List of the oldest schools in the Philippines

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The Royal and Pontifical University of Santo Tomas, established by the Dominican missionaries in 1611 and raised to the rank of a University in 1645 by Pope Innocent X through the petition of Philip IV of Spain, is currently the educational institution with the oldest extant University charter in Asia. UST Main Building from the field.JPG
The Royal and Pontifical University of Santo Tomas, established by the Dominican missionaries in 1611 and raised to the rank of a University in 1645 by Pope Innocent X through the petition of Philip IV of Spain, is currently the educational institution with the oldest extant University charter in Asia.

This is a list of educational institutions in the Philippines arranged according to the dates of their foundation. It comprises the list of the oldest schools in the Philippines sorted in various categories, and gives an overview of the development of education and higher learning in the Philippines. To be included in this list, an institution must satisfy a traditional definition of a formal educational institution at the time of its founding.

Contents

The oldest universities, colleges, vocational schools and the first modern public education system in Asia were created during the Spanish colonial period. The earliest schools were founded by Spanish Catholic missionaries. By the time Spain was replaced by the United States as the colonial power, Filipinos were among the most educated subjects in all of Asia. [3]

Dispute over the oldest school

The title of the oldest in the Philippines have been topic for debate between two educational institutions: the University of Santo Tomas and the University of San Carlos. [4]

The University of Santo Tomas, established in 1611 as the Colegio de Nuestra Señora del Santisimo Rosario, is generally recognized as the oldest university in the Philippines. In 1935 the Commonwealth government of the Philippines through the Historical Research and Markers Committee declared that UST was "oldest university under the American flag." [5] In the 1990s, the Intramuros Administration installed a marker on the original site of the University of Santo Tomas with the recognition that the university is the "oldest university in Asia." [6] In 2011 Pope Benedict XVI recognized UST as "the oldest institution of Catholic higher education in the Far East," [7] while in 2012 the National Historical Commission of the Philippines published an online article recognizing UST as "Asia’s Oldest University. [8]

However, the University of San Carlos has opposed this recognition and claims that it is older than the University of Santo Tomas by 16 years by tracing its roots to the Colegio de San Ildefonso (established 1595). [9] In 1995, the University of San Carlos celebrated its Quadricentennial (400th Anniversary). [10]

Numerous scholars and official government bodies have reviewed the case. In 2010, the National Historical Commission of the Philippines installed a bronze marker declaring USC's foundation late in the 18th Century, effectively disproving any direct connection with the Colegio de San Ildefonso. [11] According to Dr. Victor Torres of the De La Salle University, the University of San Carlos' claim dates back to 1948 only when USC was declared a University. [10] Fidel Villarroel from the University of Santo Tomas argued that USC only took over the facility of the former Colegio de San Ildefonso and that there is no 'visible' and 'clear' link between San Carlos and San Ildefonso. [12] Aloysius Cartagenas (a Cebuano), in a paper published by Philippiniana Sacra, stated that the correct foundation year of USC is 1867, and not 1595, [13] while in 2012 the National Historical Commission of the Philippines cemented its previous position when it published an online article recognizing UST as "Asia’s Oldest University. [8]

Oldest educational institutions

Current name/
Latest name before
extinction
Year
founded
Name at time of foundationFounding
order
Location upon foundation/
Last location if extinct
Current
status
Current/Last
affiliations
TypeRef
Colegio de Santa Potenciana 1589Colegio de Santa Potenciana Franciscan Order Intramuros, Manila Defunct Private [14] [15] [16] [17]
Colegio de Manila 1590Colegio de Manila Society of Jesus Intramuros, Manila Defunct Society of Jesus Seminary, Pontifical, Royal, Private [17] [18] [19]
Colegio de San Ildefonso 1595 Colegio de San Ildefonso Society of Jesus Cebu City Defunct Society of Jesus Private [17] [20] [21] [22]
San Jose Seminary1601Colegio de San Jose Society of Jesus Intramuros, Manila Active Society of Jesus Private [17] [23] [24]
University of Santo Tomas 1611 Colegio de Nuestra Señora de Santisimo Rosario Dominican Order Intramuros, Manila Active Dominican Order Private, Pontifical, Royal [17] [25] [26]
Colegio de Niños Huerfanos de San Juan de Letran 1620Colegio de Niños Huerfanos de San Juan de LetranDon Juan Geronimo Guerrero Intramuros, Manila Defunct Dominican Order Private [17] [27]
Colegio de Huerfanos de San Pedro y San Pablo1620Colegio de Huerfanos de San Pedro y San Pablo Dominican Order Intramuros, Manila Defunct Private [17] [27]
Colegio de San Juan de Letran 1630Colegio de San Juan de Letran Dominican Order Intramuros, Manila Active Dominican Order Private [17] [27] [28]
Santa Isabel College Manila 1632 Colegio de Santa Isabel Intramuros, Manila Active Daughters of Charity of Saint Vincent de Paul Private [17] [29] [30]
Universidad de San Felipe de Austria 1640Universidad de San Felipe de Austria Audiencia Real de Manila Intramuros, Manila Defunct Public [17] [31]

