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.[1][2]
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.[1][2]

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.

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

Main article: Dispute over the oldest school in the Philippines

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 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, 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, University of San Carlos celebrated its Quadricentennial (400th Anniversary).[10]

UST as Asia's Oldest University

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 foundation Founding
order
Location upon foundation/
Last location if extinct
Current
status
Current/Last
affiliations
Type Ref
Colegio de Santa Potenciana 1589 Colegio de Santa Potenciana Franciscan Order Intramuros, Manila Defunct Private [14][15][16][17]
Colegio de Manila 1590 Colegio 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 Seminary 1601 Colegio 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 1620 Colegio de Niños Huerfanos de San Juan de Letran Don Juan Geronimo Guerrero Intramuros, Manila Defunct Dominican Order Private [17][27]
Colegio de Huerfanos de San Pedro y San Pablo 1620 Colegio de Huerfanos de San Pedro y San Pablo Dominican Order Intramuros, Manila Defunct Private [17][27]
Colegio de San Juan de Letran 1630 Colegio 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 1640 Universidad de San Felipe de Austria Audiencia Real de Manila Intramuros, Manila Defunct Public [17][31]

Oldest educational institutions in continuous operation

Current name Traces origin to Year
founded
Founding
order
Location upon foundation Type Current
affiliations
Ref
San Jose Seminary Colegio de San Jose 1601 Society of Jesus Intramuros, Manila Private Jesuit [17][23][24]
University of Santo Tomas Colegio de Nuestra Señora de Santisimo Rosario 1611 Dominican Order Intramuros, Manila Private, Pontifical, Royal Dominican Order [17][25][26]
Colegio de San Juan de Letran Colegio de San Juan de Letran 1620 Dominican Order Intramuros, Manila Private Dominican Order [17][27][32][28]
Santa Isabel College Manila Colegio de Santa Isabel 1632 Intramuros, Manila Private Daughters of Charity [17][29][30]
San Carlos Seminary Real y Conciliar Colegio de San Carlos 1702 Archdiocese of Manila Intramuros, Manila Seminary Archdiocese of Manila [17][20][21][22][33]
Santa Catalina College Beaterio Colegio de Santa Catalina de Siena 1706 Dominican Order Intramuros, Manila Private Dominican Order [17][34][35][36][37][38]
St. Mary's College Colegio del Beaterio 1725 Religious of the Virgin Mary Intramuros, Manila Private Religious of the Virgin Mary [17][29][30]
Colegio de Santa Rosa Beaterio y Casa de Enseñanza 1750 Intramuros, Manila Private Daughters of Charity [17][34][39][40][41]
Seminario Mayor de San Carlos Real Seminario de San Carlos 1783 Archdiocese of Cebu Cebu City Seminary Society of the Divine Word [17][42]
Holy Rosary Minor Seminary Casa de Clerigos 1793 Archdiocese of Caceres Naga City Seminary Archdiocese of Caceres [17][43]
Immaculate Conception School of Theology, Vigan Seminario de San Pablo 1822 Dominican Order Vigan Seminary Archdiocese of Nueva Segovia [44][45][46][47]

Oldest educational institutions for girls

  Still in operation   Defunct   Established as a School for Girls

Current name Year
founded
Name at time of foundation Founding
order
Location upon foundation Type Current
affiliations
Ref
Colegio de Santa Potenciana 1589 Colegio de Santa Potenciana Franciscan Order Intramuros, Manila Private [14][15][16]
Santa Isabel College Manila 1632 Colegio de Santa Isabel Intramuros, Manila Private Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul [17][29][30]
Santa Catalina College 1706 Beaterio Colegio de Santa Catalina de Siena Dominican Order Intramuros, Manila Private Dominican Order [17][34][36][38]
St. Mary's College 1725 Colegio del Beaterio Religious of the Virgin Mary Intramuros, Manila Private Religious of the Virgin Mary [17][34][36][38]
Colegio de Santa Rosa 1750 Beaterio y Casa de Enseñanza Intramuros, Manila Private Daughters of Charity [17][34][39][40][41]
Universidad de Sta. Isabel 1867 Colegio de Santa Isabel Daughters of Charity Naga City Private Daughters of Charity [48][49][50][51]
Concordia College 1868 Colegio de la Inmaculada Concepcion de la Concordia Daughters of Charity Manila Private Daughters of Charity [52][53][54]
Colegio de la Inmaculada Concepcion 1880 Colegio de la Inmaculada Concepcion Hermanitas de la Madre de Dios Cebu City Private Daughters of Charity [55][56][57][58]
La Consolacion College Manila 1902 Colegio de Nuestra Señora de la Consolacion Order of Saint Augustine Mendiola, Manila Private, Roman Catholic, Coeducational Order of Saint Augustine [59]
Assumption College San Lorenzo 1904 Assumption Convent Religious of the Assumption Manila Private Religious of the Assumption [59]
St. Scholastica's College Manila 1906 St. Scholastica's College Manila Order of Saint Benedict Manila Private Order of Saint Benedict [60]
St. Scholastica's College Manila 1906 St. Scholastica's College Manila Order of Saint Benedict Manila Private Order of Saint Benedict [60]
St. Paul University Manila 1912 St. Paul University Manila Sisters of St. Paul of Chartres Manila Private Sisters of St. Paul of Chartres
Centro Escolar University[i] 1907 Centro Escolar de Señoritas Manila Private, Non-Sectarian [61]
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 name Year
founded
Name at time of foundation Location upon foundation Ref
Universidad de San Felipe de Austria 1640 Universidad de San Felipe de Austria Intramuros, Manila [31]
Philippine Merchant Marine Academy 1820 Escuela Nautica de Manila Zambales [62]
Don Honorio Ventura Technological State University 1861 Escuela De Artes y Oficios De Bacolor Pampanga [63]

