The Philippine Higher Education Market
The Philippines transition to a K-12 model opened the door for U.S. educational institutions to market degree programs to students across the Philippines.
The Philippines has a total of 1,949 higher education institutions. As of 2020, student enrollment was 1.83 million for private and 1.57 million for public institutions. There is a strong presence of international schools in major cities such as Manila, Cebu, and Davao. International schools offer both International Baccalaureate and Advanced Placement programs, with annual tuition fees ranging from $13,000 to $15,000. Most Filipino students studying abroad are from the local private education network. The Coordinating Council of Private Educational Associations (COCOPEA) is the umbrella organization of all private schools in the Philippines.
In 2019, the U.S. Embassy in the Philippines and CHED signed a Joint Statement on Higher Education Cooperation to increase collaboration in institutional linkages, capacity building, and developing government/industry/academic ties. The joint statement recognizes the growing market, the possible economic rebound after the pandemic, and the transition to a K-12 system to allow more middle-class students to have the option of studying abroad.
U.S. schools should be prepared to invest considerable time and financial resources into the Philippine market as competition is fierce. Schools without brand recognition should partner with local agents and universities and conduct aggressive marketing efforts. Connecting with the international school community and visiting the university fairs are excellent first steps.
Philippine Education Fair:
IDP Education Philippines – International Education Virtual Fair
Dates: TBC, last fair was held on March 13, 2021
EducationUSA Virtual School Fair
Dates: TBC, last fair was held on September 3, 2021
Organizer: EducationUSA Philippines
Coordinating Council of Private Educational Associations of the Philippines
For more information, please contact Mr. John Giray, Commercial Specialist at the U.S. Commercial Service Philippines at John.Giray@trade.gov.