High School

U.P. High School Cebu is the only school in the Visayas that admits only grade school graduates from the lowest-income bracket. The high school is one of the programs offered by the Social Sciences Cluster. The High School has been the laboratory for M. Ed.’s research on pedagogical model and  theory validation and building, teaching curriculum innovation, and electronic and print materials production.

The High School program utilizes ICT as a tool that facilitates learning and promotes education more suited to the technologically modern times. U.P. High School Cebu is located in Gorordo Avenue, Lahug, Cebu City, Cebu, Philippines.


1918 – The Junior College of Liberal Arts is opened on May 3. Classes started on July 1 in one of the buildings of the old Warwick Barracks on Leon Kilat street in the Ermita district.

1921 – The school is renamed Junior College of the University of the Philippines. The Junior College starts to train high school students who would later become qualified to teach in college even without the benefit of a college degree.

1925 – The College transfers from Warwick to Pari-an then to Fort San Pedro. With no “fit” location for academic endeavors, came the first threat of closure. The Cebu provincial government came to the rescue by donating a 13-hectare site at Lahug.

1929 – The College moves to Lahug during the summer. For several years from 1929, the provincial government appropriated P30,000 for the college yearly.

1935 – Legislature enacted Act No. 4244, making the Junior College a permanent branch of the University and appropriating P30,000 annually for its operating expenses.

1941 – It is now called Cebu Junior College of Liberal Arts of the University of the Philippines. It is officially closed on December 13 because of World War II.

1945 – The College reopens and classes resume on December 1.

1947 – The high school is reopened as the Lower Division of the Junior College of the University of the Philippines. The aim of the high school remains the same as in 1921, which is to train high school students for collegiate teaching—students are taught college subjects using college-level methods of teaching and a college style grading system.

1950 – Seventeen students graduate and receive their diplomas from the high school.

Allocation for the university is left out of the 1950-1951 Appropriations Act, forcing both the college and high school to close. For ten years thereafter, the campus is leased to Jesuits who name it Berchmans College.

1960 – The Board of Regents authorizes the re-opening of the Cebu College on January 8.

1963 – The college is formally re-established as the University of the Philippines Cebu Graduate School, offering graduate degrees in Business Administration, Education, and later on, Public Administration.

1972 – The high school is reopened as the Board of Regents authorizes its establishment in Cebu on May 31, in answer to the persistent clamor led by the U.P. Alumni Association—Cebu Chapter. The high school is intended to serve as both a feeder for the College program and as a laboratory for the graduate students of the Master of Education program.

The reopened high school, regarded by many as a prestigious institution, receives warm welcome from the Cebuano community.

Only 151 freshmen and sophomore students are admitted, with the school staffed by eight full-time teachers and a guidance counselor.

The establishment of the Undergraduate Program followed a year after.

1975 – The first batch of students, numbering 35, graduate and receive their diplomas from U.P. High School Cebu.

1986 – U.P. Cebu College, U.P. Iloilo College, and U.P. Tacloban College are officially consolidated under one umbrella university—the University of the Philippines in the Visayas—the second autonomous unit in the U.P. System. This move brings the U.P. High School Cebu under the supervision of the U.P. in the Visayas.

1988 – The U.P. High School Cebu is once more threatened by the possibility of closure. The threat comes from two fronts: the questioning of the relevance of the high school in the U.P. System, whose mandate is only to offer tertiary education; and the Free Public Secondary Education Act of 1988.

The Free Public Secondary Education Act is passed by the Aquino administration, requiring all public high schools to offer free secondary education to all Filipinos. This law prohibited the high school from collecting tuition fees from its students and thus crippled its budget. To help the school, the Parents-Teachers Association (PTA) came up with a collective and voluntary rescue solution through financial donations. This covered the maintenance and operation costs of the high school. Since then a stream of generous financial donations has allowed the high school to continue fulfilling its mandate of serving the underprivileged. It is also through this stream of donations that the U.P. High School Cebu has maintained the high quality of its education by providing facilities and infrastructure that aid learning.

Faculty Regent Francisco Nemenzo (who later becomes President of the University) champions the cause of U.P. High School Cebu by convincing the Board of Regents to let the high school remain, but with a modified mandate: to serve the underprivileged sector of the community.

1989 – The Board of Regents officially adopts the policy of democratized admission for the high school, granting it with a renewed (and revised) lease on life. The high school now serves as the democratized access of the underprivileged to quality education and now only admits intellectually gifted elementary school graduates from families belonging to lower income brackets.

On January 30, the Board of Regents approves the phase-out of U.P. College Baguio High School, with its refusal to adopt the democratized access scheme.

The College is reorganized into 5 Academic Divisions, namely: Natural Sciences and Mathematics Division, Humanities Division, Management Division, Social Sciences Division, and the High School Division (developed later into the Professional Education Division).

1995 – The Professional Education Division (U.P. High School Cebu belongs to this division) offers the Master of Education program with concentrations in Biology, Chemistry, English, Filipino, Mathematics, Physics, and Social Studies.

2001 – High school admission is downsized, accepting only 80 freshmen (two sections), instead of 120 (three sections). This, in light of the CHED’s order that all secondary programs of SUCs should phase down to a maximum of 500 students. With U.P. Cebu being under U.P. Visayas in Iloilo, the 500 limit was divided equally among U.P. High School Iloilo and U.P. High School Cebu.

2007 – On November 23, U.P. High School Cebu is directed to reduce the enrolment quota to only one section per year effective June 2008. This directive was not implemented then, not until June 2010.

2010 – Freshman admission reduced to only one section, with 40 students.


High School Program