University of the Philippines

The University of the Philippines (or Unibersidad ng Pilipinas in Filipino and commonly abbreviated as U.P.) is the national university of the Philippines. Founded in 1908 through an act of Philippine Legislature, the University provides tertiary-level education in almost every field, from law, medicine, engineering, political science and other social sciences to public health, natural sciences, agriculture and the humanities.

The University is considered to be one of the premier institutions of higher learning in the Philippines, and has educated some of the country's most popular political and social leaders, economists, lawyers, medical doctors, creative artists and entrepreneurs. Several Philippine Presidents have attended courses in the University either as undergraduates or as postgraduate students, while 12 chief justices of the Supreme Court, 36 out of the 57 National Artists and 30 out of the 31 National Scientists are affiliated with the University.

U.P. was the highest ranked Philippine university in THES-QS World University Rankings in 2006 and 2007 and in the final edition of Asiaweek's Best Universities in Asia list in 2000. U.P. has the most number of National Centers of Excellence and Development among all higher education institutions in the country and one of only three schools in Asia that have received institutional recognition in the Ramon Magsaysay Awards. U.P. graduates frequently top the professional board examinations in nearly all professional fields, and its College of Law has produced 49 out of 107 of all top notchers in the Bar examinations.

U.P. is partly subsidized by the Philippine government, making its students essentially scholars of the national government. Students of University of the Philippines and its graduates are popularly referred to as "Iskolar ng Bayan" ("Scholars of the Nation"). This makes admission into the University extremely competitive. In 2006 alone, 70,000 applicants flocked to test centers nationwide to take the University of the Philippines College Admission Test (UPCAT) for undergraduate admission (Around 11,000 of the applicants were admitted for the year 2006, an acceptance rate of about 18%).

The foremost symbol of U.P. is the Oblation. This is a figure of a naked man, with arms outstretched and face pointed upwards. The Oblation is based on the second stanza of Jose Rizal's Mi Ultimo Adios, which is replete with references of selfless dedication and service to the nation.

In line with the celebration of the University's centenary, the year 2008 has been proclaimed as the "UP Centennial Year" and the years 1998-2008 as the "University of the Philippines Decade."