Oldest school in the Philippines


Oldest school in the philippines


The University of San Carlos (USC) in Cebu City is considered as the oldest school in the country and in Asia. Formerly known as the Colegio de San Ildefonso, it was founded by the Spanish Jesuits on August 1, 1595. This makes the Cebu-based university older than the University of Santo Tomas (1611) in Manila and Harvard University (1636) in the United States.

The University of Santo Tomas, however, contests this title. Formerly known as the Colegio de Nuestra Señora del Rosario, UST was the first school, which got a university status in 1645. USC became a university in 1948. UST also claimed that the original USC was closed in 1769 as a result of the expulsion of the Jesuits. It reopened in 1783 under a new name and ownership. But the USC officials stick to their claim. The university observed its 400th foundation day on August 21, 1995.


9 responses »

  1. The school was forced to close due to the expulsion of the Jesuits from the Philippines. There was no other option. But still, they looked for another another Catholic order. It was reopened by Bishop Mateo Joaquin de Arevalo on 1783. The Vincentians took over in 1867.

    I’m proud to be a Carolinian. I have never seen such a rich history in other schools. The school’s goals don’t include publicity. Scientia, Virtus, Devotio. The university has offered nothing but the best in these three.

  2. The Pontifical and Royal University of Santo Tomas, founded in 1611, is not only the oldest University but also the oldest School in Asia.

    The Claim that the University of San Carlos traces its roots to the Colegio de San Ildefonso (1595) is invalid since their is no clear link between the two. After the expulsion of the Jesuits, the Colegio closed down.

    Years later, the colegio’s facilities was used by its new owners and opened with a new name.

    Only the building of Colegio per se lived on BUT the Colegio de San Ildefonso was never again revived.

    Unlike UST, USC never experienced a homogeneous growth that is why, it cannot claim its roots from Colegio de San Ildefonso.

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