Oldest educational institutions in continuous operation

  Disputed [lower-alpha 1]

Current nameTraces origin toYear
founded
Founding
order
Location upon foundationTypeCurrent
affiliations
Ref
University of San Carlos [lower-alpha 1] Colegio de San Ildefonso 1595 Society of Jesus Cebu City Private Society of the Divine Word [17] [20] [21] [22]
San Jose SeminaryColegio de San Jose1601 Society of Jesus Intramuros, Manila Private Jesuit [17] [23] [24]
University of Santo Tomas Colegio de Nuestra Señora de Santisimo Rosario1611 Dominican Order Intramuros, Manila Private, Pontifical, Royal Dominican Order [17] [25] [26]
Colegio de San Juan de Letran Colegio de San Juan de Letran1620 Dominican Order Intramuros, Manila Private Dominican Order [17] [27] [32] [28]
Santa Isabel College Manila Colegio de Santa Isabel1632 Intramuros, Manila Private Daughters of Charity [17] [29] [30]
San Carlos Seminary Real y Conciliar Colegio de San Carlos1702 Archdiocese of Manila Intramuros, Manila Seminary Archdiocese of Manila [17] [20] [21] [22] [33]
Santa Catalina CollegeBeaterio Colegio de Santa Catalina de Siena1706 Dominican Order Intramuros, Manila Private Dominican Order [17] [34] [35] [36] [37] [38]
Colegio de Santa RosaBeaterio y Casa de Enseñanza1750 Intramuros, Manila Private Daughters of Charity [17] [34] [39] [40] [41]
Seminario Mayor de San CarlosReal Seminario de San Carlos1783 Archdiocese of Cebu Cebu City Seminary Society of the Divine Word [17] [42]
Holy Rosary Minor SeminaryCasa de Clerigos1793 Archdiocese of Caceres Naga City Seminary Archdiocese of Caceres [17] [43]
Immaculate Conception School of Theology, ViganSeminario de San Pablo1822 Dominican Order Vigan Seminary Archdiocese of Nueva Segovia [44] [45] [46] [47]
Notes
  1. 1 2 The University of San Carlos traces its roots to the Colegio de San Ildefonso founded by the Spanish Jesuits fathers Antonio Sedeno, Pedro Chirino and Antonio Pereira in 1595, thus claiming to be the oldest still existing school in Asia. [48] USC celebrated its quadricentennial in 1995. [48] However, this claim is opposed by the Pontifical and Royal University of Santo Tomas, which argues that USC only took over the facility of the former Colegio de San Ildefonso and that there is no 'visible' and 'clear' link between San Carlos and San Ildefonso. [49] [50] Notable scholars including Dr. Jose Victor Torres, professor of history at the De La Salle University, [49] [51] Fr. Aloysius Cartagenas STD, professor at the Seminario Mayor de San Carlos of Cebu [52] [53] and Fr. Fidel Villarroel, OP, eminent historian and former archivist of Santo Tomas [50] [54] [55] have also questioned San Carlos' claim of tracing its roots to the 16th Century Colegio de San Ildefonso. [49]

