The University of Santo Tomas (UST) exemplifies Dominican education at its finest. For some this is reason enough to go through the USTET (university of Santo Tomas Entrance Test) and more to get into UST. Others, however, will need more convincing. If you’re a doubting Thomas (bad pun intended), read on to find out why you should consider studying in UST.
Why Study in UST
Friedrich Nietzsche once said that “he who has a strong enough why can bear almost any how.” In plain English, that’s “he who has a strong enough motivation can do almost anything to attain his goal.”
Keep your cool. This is not a philosophy lesson. The point I am trying to make is this: while the USTET and UST education aren’t exactly a burden that students must bear, it can still be a challenge. However, if you have the Nietzsche’s “strong why”, then you can live with almost any “how.” Which brings us to our topic: why go through the trouble of taking the USTET and settle for four or five years of hard study at the University of Santo Tomas?
Each and every university in the Philippines has its strong points, and UST is no exception. Let’s take a closer look at what this Dominican institution has to offer hopeful students.
One good reason why people flock to UST is that it’s one of several internationally recognized Philippine universities. In fact, if you check the 2008 edition of the Times Higher Education Quacquarelli Symonds World University Rankings, you’ll find UST and friends (read: University of the Philippines, Ateneo, etc.) among other critically acclaimed universities worldwide.
This is crucial, considering that the university has ties with other good schools such as Kyoto University in Japan and Cambridge University in the UK, to name a few. UST is also a member of various international school-based organizations such as the International Association of Universities.
Nevertheless, UST can stand on its own merits without the benefits of being included and given recognition in global surveys. The institution still holds the distinction of being the oldest Roman Catholic-run University in the country and in Asia (it was established in 1619). It’s also the largest university in the city of Manila, and one of the largest in the world.
The exhibits of UST’s museum of natural history have also garnered awards from expositions in various cities such as Madrid, Hanoi and Paris. Simply put, the UST museum is the place to visit if you’re majoring in Philippine ethnology, anthropology and the natural sciences. Be sure to check out the plethora of zoological specimens while you’re there.
Inside The Campus
If you’re looking for a university with lots of eye candy fit for a learning atmosphere (read: landmarks), then UST is a good place to go to. The campus is a mish-mash of classic and modern architecture. Some of the more interesting sights to see include three museums, four parks, the Fountain of Wisdom, the Botanical Garden and the Arch of the Centuries, among others.
Don’t think that pleasant sightseeing is all that UST has to offer you. The programs it offers are nothing to sneeze at, either. Medicine, Pharmacy, Civil Law and Ecclesiastical Studies are four of the most notable fields of study in the University of Santo Tomas.
The university also houses a formidable think tank and research center named after its patron saint: the Thomas Aquinas Research Complex. Think of it as a semi-centralized system where intellectuals are free to rub elbows and think aloud.
And in the event that you need something published, the institution’s very own publishing house and press can take a gander at it. Besides student publications, UST has dished out a formidable collection of research and academic journals over the years.
The Choice Is Yours
What I’ve mentioned above is really only the tip of the proverbial iceberg – there are many more reasons why you should take the USTET to study in UST. While everything will still ultimately depend on you and on what you’re really after, a UST education will definitely help you get a head start on a good future.