Jose Maria Panganiban’s “La Universidad de Manila”: The University of Santo Tomas, The Propaganda Movement, and the Liberal Campaigns for Reforms in Philippine Higher Education, 1882-91

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts major in History (Option I: Thesis)



First Advisor

Francis M. Navarro, PhD


On April 15, 1889, an anonymous column titled “La Universidad de Manila: Su Plan Estudios” appeared in the then-nascent fortnightly organ of the Propaganda Movement, La Solidaridad. Written serially and the first of three parts, the column was a critique of the state of higher education in the Philippines, particularly the University of Santo Tomas. The column assailed the university, scrutinized its every facet and regarded its state as one that “calls urgently for radical corrective measures.” A continuation of the article was printed in the succeeding edition and its third part titled, “La Universidad de Manila: Su Plan de Enseñanza” was included in the May 31st issue. In this thesis, I examine Panganiban’s La Universidad de Manila columns and discuss its salient points of criticism on the state of higher education at the University of Santo Tomas. I also situate these columns against the backdrop of a). Panganiban’s years of study at the segunda enseñanza and Faculty of Medicine at the Universidad de Santo Tomas de Manila from 1882-1888; b). the Propaganda Movement, particularly in Panganiban’s involvement in La Solidaridad, both the association and the periodical, the masonic lodge Revolucion and its political banquets and activities, and in the wider Liberal campaign for reforms in Philippine higher education in Spain led by Miguel Morayta and Manuel Becerra, from 1888 to 1890; and finally c). La Solidaridad’s efforts to revive the campaign following the fall of Praxedes Mateo Sagasta’s Liberal government and Panganiban’s death, from December 1890 to September 1891.

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