The University of the Philippines (Translated in Filipino as Unibersidad ng Pilipinas or Pamantasan ng Pilipinas. Commonly abbreviated as U.P.) is the national university of the Philippines.
Founded in 1908 through Act No. 1870 of the First Philippine Legislature, known as the “University Act” by authority of the United States, the University currently provides the largest number of degree programs in the country. Senate Resolution No. 276 of the Senate of the Philippines recognizes the University as “the nation’s premier university”.
The University has produced a significant number of public figures and officials since its founding. Seven Philippine Presidents have attended courses in the University either as undergraduate or postgraduate students; 13 Chief Justices; 38 National Artists and 34 National Scientists are also affiliated with the University.
U.P. has the most National Centers of Excellence and Development among higher education institutions in the country and one of only three schools in Asia that have received institutional recognition in the Ramon Magsaysay Awards.
U.P. is partly subsidized by the Philippine government. Students of the university and its graduates are referred to as “[Mga] Iskolar ng Bayan” (“Scholars of the Nation”). This makes admission into the University extremely competitive. Most recently, in 2014, almost 88,000 applicants flocked to test centers to take the University of the Philippines College Admission Test (UPCAT) for undergraduate admission. Around 13,100 of the 83,000 applicants in the 2013 exam were admitted for the following year, an acceptance rate of approximately 16% for the entire U.P. System at the same year. In the 2012 admission test, U.P. added essay questions that tested the writing literacy of its High School exam takers.
The symbol of U.P. is the Oblation. This is a figure of a naked man, with arms outstretched and face pointed upwards. The Oblation is based on the second stanza of Jose Rizal’s Mi Ultimo Adios.