The University of the Philippines Open University (UPOU) was established on 23 February 1995 as the fifth constituent university of the University of the Philippines System. Its mandate is to provide education opportunities to individuals aspiring for higher education and improved qualifications but who are unable to take advantage of traditional modes of education.
Specifically, the UPOU provides quality higher and continuing education to Filipinos through distance education. Its mission is to give its students formal qualification, as well as to develop in them the discipline and capability to become lifelong learners who are at home in today's knowledge society.
The goals of the UPOU are to:
- Offer through open and distance learning degree and non-degree programs that are responsive to the needs of learners and of the society of which they are a part;
- Develop a system of continuing education to sustain professional growth and promote lifelong learning;
- Develop and adapt delivery systems appropriate to distance learners;
- Provide leadership in the development of open learning and distance education expertise in the country and in the appropriate use of information and communication technologies of education; and
- Make instructional packages accessible to various publics through collaborative arrangements, institutional agreements, and other appropriate mechanisms.
The Commission on Higher Education (CHEd) has declared the UPOU the National Center of Excellence in Open Learning and Distance Education in recognition of its achievements in this field and its vital role in pushing the frontiers of learning in service to the Filipino nation.