administration sought a P13 million-grant from the US-Philippine War Damage Commission to restore damaged facilities and to construct new ones to enable the transfer of the University from Manila to Diliman.

1949 – 1984

–In February 1949, a motorcade made its way from Manila to Diliman to transfer the Oblation, and mark the University’s move from its original site to its new campus.

–Soon after, the Diliman landscape was dotted with new buildings. The following decade also saw the establishment of new institutes – UP’s response to the demand for more specialized fields of study.

–The General Education (GE) Program was introduced in 1958 as a series of core courses prescribed for all students at the undergraduate level.

–By the end of UP President Carlos P. Romulo’s term in 1968, UP had become not only an institution of education, but also a center of research, a veritable think tank, with many of its faculty serving as advisers and consultants in the national government.

–UP Diliman became a center of dissent and bastion of activism in the 1970s. From February 1-9, 1971, streets were barricaded with chairs and tables as students and teachers declared the entire campus free from government control during the Diliman Commune.

–Despite the period of unrest, UP’s administrators tried to sustain the university’s educational priorities and institutional autonomy.

–The birth of the University of the Philippines System on November 21, 1972 “marked the development of the University into a multi-campus university, allowing for the growth of not only one but multiple centers of learning dedicated to excellence.”

–The UP College Admissions Test, or UPCAT, was instituted as the entrance examination required of all applicants for admission to UP effective AY 1973-1974. Previously, high school valedictorians and salutatorians were automatically admitted to UP but after UPCAT, this practice was discontinued.

The Management Review Committee that was established to evaluate and recommend measures for improving UP’s operations submitted a report that led to the wide-ranging reorganization of the UP System and further decentralization of UP administration. On March 23, 1983, UP Diliman was declared an autonomous unit.

The first UPD Chancellor was Edgardo J. Angara, who was also UP President. The first full-time UPD Chancellor was Dr. Ernesto G. Tabujara.

1985 – 2000

–On April 23, 1985, UP Diliman was formally declared a constituent university (CU).

–The Socialized Tuition Fee Assistance Program, or STFAP, was introduced in 1987.

–In 1990, when UP President Jose Abueva was concurrently UPD Chancellor, a Filipino language policy in the University was institutionalized. It was also in 1990 that the University Center for Women’s Studies – the first such center in a Philippine university – was established as a concrete step toward a more gender-sensitive society.

–UPD also kept with the information-driven culture all over the globe. Installation of a fiber-optic network linking the various colleges of the campus, or Diliman Network (DilNet), began in the mid-1990s during the term of Chancellor Roger D. Posadas and continued under the term of succeeding Chancellor Claro T. Llaguno.

–During the second term of Chancellor Emerlinda R. Roman, the Computerized Registration System (CRS) was developed by the Computer Science department of the College of Engineering, together with the Office of the University Registrar. The first semester of academic year 2000-2001 saw students experience smoother pre-enlistment with the implementation of version 2.0 of the CRS Online.

The new millennium and UPD’s continuum

–Seeing the need for reforms, a revitalized GE program (RGEP) which is based on the premise of freedom of choice and no prerequisites, was implemented in 2001.

–Coinciding with UP’s centennial anniversary, a new University of the Philippines charter was enacted into law on April 28, 2008. Republic Act 9500 declared UP as the national university, “a public and secular institution of higher learning and a community of scholars dedicated to the search for truth and knowledge as well as the development of future leaders.”

–UPD is also the site of the country’s National Science Complex. Centered at the Complex are notable academic and research units of UPD, all pioneers of scientific research and development in the Philippines.  Infrastructure development started during the term of Chancellor Sergio S. Cao and continued during Chancellor Caesar A. Saloma’s term.

–UP Diliman, together with all constituent universities of the UP System, shifted its academic calendar from June to August starting Academic Year 2014-2015 to address the need to internationalize and maximize opportunities offered by global educational partnerships.

–Today, under the leadership of its current chancellor Dr. Michael Lim Tan, UPD is gearing itself to be a global university at par with the region and the world’s premier learning institutions. Based on the latest Quacquarelli Symods (QS) World University Rankings, UP remains as the lone Philippine institution of higher learning in the top 400 universities in the world, landing in the 356th spot in 2019.