Established on 23 February 1995, the University of the Philippines - Open University (UPOU) pioneered in online teaching and learning and continues to play a leading role in the study and practice of open learning and distance education in the Philippines.

UPOU is envisioned as a leader in teaching and learning in the digital age, helping to equip Filipinos with the knowledge and skills they need for life and work in the 21st century.

Our mission is to provide Filipinos everywhere access to quality higher education through innovative methods of teaching and learning that are designed to be responsive to their needs as well as to national development priorities. We uphold the values of scholarship, academic excellence, academic freedom, humanism, social responsibility, and service to the nation.

UPOU is also mandated to contribute towards upgrading the quality of the educational system of the country by developing innovative instructional strategies and technologies, and sharing these with other colleges and universities through cooperative programs. Republic Act 10650 (Open Distance Learning Law) has tasked UPOU to assist relevant national agencies, higher education institutions, and technical and vocational institutions in developing their distance education programs through training, technical assistance, research and other academic programs.

We are the nation’s most comprehensive distance education institution, with three undergraduate programs, 13 post-baccalaureate certificate and diploma programs, 12 master’s programs, two doctoral programs and non-formal courses. We have a network of 8 learning centers and 20 testing centers in the country and abroad. This coupled with our ability to harness a wide range of digital technologies in education, have enabled us to build a global community of mostly Filipino learners in more than 70 countries.

Mode of Teaching

UPOU employs the distance education (DE) mode of teaching and learning. The key features of DE as practiced at UPOU are:

  • Students and teachers are physically separated from each other. They do not meet face-to-face in a physical classroom.
  • Students undertake guided independent study of carefully selected as well as specially designed learning materials in various media — print, video, and multimedia.
  • Interaction between teachers and students, and among students, takes place through online tutorials in a virtual classroom. Other forms of communication between teacher and student are email, text, and teleconferencing.
  • Final examinations are conducted either face-to-face at designated learning centers, or online. All examinations are proctored.

Awards and Citations

  • Designated as the National eLearning Competency Center by the Information Technology and eCommerce Council
  • MyPortal or UPOU’s Virtual classroom, was adjudged by the APEC Digital Opportunity Center as one of the top 10 best in e-practice in Asia
  • Commission on Higher Education’s National Center of Excellence in Open and Distance Education


The UP Open University shall be at the forefront of the knowledge society as a leading institution of open learning and distance education.



The U.P. Open University seeks to provide wider access to quality higher education. It shall adhere to the highest standards of academic excellence , guarantee academic freedom , and encourage social responsibility and nationalistic commitment among its faculty, staff and students.


Specifically, the UPOU has the following goals:

  • To provide opportunities for alternative access to quality higher education by offering baccalaureate and post-baccalaureate degree programs and non-formal courses by distance education.
  • To develop a system of continuing education for sustaining professional growth and improving technical skills especially for those who cannot leave their jobs or homes for full-time studies; and
  • To contribute towards upgrading the quality of residential instruction in the University and the educational system of the country, in general, by developing, testing and utilizing innovative instructional materials and technology, and sharing these with other colleges and universities through cooperative programs.