Bukas, a local fintech company student loan providers, have joined the IE University in Madrid, Spain, this December. The private school is the first international school in the Bukas community.
“With this partnership, we can now give the Filipino people the opportunity to study abroad,” said Jon Robert F. Emlano, Bukas country director.
Bukas, which provides scholarship plans for Filipino students, has seen an increase of almost six times in the two years since its inception in 2019.
“This year, we have over 13,000 people [student loan] applications so far, and we expect more to come in less than a year, ”Mr. Emlano said in an email to. BusinessWorld. This is an increase from about 1,500 programs in 2019 and 5,000 in 2020.
The startup has also doubled the number of students – or the number of affiliated students in high school and graduate schools – to about 300,000, up from 120,000 at the beginning of the year.
The idea of Bukas, which was registered as an organization in 2019 under the name of Bukas Finance Corp., was to establish democracy in the Philippines.
“We chose tuition fees because we believe that achievement is the first way to improve education in the Philippines. We want more students to drop out of school for the sake of money,” Emlano said.
Bukas has a mobile app which allows students to submit loan forms, monitor payment periods, and pay off outstanding debts. The first lender was a technical student from the University of Mapua who opened his account in May 2019.
Since then it has assisted students enrolled in 35 institutions, including Far Eastern University, University of Asia and the Pacific, SoFA Design Institute, University of Bohol, University of the Visayas, Malayan Colleges Mindanao, and Eskwelabs.
There are no minimum or annual graduation requirements to enroll in the study program. Minimum application requirements are:
- Must be a citizen of the Philippines and at least 18 years of age
- Must provide a school ID or government-issued ID
- Must be enrolled, or in the process of enrolling, one of the schools participating in Bukas is proof of enrollment.
- Must have a guarantor who is at least 21 years old and has proof of income
Working students can be self-confident.
Bukas pays all tuition fees directly to the student enrollment school as soon as the application is confirmed. Students can re-enroll for additional training each semester.
According to the Department of Education, K-12 enrollment in the 2020–2021 academic year dropped by 14%, equivalent to 3.8 million students, to 23.2 million. The total enrollment in public schools has dropped by 60%, indicating a move to public schools as parental funds reached a peak in the epidemic.
Only 10.1% of Filipinos had a degree in education in 2010, on census of people and houses from the Philippine Statistics Authority. – Patricia B. Mirasol
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