Congratulations to LSU for having undergone another conversion yet again. RA 9437 legitimizes the conversion of Leyte State University to Visayas State University to reflect its contribution and geographical scope as an institution of higher learning. Along with its change in name is the offering of new courses. VSU is now offering two new courses effective first semester (2001-2008): BS Biotechnology and BS Nursing.

Many students and even I myself wondered on the capability of the University to offer such new courses knowing that offering these courses would mean revolutionary efforts to start with. But before we are going to think about that, let us weigh things and might as well look at the pros.

It had been pervasive information that the world’s supply of nurses had been insufficient. In fact, US Health Affairs reports that US is short of an estimated 150,000 nurses and indeed, by year 2020, the shortage is expected to increase to 800,000. That explains the surge of Nursing enrollees all over the country who are mostly motivated by an opportunity to work abroad which also means a chance of earning higher income.

Biotechnology is also one good offering since it is one of the most rapidly expanding areas of research and development aimed at harnessing the natural processes of microbial, plant and animal cells for the benefit of the people. According to the 2006 Ernst and Young Report, there are about 2600 biotechnology companies worldwide, most of them are found in the United States. Being dubbed as the “last great technological revolution of the twentieth century,” Biotechnology had motivated countries all over the world into developing it. No country would want themselves to be left behind in the benefits that this modern technology can offer. However, in the Philippines, only one University is offering a Bachelor’s degree in Biotechnology. So, offering this course is a way of opening the country’s window towards greater opportunities that might help us move towards first-world.

The University has been facing the issue of having a significant decline in the number of enrollees. Offering in-demand courses with greater chances abroad as Biotechnology and Nursing is a good move to address the University’s problem as well as the need and demand of the word employment market. However, with one problem already attended to, another one will rise. We have one down but still have another go on other problems. For instance, the need for more classrooms. Where do we get a good-sized room enough to accommodate huge equipment and yes, huge classes? It cannot be denied that the University is having been experiencing difficulties to try to fit classes into the rooms available. With these new courses and its students, where can they be possibly be well-accommodated? We hope that they might not be holding lecture and laboratory classes under trees bringing the equipment back and forth.

Another problem would be the need of new teachers for the Nursing and Biotechnology program who, as the University had been maintaining its being competitive, should have the “K.” In as much as we still need instructors for other courses such as BSHRTM, we also need more competitive instructors for the new course offerings.

But since it is already there and the administration might have thought about how to address these problems, let us be optimistic about the situations. Well, the University sounded competitive with the offering of the Nursing and Biotechnology programs and that the idea that it continues to meet the demands of the global market made an impression. In our desire that the University will have an edge, it should also be looking for the possibilities of expansion for the better with a well-planned perspective.

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