THE Visayas State University (VSU) in Baybay City, Leyte has become the first institution in both Visayas and Mindanao to obtain Level IV accreditation, the highest university status given by the Accredited Agency for Chartered Colleges and Universities of the Philippines (AACCUP).

“We keep pushing for program and institutional accreditation because we believe that this will provide important inputs for the continued development of our delivery of core functions in instruction, research, and extension,” said VSU President Edgardo Tulin.

“More than a bragging right for VSU, I see this achievement more as a benchmarking tool that is valuable for future improvements of all the things we do in the university. There’s still so much to work on to achieve our goal of global competitiveness, and we should start with accreditation as a foundation of bringing that vision into reality,” he added.

The Board of Trustees of AACCUP granted the Level IV status of VSU on Sunday, June 20, 2022, after they validated the university's research centers and key offices.

AACCUP, the biggest accreditation body for state universities and colleges (SUCs) in the country, evaluated the university through nine key areas: governance and management; teaching, learning, and evaluation; faculty and staff; research; extension, consultancy, and linkages; support to students; library; infrastructure and other learning resources; and quality assurance culture.

An institution must obtain a grand mean score of 4.5 with no area scoring below 4.0. to receive a Level IV status.

“As of April 2022, a total of 66 out of 80 undergraduate and graduate courses of VSU or 97 percent of degree programs have been subjected to AACCUP accreditation across the VSU system,” the university said.

“Sixteen of these programs have been granted Level IV status, 12 for Level III, 19 for Level II, 30 for Level 1, while 12 programs are new curricular offerings that need revision before it becomes eligible for program accreditation,” it added.

AACCUP also named VSU as the 2021 top-performing institution in the Philippines for garnering the most number of Level IV accredited courses in both graduate and undergraduate levels.

“There’s so many people to thank for this success because this is a united effort to present and package the accomplishments of VSU for the past five years. It took us more than six months to prepare all the needed documents for this accreditation and we’re grateful to all our officials for cooperating in this huge endeavor,” said VSU Quality Assurance Director Dr. Editha Cagasan.

“I’m also grateful to my staff at the Office of the Director for Quality Assurance for spending so many sleepless nights just to coordinate and do the groundwork for all these. Truly, we can achieve great things when we’re united in one goal of presenting the best of our beloved VSU,” added Cagasan, while lauding the university’s faculty members and staff.

Tarlac State University (TSU) and Pangasinan State University (PSU) were the only two other universities in the country that were already granted Level IV status upon finishing their accreditations early this year.

According to VSU, this is their third institutional accreditation with AACCUP.

In 2010, VSU became the first institution in the country to be subjected to institutional accreditation.

In 2017, it was also recognized as the first institution to obtain Level III accreditation status in the country.

VSU, which was established as Baybay Agricultural School (BAS) on June 2, 1924 through a Provincial Board Resolution, aimed to be "one of the premier universities in Asia, offering affordable world-class education to produce highly competent manpower in science and technology (S&T), especially for agriculture, environmental management and industries.”

Aside from its flagship campus in Baybay, VSU has component campuses in Alangalang, Isabel, Tolosa, and Villaba in Leyte province.

VSU offers 80 courses, including graduate and undergraduate levels, with around 13,000 students and over 600 teaching and non-teaching staff across all campuses.(SunStar Philippines)