Academic Freedom of Institutions of Higher Learning

Capitol Medical Center v. CA

– closing down of a medical school; striking students and faculty –Once a student is accepted for enrollment in a given course, the school may not expel him or refuse re-enroll him until he completes his course except when he is academically deficient or has violated the rules of discipline; There is no contract that the school shall remain open for the entire duration of his course; The contract between the college and a student who is enrolled and pays the fees for a semester is for the entire semester only and not the entire course; The law does not require a school to see a student through the completion of his course. If the school closes or is closed by proper authority at the end of a semester, the student has no cause of action for breach of contract against the school.

Lupangco v. CA

– forbidding examinees from attending review classes; CPA Board Exam - The assailed resolution is not only unreasonable and arbitrary but it infringes on the examinee’s right to liberty guaranteed by the Constitution. PRC has no authority to dictate on the reviewees as to how they should prepare themselves for the licensure examinations. They cannot be restrained from taking all the lawful steps needed to assure the fulfilment of their ambition; The assailed resolution also infringes on the academic freedom of schools; PRC cannot interfere with the conduct of review that review schools and centers believe would be best enable their enrollees to meet the standards required before becoming a full-fledged public accountant. Unless the means and methods of instruction are clearly found to be inefficient, impractical or riddled with corruption, review schools and centers may not be stopped from helping out their students.

University of San Carlos v. CA

– granting of honors - Schools of learning are given ample discretion to formulate rules and guidelines in the granting of honors for purposes of graduation. This is part of academic freedom. Within the parameters of these rules, it is within the competence of universities and colleges to determine who are entitled to the grant of honors among the graduating students. Its discretion on this academic matter may not be disturbed much less controlled by the courts unless there is grave abuse of discretion in its exercise.

Reyes v. CA

– admission to the UP College of Medicine; 70, 90 cut-off, NMAT; UC wanted to admit them, UPCM did not want to - Any entrance requirement that may be imposed by the College Faculty must bear the UC’s approval; The right and power to fix admission requirements is clearly vested by law in the University Council; The UC has the final say in the admission requirements provided that it conforms with the law, rules and regulations of the university.

Tan v. CA

– refusal of admission to Grace Christian High School - Private schools are subject to reasonable regulation and supervision of the State, but they may also have the right to establish reasonable rules
and regulations for the admission, discipline and promotion of students.

*Dissenting opinion of Justice Cruz: the academic freedom of the school to choose its students should NOT be stretched beyond its constitutional limits.

Miriam College v. CA

– Libog article; student press freedom; school’s academic freedom - Academic freedom includes the right of the school or college to decide for itself, its aims and objectives, and how best to attain them free from outside coercion or interference save possibly when the overriding public welfare calls for some restrain; SC has upheld the right of the students to free speech in school premises; However, this right is not absolute. It must always be applied in light of the special characteristics of the school environment; The power of the school to investigate, like the power to suspend or expel, is an inherent part of academic freedom of institutions of higher learning guaranteed by the Constitution.