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University belt including Taft Avenue and Intramuros

The University Belt is the name of a de facto subdistrict in Manila, Philippines, referring to an area that has a significant concentration of major colleges and universities in the city.[1] The districts of Quiapo, Sampaloc, and San Miguel are traditionally considered to be the University Belt,[2] although other clusters of schools that lie along the southern bank of the Pasig River, mostly at the districts of Intramuros and Ermita, as well as the southernmost part of Malate near the city limits are also sometimes included.[3] Each of the colleges and universities found in the district are a short walking distance of each other.


Since the Spanish colonial period, Manila was the center of education in the country and Intramuros was home to various academic institutions. The first schools in the district were the Colegio de Santa Potenciana founded in 1589,[4] Universidad de San Ignacio in 1590,[5] San Jose Seminary in 1601, the University of Santo Tomas in 1611,[6] the Colegio de San Juan de Letran in 1620, the Santa Isabel College Manila in 1632, Universidad de San Felipe de Austria in 1640, and Ateneo de Manila University in 1859.[7] Today, only Colegio de San Juan de Letran, Santa Isabel College Manila, University of Santo Tomas, and the Ateneo de Manila University continue to operate.

During the American period, the city planner, Daniel Burnham, originally planned to make Santa Mesa the city's education hub, although the Americans wanted institutions to be located near the national government center in Rizal Park, with several institutions opening in Calle Rizal (present-day Taft Avenue), among them the University of the Philippines Manila, the oldest of the constituent universities of the University of the Philippines System, and De La Salle University.[8] Nevertheless, the University Belt within Quiapo, Sampaloc, San Miguel, and Santa Cruz began growing organically. By the early 1900s, nine institutions were present in the area: National University, Manila Law College, University of Manila, San Beda University, Saint Rita College, La Consolacion College Manila, College of the Holy Spirit, and Centro Escolar University, as well as the University of Santo Tomas, which moved from Intramuros to Sampaloc in 1927 although the older campus continued to host the College of Law.[8]

World War II devastated the city and several schools were forced to shut down during the war. In Intramuros, the University of Santo Tomas did not rebuild their campus in the district, while Ateneo de Manila University moved their institution to Sampaloc and eventually to Loyola Heights, Quezon City. Meanwhile, non-sectarian schools were built in the district before and after the war: Far Eastern University was founded in 1928, Mapúa University moved from its campus in Santa Cruz in 1956, while Lyceum of the Philippines University and Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila were established in 1952 and 1965 respectively. Outside Intramuros, new institutions were also founded, such as the Eulogio "Amang" Rodriguez Institute of Science and Technology in 1945 and the University of the East in 1946, among others.


Within northeastern Manila

Map of the original University Belt north of the Pasig River within Sampaloc, Quiapo, and San Miguel districts. The southern end of Quezon Blvd. connects to Quezon Bridge, and the southern end of Legarda Street connects to P. Casal Street

Included are major universities and colleges located in Sampaloc, Quiapo, Santa Cruz, Santa Mesa, and San Miguel.

Institution Location Founded Founded as
Arellano University Sampaloc 1938 Arellano Law College
Centro Escolar University San Miguel 1907 Centro Escolar de Señoritas
Chinese General Hospital Colleges Santa Cruz 1921
College of the Holy Spirit Manila San Miguel 1913 Holy Ghost School
De Ocampo Memorial College
Eulogio "Amang" Rodriguez Institute of Science and Technology Santa Mesa 1945 Eulogio Rodriguez Vocational High School
Far Eastern University Sampaloc 1928 Institute of Accountancy
Far Eastern University Institute of Technology Sampaloc 1992 East Asia Institute of Computer Technology
FEATI University Santa Cruz 1946 Far Eastern Aeronautics School
Guzman College of Science and Technology Quiapo 1947 Safe Driving Institute
La Consolacion College Manila San Miguel 1902 Colegio de Nuestra Señora de la Consolacion.
Manila Business College Santa Cruz 2000
Manila Law College
Manuel L. Quezon University Quiapo 1947 Manuel L. Quezon School of Law
Mary Chiles College 1913
Metropolitan Hospital College of Nursing Santa Cruz 1976 Metropolitan Hospital College of Nursing
National Teachers College Quiapo 1928
National University Sampaloc 1900 Colegio Filipino
University of Perpetual Help System Manila Sampaloc 1968
Philippine College of Criminology Santa Cruz 1954
Philippine College of Health Sciences Sampaloc 1993
Philippine Merchant Marine School
Philippine School of Business Administration Sampaloc 1963 Philippine Accounting and Taxation Training School
Philsin College Foundation Sampaloc
PMI Colleges Santa Cruz 1948
Polytechnic University of the Philippines Santa Mesa 1904 Manila Business School
Saint Jude College Manila Sampaloc 1968 St. Jude College of Nursing
Saint Rita College Quiapo 1907 Escuela de Santa Rita
San Beda University San Miguel 1901 El Colegio de San Beda
San Sebastian College – Recoletos Quiapo 1941
Santa Catalina College Sampaloc 1706 Colegio de Santa Catalina
STI NAMEI Santa Mesa 1947 NAMEI Polytechnic Institute
Technological Institute of the Philippines Quiapo 1962
University of Manila Sampaloc 1913 Instituto de Manila
Unciano Colleges Santa Mesa 1976
University of the East Sampaloc 1946 Philippine College of Commerce and Business Administration
University of Santo Tomas Sampaloc 1611 Colegio de Nuestra Señora del Santísimo Rosario