Oldest educational institutions for girls

  Still in operation  Defunct  Established as a School for Girls

Current nameYear
founded
Name at time of foundationFounding
order
Location upon foundationTypeCurrent
affiliations
Ref
Colegio de Santa Potenciana 1589Colegio de Santa Potenciana Franciscan Order Intramuros, Manila Private [14] [15] [16]
Santa Isabel College Manila 1632Colegio de Santa Isabel Intramuros, Manila Private Daughters of Charity [17] [29] [30]
Santa Catalina College1706Beaterio Colegio de Santa Catalina de Siena Dominican Order Intramuros, Manila Private Dominican Order [17] [34] [36] [38]
Colegio de Santa Rosa1750Beaterio y Casa de Enseñanza Intramuros, Manila Private Daughters of Charity [17] [34] [39] [40] [41]
Universidad de Sta. Isabel 1867Colegio de Santa Isabel Daughters of Charity Naga City Private Daughters of Charity [56] [57] [58] [59]
Concordia College 1868Colegio de la Inmaculada Concepcion de la Concordia Daughters of Charity Manila Private Daughters of Charity [60] [61] [62]
Colegio de la Inmaculada Concepcion 1880Colegio de la Inmaculada ConcepcionHermanitas de la Madre de Dios Cebu City Private Daughters of Charity [63] [64] [65] [66]
La Consolacion College Manila 1902Colegio de Nuestra Señora de la Consolacion Order of Saint Augustine Mendiola, Manila Private, Roman Catholic, Coeducational Order of Saint Augustine [67]
Assumption College San Lorenzo 1904Assumption Convent Religious of the Assumption Manila Private Religious of the Assumption [67]
St. Scholastica's College Manila 1906St. Scholastica's College Manila Order of Saint Benedict Manila Private Order of Saint Benedict [68]
St. Scholastica's College Manila 1906St. Scholastica's College Manila Order of Saint Benedict Manila Private Order of Saint Benedict [68]
St. Paul University Manila 1912St. Paul University Manila Sisters of St. Paul of Chartres Manila Private Sisters of St. Paul of Chartres
Centro Escolar University [lower-roman 1] 1907Centro Escolar de Señoritas Manila Private, Non-Sectarian [69]
Notes
  1. Centro Escolar University was established as Centro Escolar de Señoritas by Doña Librada Avelino and Doña Carmen de Luna in 1907 to cater the young women of Manila. The university is still continuously operating, but now as a co-educational institution.


Oldest public educational institutions

  Still in operation  Defunct

Current nameYear
founded
Name at time of foundationLocation upon foundationRef
Universidad de San Felipe de Austria 1640Universidad de San Felipe de Austria Intramuros, Manila [31]
Philippine Merchant Marine Academy 1820Escuela Nautica de Manila Zambales [70]
Don Honorio Ventura Technological State University 1861Escuela De Artes y Oficios De Bacolor Pampanga [71]

Educational institutions with the oldest university charters

  Still in operation  Defunct

NameYear of university charterCharter granted byLocation upon foundationTypeRef
Universidad de San Ignacio 1621 Philip IV of Spain Manila Private [18] [19]
Universidad de San Felipe de Austria 1640 Real Audiencia de Manila Intramuros, Manila Public [31]
University of Santo Tomas 1645 Pope Innocent X, Philip IV of Spain Manila Private [25] [26]
Universidad Literaria de Filipinas1898Philippine Revolutionary government Intramuros, Manila Public [72] [73] [74]
University of the Philippines Manila 1908American Civil government Manila Public [75] [76]
University of the Philippines Los Baños 1909American Civil government Los Baños, Laguna Public [75]
University of the Philippines Visayas 1918American Civil government Miagao, Iloilo Public [75] [77]
Centro Escolar University 1932Philippine Commonwealth government Manila Private [69]
Silliman University 1938Philippine Commonwealth government Dumaguete Private [78]
Adamson University 1941Philippine Commonwealth government Manila Private [79]
University of the Philippines Diliman 1949Philippine government Quezon City Public [75]