Educational institutions with the oldest university charters

  Still in operation   Defunct

Name Year of university charter Charter granted by Location upon foundation Type Ref
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 Filipinas 1898 Philippine Revolutionary government Intramuros, Manila Public [64][65][66]
University of the Philippines Manila 1908 American Civil government Manila Public [67][68]
University of the Philippines Los Baños 1909 American Civil government Los Baños, Laguna Public [67]
University of the Philippines Visayas 1918 American Civil government Miagao, Iloilo Public [67][69]
Centro Escolar University 1932 Philippine Commonwealth government Manila Private [61]
Silliman University 1938 Philippine Commonwealth government Dumaguete Private [70]
Adamson University 1941 Philippine Commonwealth government Manila Private [71]
University of the Philippines Diliman 1949 Philippine government Quezon City Public [67]

Oldest seminaries

  Still in operation   Defunct

Current name Year
founded
Name at time of foundation Founding
order
Location upon foundation Current
affiliations
Refs
Universidad de San Ignacio 1590 Colegio de Manila Society of Jesus Manila [18][19][24]
San José Seminary 1601 Colegio de San José Society of Jesus Intramuros, Manila Jesuit [23][24]
University of Santo Tomas Central Seminary 1611 Colegio de Nuestra Señora de Santisimo Rosario Dominican Order Intramuros, Manila Dominican Order [25][26][72]
San Carlos Seminary 1702 Real y Conciliar Colegio de San Carlos Archdiocese of Manila Intramuros, Manila Archdiocese of Manila [33]
Seminario Mayor de San Carlos 1783 Real Seminario de San Carlos Archdiocese of Cebu Cebu City Society of the Divine Word [42]
Holy Rosary Minor Seminary 1793 Casa de Clerigos Archdiocese of Caceres Naga City Archdiocese of Caceres [43]
Immaculate Conception School of Theology, Vigan 1822 Seminario de San Pablo Dominican Order Vigan Archdiocese of Nueva Segovia [44]

Oldest law schools

  Still in operation   Defunct

Name Year
founded
Educational institution Location upon foundation Ref
University of Santo Tomas Faculty of Civil Law 1734 University of Santo Tomas Intramuros, Manila [73]
Universidad de San Ignacio Facultad de Derecho Civil 1734 Universidad de San Ignacio Intramuros, Manila [73]
Universidad Literaria de Filipinas Civil Law 1898 Universidad Literaria de Filipinas Manila [64][65][66]
Manila Law College 1899 Manila Law College Manila [74][75]
University of the Philippines College of Law 1911 University of the Philippines Quezon City [76]
University of Manila College of Law 1913 University of Manila Manila [77]
Philippine Law School 1915 Philippine Law School Manila [78][79]
University of Manila College of Law 1918 University of Manila Manila [80][81]
Far Eastern University Institute of Law 1934 Far Eastern University Manila [82]
Silliman University College of Law 1935 Silliman University Dumaguete [83]
Ateneo Law School 1936 Ateneo de Manila University Quezon City [84]
University of San Carlos School of Law and Governance 1937 University of San Carlos Cebu City [85]

Oldest schools of medicine

Name Year
founded
Educational institution Location upon foundation Ref
University of Santo Tomas Faculty of Medicine and Surgery 1871 University of Santo Tomas Intramuros, Manila [86]
University of the Philippines College of Medicine 1905 University of the Philippines Manila Manila [87]
Southwestern University Matias H. Aznar Memorial College of Medicine, Inc. 1946 Southwestern University Cebu [88]
Manila Central University College of Medicine 1947 Manila Central University Manila [89]
FEU NRMF – Institute of Medicine 1952 Far Eastern University Manila [90]
UERMMMC College of Medicine 1956 University of the East Manila [91]
Cebu Institute of Medicine 1957 Cebu Institute of Medicine Cebu [92]
Lyceum Northwestern University Dr. Francisco Q. Duque Medical Foundation 1974 Lyceum-Northwestern University Pangasinan [93]
West Visayas State University College of Medicine 1975 West Visayas State University Iloilo [94]
Virgen Milagrosa University Foundation College of Medicine 1975 Virgen Milagrosa University Foundation Pangasinan [95]

Oldest normal schools

Current name Year
founded
Name at time of foundation Location upon foundation Ref
Universidad de Sta. Isabel 1875 Escuela Normal de Maestras of Colegio de Sta. Isabel Camarines Sur [96]
Philippine Normal University 1901 Philippine Normal School Manila [97]
West Visayas State University 1902 Iloilo Normal School Iloilo [98]

Oldest schools of engineering

Name Year
founded
Educational institution Location upon foundation Ref
University of Santo Tomas Faculty of Engineering 1907 University of Santo Tomas Intramuros, Manila [99]
Mapúa University 1925 Mapúa University Manila [100]

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See also