University of Santo Tomas

private pontifical university in Manila

The Pontifical and Royal University of Santo Tomas, The Catholic University of the Philippines, or simply the University of Santo Tomas (UST), is a private, Roman Catholic research university in Manila, Philippines. Founded on April 28, 1611 by Miguel de Benavides, Archbishop of Manila, it has the oldest extant university charter in the Philippines and in Asia, and is one of the world's largest Catholic universities in terms of enrollment found on one campus. The university is run by the Order of Preachers. UST is the only university to have been visited by three popes four times: once by Pope Paul VI on November 28, 1970, twice by Pope John Paul II on February 18 1981 and January 13, 1995, and once by Pope Francis on January 18, 2015. The patron of the university is St. Thomas Aquinas, while St. Catherine of Alexandria is the patroness.The university is composed of several autonomous faculties, colleges, schools and institutes, each conferring undergraduate, graduate and postgraduate degrees, and the basic education units. Several degree programs have been accredited by the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) as Centers of Excellence and Centers of Development. Moreover, it was awarded with an Institutional Accreditation by the CHED through the Federation of Accrediting Agencies of the Philippines. In December 2013, the university was recognized to have the highest number of accredited programs in the country by the Philippine Association of Colleges and Universities' Commission on Accreditation (PACUCOA).Prominent Thomasians include saints, Filipino presidents, heroes, artists, scientists, professionals, and religious figures, who have figured prominently in the history of the Philippines. The athletic teams are the Growling Tigers, who are members of the University Athletic Association of the Philippines and are consistent winners of the Overall Championship. The university campus is listed as one of the most viable sites in the Philippines to be included in the UNESCO World Heritage List, while the Archives of the University of Santo Tomas is listed as one of the most viable documentary heritage to be included in the UNESCO Memory of the World Programme.
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