BY JESSE DOCTOR AND CIARRA COLLADO
In October, UP President Alfredo Pascual made headlines across many of the university’s student publications. The reason – his remarks on his administration’s flagship project proved controversial.
Pascual’s flagship project, eUP, “seeks to integrate, harmonize, and interoperate Information and Communication Technology (ICT) systems and infrastructure across all constituent universities (CUs) of the UP System.”
However, since the project’s launch in 2012, it has not been as smooth sailing as planned. The fiasco reached its highest point in October, when Pascual implied that student consultations were not held as it would take students away from their studies. He said he was just acting on what he knew was best for the university.
Since the project’s launch in 2012, it has not been as smooth sailing as planned.
eUPleaks, a site containing documents and exposés on the project, called Pascual’s remarks condescending and went on to critique Pascual’s handling of the forum.
This was the latest in a string of issues that made eUP less than popular among UP students, including a test run in UP Manila of the Student Academic Information System (SAIS) that caused mass delays and inconvenience during the registration period. SAIS is one of 12 information systems that comprise eUP.
The criticism puts heavy stress on the administration, which markets eUP as essential to the improvement of the university system. According to Pascual, the project is “meant to enable the university to make optimal use of its resources, including the time and expertise of its faculty and staff.”
Pascual implied that student consultations were not held as it would take students away from their studies. He said he was just acting on what he knew was best for the university.
But not everyone agrees that eUP makes optimal use of university resources. Dr.Ramon Guillermo, national president of the All UP Academic Employees’ Union, called eUP a “money pit,” and said the budget proposal for eUP’s information technology services reached P445 million. The proposal is just for the maintenance of the project.
As of October, the university has spent P724 million on eUP – causing some to question its sustainability, in the midst of a looming budget cut. Still, many of eUP’s features haven’t rolled out, three years after its launch. In fact, the years-old Computerized Registration System (CRS) is still being used for the current enlistment and registration period, despite SAIS’ trial period in UP Manila having been conducted two years ago.
Header image from UP-Diliman Engineering Student Council