As of this writing, there were approximately 1,621 institutions of higher education in the Philippines, of which some 1,445 (nearly 90 percent) were in the private sector. There are approximately 2,500,000 students who participate in higher education each year, 66 percent of whom are enrolled in private institutions. The public institutions of higher learning include some 112 charted state universities and colleges, with a total of 271 satellite campuses. There are also 50 local universities, as well as a handful of government schools whose focus is on technical, vocational and teacher training. Five special institutions also provide training and education in the areas of military science and national defense.
Before 1994, the overseer of all higher education institutions was the Bureau of Higher Education, a division of the former Department of Education, Culture and Sports. Today, however, with the passage of the Higher Education Act of 1994, an independent government agency known as the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) now provides the general supervision and control over all colleges and universities in the country, both public and private. CHED regulates the founding and/or closures of private higher education institutions, their program offerings, curricular development, building specifications and tuition fees. Private universities and colleges adhere to the regulations and orders of CHED, although a select few are granted autonomy or deregulated status in recognition of their dedicated service through quality education and research when they reach a certain level of accreditation.
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The Higher Education Act also had an impact on post-secondary vocational education. In 1995, legislation was enacted that provided for the transfer of supervision of all non-degree technical and vocational education programs from the Bureau of Vocational Education, also under the control of the Department of Education, to a new and independent agency now known as the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA). The establishment of TESDA has increased emphasis on and support for non-degree vocational education programs.