Last March 8, Holy Angel University celebrated its 91st Founders’ Day, commemorating the years since the university opened as the brainchild of founders Don Juan Nepomuceno and Fr. Pedro Santos in an effort to bring Catholic education closer to the people of Pampanga—one that was non-profit-oriented but organized towards “service to the community.”


But 91 years from its foundation, what was supposed to be a university founded by the will to provide accessible education appears to have transformed into the likes of other capitalist institutions—sustaining instead its money-grubbing efforts over the actual needs of its most important stakeholders, Angelites, in having affordable and quality learning.


In a history snippet posted by HAU, it cited Nepomuceno’s foundation of the university as one that was “born out of love” by putting up a high-quality Catholic school for his son, Javier Nepomuceno, and all other locals that will no longer require them to move out to the country’s capital, lifting up their financial and emotional burden.


Today, this “love-born” university appears to contradict the very reasons why it was founded in the first place.


Recently, a 3.9% tuition and other fee increase (TOFI) for the next academic year was put into proposal, adding yet another burden to students despite them having to face the brunt of an 8% increase for the current year.


Students are also forced to run along the sped up academic calendar, onsetting the early starts of semesters and compressing learning weeks. This policy did not only leave students in a state of extreme academic burnout, but also gravely troubled them financially given the need to secure entrance fees despite their outstanding back accounts from the previous semester.


These recent policies by the current administration of HAU prove that the university is nowhere near its original mission. 


From being a nonprofit-oriented university that lifts up the financial burden of students, HAU now adds to the financial plights of Angelites with annual increases in fees. From living out of service for its community, HAU instead stands as an insensitive institution that cares more about its capitalist agenda than the students it intends to serve.


With the recent celebration of the 91st Founders’ Day, it must be a stark reminder to the administration to go back to the core of its founders in establishing the university. 


To go back to the very reasons of HAU’s foundation means setting aside its personal capitalist agenda and driving away from neoliberal policies. Instead, the university administration should ensure that all students get quality education that goes hand-in-hand with accessibility, without having to face unreasonable distress in both their wellbeing and finances.


Should the current administration be grounded by the founders’ advocacies, it will ensure that quality education becomes truly accessible to all students—living out the dreams that the founders envisioned of HAU—a university “born out of love” that thrives, and for its students, a university that truly cares.


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