Oldest seminaries

  Still in operation  Defunct

Current nameYear
founded
Name at time of foundationFounding
order
Location upon foundationCurrent
affiliations
Refs
Universidad de San Ignacio 1590Colegio de Manila Society of Jesus Manila [18] [19] [24]
San José Seminary1601Colegio de San José Society of Jesus Intramuros, Manila Jesuit [23] [24]
University of Santo Tomas Central Seminary 1611Colegio de Nuestra Señora de Santisimo Rosario Dominican Order Intramuros, Manila Dominican Order [25] [26] [80]
San Carlos Seminary 1702Real y Conciliar Colegio de San Carlos Archdiocese of Manila Intramuros, Manila Archdiocese of Manila [33]
Seminario Mayor de San Carlos1783Real Seminario de San Carlos Archdiocese of Cebu Cebu City Society of the Divine Word [42]
Holy Rosary Minor Seminary1793Casa de Clerigos Archdiocese of Caceres Naga City Archdiocese of Caceres [43]
Immaculate Conception School of Theology, Vigan1822Seminario de San Pablo Dominican Order Vigan Archdiocese of Nueva Segovia [44]

Oldest law schools

  Still in operation  Defunct

NameYear
founded
Educational institutionLocation upon foundationRef
University of Santo Tomas Faculty of Civil Law 1734 University of Santo Tomas Intramuros, Manila [81]
Universidad de San Ignacio Facultad de Derecho Civil1734 Universidad de San Ignacio Intramuros, Manila [81]
Universidad Literaria de Filipinas Civil Law1898Universidad Literaria de Filipinas Manila [72] [73] [74]
Manila Law College1899Manila Law College Manila [82] [83]
University of the Philippines College of Law 1911 University of the Philippines Quezon City [84]
University of Manila College of Law1913 University of Manila Manila [85]
Philippine Law School 1915 Philippine Law School Manila [86] [87]
University of Manila College of Law1918 University of Manila Manila [88] [89]
Far Eastern University Institute of Law 1934 Far Eastern University Manila [90]
Silliman University College of Law 1935 Silliman University Dumaguete [91]
Ateneo Law School 1936 Ateneo de Manila University Quezon City [92]
University of San Carlos School of Law and Governance1937 University of San Carlos Cebu City [93]

Oldest schools of medicine

NameYear
founded
Educational institutionLocation upon foundationRef
University of Santo Tomas Faculty of Medicine and Surgery 1871 University of Santo Tomas Intramuros, Manila [94]
University of the Philippines College of Medicine 1905 University of the Philippines Manila Manila [95]
Southwestern University Matias H. Aznar Memorial College of Medicine, Inc.1946 Southwestern University Cebu [96]
Manila Central University College of Medicine1947 Manila Central University Manila [97]
FEU Institute of Medicine - Nicanor Reyes Medical Foundation 1952 Far Eastern University Manila [98]
UERMMMC College of Medicine 1956 University of the East Manila [99]
Cebu Institute of Medicine 1957 Cebu Institute of Medicine Cebu [100]
Lyceum Northwestern University Dr. Francisco Q. Duque Medical Foundation1974 Lyceum-Northwestern University Pangasinan [101]
West Visayas State University College of Medicine1975 West Visayas State University Iloilo [102]
Virgen Milagrosa University Foundation College of Medicine1975 Virgen Milagrosa University Foundation Pangasinan [103]

Oldest normal schools

Current nameYear
founded
Name at time of foundationLocation upon foundationRef
Universidad de Sta. Isabel 1875Escuela Normal de Maestras of Colegio de Sta. IsabelCamarines Sur [104]
Philippine Normal University 1901Philippine Normal SchoolManila [105]
West Visayas State University 1902Iloilo Normal SchoolIloilo [106]

Oldest schools of engineering

NameYear
founded
Educational institutionLocation upon foundationRef
University of Santo Tomas Faculty of Engineering 1907 University of Santo Tomas Intramuros, Manila [107]
Mapúa University 1925 Mapúa University Manila [108]

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The oldest universities, colleges, vocational schools and the first modern public education system in Asia were created during the Spanish colonial period. The earliest schools were founded by Spanish Catholic missionaries. By the time Spain was replaced by the United States as the colonial power, Filipinos were among the most educated subjects in all of Asia. Of the many educational institutions established during the colonial era, only a few remain extant today, such as the University of Santo Tomas (1611), Colegio de San Juan de Letran (1620), Real Colegio de Santa Potenciana (1590), Universidad de San Ignacio (1590), Colegio de San Ildefonso (1595), Santa Isabel College Manila (1632), and the Universidad de San Felipe de Austria (1640), among others.

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See also