Taft Avenue

Universities between the Pasig River and Padre Faura Street

All institutions are located along or near Taft Avenue, stretching from Ermita to Malate, with a distance of 2.25 miles (3.60 kilometers) from Universidad de Manila in the north to De La Salle University in the south.

Institution Founded Founded as
Adamson University 1932 Adamson School of Industrial Chemistry
De La Salle–College of Saint Benilde 1980 College of Career Development
De La Salle University 1911 De La Salle College
Emilio Aguinaldo College 1957 Marian School of Midwifery
Philippine Christian University 1946 Manila Union University
Philippine Normal University 1901 Philippine Normal School
Philippine Women's University 1919 Philippine Women's College
St. Paul University Manila 1912 St. Paul Institutions
Santa Isabel College Manila 1632 Colegio de Santa Isabel
St. Scholastica's College, Manila 1906
Technological University of the Philippines 1901 Manila Trade School
Universidad de Manila 1995 City College of Manila
University of the Philippines Manila 1905 Philippine Medical School


See also: Intramuros Consortium

All institutions are located within the walled city of Intramuros. It also lies close in the northern tip of the Taft Avenue cluster.

Institution Founded Founded as
Colegio de San Juan de Letran 1620 Colegio de Niños Huerfanos de San Juan de Letran
Colegio de Santa Rosa 1750 Beaterio y Casa de Ensenanza
Lyceum of the Philippines University 1952 Lyceum of the Philippines
Mapúa University 1925 Mapúa Institute of Technology
PNTC Colleges 1994 Philippine Nautical Training Institute
Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila 1965 University of the City of Manila

See also


  1. ^ "A Glimpse Inside Manila's University Belt". Inside Manila. September 26, 2018. Archived from the original on October 26, 2020. Retrieved October 20, 2020.
  2. ^ Pateña, Aerol John (March 22, 2019). "U-Belt streets 'relatively safe' for students: study". Philippine News Agency. Archived from the original on November 24, 2022. Retrieved November 25, 2022.
  3. ^ Baroña, Franco Jose C. (August 13, 2022). "LTFRB wants carousel buses along U-Belt". The Manila Times. Retrieved November 24, 2022.
  4. ^ Perez Dasmarinas, Luis. Letters from Luis Perez Dasmariñas to Felipe II. In The Philippine Islands, 1493-1898. Ohio: A.H. Clark Company, 1903-9. Vol. 9
  5. ^ The First Hundred Years of the Ateneo de Manila Archived September 15, 2012, at the Wayback Machine Ateneo de Manila University website May 1, 2012
  6. ^ Lim-Pe, Josefina (1973). The University of Santo Tomas in the Twentieth Century. University of Santo Tomas Press, Manila. pp. 1–19.
  7. ^ Ricklefs, M. C.; Lockhart, Bruce; Lau, Albert (November 19, 2010). A New History of Southeast Asia. Bloomsbury Publishing. p. 224. ISBN 978-1-137-01554-9. Retrieved August 18, 2022.
  8. ^ a b Yu, Anson (September 1, 2015). "25 things you didn't know about Manila's University Belt". Coconuts Media. Retrieved November 25, 2022.