As people filled the empty hall of the Hotel and Restaurant Technology (HRT) Service Center, hushed sounds and laughter lingered in the corners of the room. Wide and expectant smiles from the faces of the audience lightened the tension; each could no longer contain the excitement to hear the big news that would forever change the institution.
Everyone took their respective seats as the guests from the media entered the room and sat to the reserved places adjacent to the table where five of the most influential people in the institution were seated—Cong. Jerry P. Treñas, Congressman of the Lone District of Iloilo City; Dr. Raul F. Muyong, University President; Dr. Nehema K. Misola, VP for Administration and finance; Dr. Luis M. Sorolla and Dr. Renato P. Alba, former Presidents of the institution.
When the news was revealed that what has seemed to be an elusive dream of university hood has finally come true, everyone celebrated with joyful laughter. Some stood to their feet and clapped their hands while others glanced at each other with wide smiles on their faces for Western Visayas College of Science and Technology (WVCST) is now Iloilo Science and Technology University (ISAT U).
Cong. Treñas, the author of the bill, officially announced that the long awaited struggle for the name ISAT U has come to an end. Time stood still as each of the audience savored the feeling of hearing the most important news of the moment.
The college administration has completed the requirements of the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) stipulated on section 26 of the Republic Act 10595 that WVCST shall comply with the CHED requirements in order to attain the university status.
CHED requirements were level three accreditation of at least four of the undergraduate programs, ratio of qualified full-time faculty with required degrees to students, adequate libraries and laboratories (substantially complied), research and development output of practical and commercial application to the community, relevant linkages and outreach programs that are service to the community, and relevant academic policies, systems, and processes.
Among the 12 state colleges that applied for university status, ISAT U is the second newly converted university next to Pampanga Agricultural University formerly known as Pampanga Agricultural College (PAC).
As Dr. Misola, the over-all chairperson of the bid for university hood, took the stage, she emotionally expressed her happiness that the struggles she and the college went through during the bid for university hood which started in 2007 has finally paid off.
For Dr. Raul F. Muyong, University President, ISAT U, becoming a university is a product of hard work. “We became a university because we are very much qualified,” he added.
Plans for ISAT-U
Meanwhile, during the open forum, several questions were eagerly addressed by the members of the press to Dr. Muyong.
“We’d like ISAT U to be known as a science and technology university not only in the country but also in the ASEAN region,” said Dr. Muyong when asked about his plans for the university. With the upcoming increase in the school’s budget, the President aims to improve the facilities and increase the benefits of the members of the faculty.
Dr. Muyong will prepare the school for the upcoming K-12 implementation which will include additional programs to the university. Despite the new status, he also announced that ISAT U does not have any plans of increasing its tuition fees.
The school was formerly called the Iloilo Trade School in 1905. In 1939, it was changed to Iloilo School of Arts and Trades (ISAT). However, it was again converted to Western Visayas College of Science and Technology (WVCST) in 1983. Since the institution is popularly known as ISAT, it was decided that the name of the institution be Iloilo Science and Technology University (ISAT U).