CHED grants Autonomous Status to SMU

by Institutional Development and Quality Assurance Office


The Commission on Higher Education (CHEd) has granted Saint Mary’s University (SMU) its autonomous status, the highest rank a private higher education institution (PHEI) can attain from the said governing body.

An autonomous HEI is considered by CHEd as having “demonstrate exceptional, institutional quality and enhancement through internal quality assurance (QA) systems, demonstrate excellent program outcomes through a high proportion of accredited programs, the presence of Centers of Excellence and/or Development, and/or international certification.”

 CHEd evaluates HEIs according to three criteria namely: long tradition of integrity and untarnished reputation, commitment to excellence, and sustainability and viability of operations.

Autonomy allows SMU the privilege to determine and prescribe curricular programs and offer new courses/programs in the undergraduate and/or graduate levels, offer extension classes, establish linkages with foreign higher educational institutions (HEIs), authorize to offer programs via the alternative mode, and increase in tuition fees.

 According to CHEd Memorandum Order No. 20 series of 2016 released last April 13, SMU’s autonomous status is effective from April 1, 2016 until May 31, 2019. 

SMU is one of only three private HEIs granted the three-year status in Region II and the only PHEI granted autonomy in Nueva Vizcaya. 

 SMU got the autonomous status first in 2001, which was good until 2006. 


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