THE University of the Philippines (UP) Cebu has introduced a viable pathway for potential student-athletes to gain entry into the prestigious institution — the Varsity Athletics Admission System (Vaas) for Athletes and Artists.
The program, which will be introduced for the academic year 2023-2024, is not a means to avoid the Upcat, or the University of Philippines College Admission Test, but rather, it acknowledges that talent and passion do not always align with traditional paths of admission.
“This is not just about UP Cebu, but also for regional sports. With Vaas, we offer the opportunity for athletes to enroll in Cebu,” said UP Cebu chancellor Leo Malagar.
“Importantly, it provides the youth with the opportunity to train at UP, not just in athletics but also in academics.”
“Based on our experience in UP, the varsity program has, in fact, encouraged many high school students to take the Upcat. Ganado na sila mu-review sa Upcat, ganahan na sila mu-enrol sa UP (They want to review for the Upcat, they want to enroll in UP),” added Malagar.
Under the Vaas, students will no longer need to pass the Upcat or the High School Admission Test to gain admission. However, high academic and moral standards will be upheld for Vaas applicants.
“The value of a UP Cebu diploma is irrefutable. Athletes will not compete forever, they will have to lean on a degree. Why UP Cebu? Based on our experience, athletes who have to leave Cebu for Manila often feel homesick, which could impact their mental health. For those from Manila, the beaches are far away from their schools. Cebu has a lot to offer, including our local delicacy, lechon. We also have a vibrant cultural scene,” said Malagar.
Approximately 250 slots have been allotted for the Vaas program, but adjustments are possible. Students can choose a course within UP Cebu, provided they pass the admission quota required by their chosen course and college, or they may enroll in the new Associate Arts in Sports Studies, which is being developed and slated for launch in the next semester.
The application process for the Vaas program is now open and will conclude on June 14.