Student Support Services

by Phoebe May Apostol

In this time of disruption, students –including University of the Philippines Open University (UPOU) students who have been used to distance learning– are experiencing different kinds of problems and challenges.  Problems towards the uncertain future brought about by the pandemic as well as problems on how to cope with their studies  are among the common concerns of students. Although some would argue that these are concerns faced by residential learners, it cannot be denied that online and distance learners are not spared from problems like this. Here’s how online and distance learners from UPOU can find help and assistance in coping with their studies:

  1. You can maximize your UP Mail.

Study tools or applications are essential in online learning as it can help students complete course requirements. However, some tools and applications require payment for a license and we all know that it is quite expensive. Well, worry no more! UP email got it all covered! The UP Mail is an email service available to all currently enrolled UP students and employed faculty and staff (whether regular, contractual or Individual Contract of Service). UP email offers a lot of perks for students that will be very useful in their courses. Here are some useful applications with links and instruction for activation: 

2. The OSA Psychosocial Online Support Hub 

At this time of pandemic, the issue of mental health is one of the most pressing concerns for some students. Many seek help for feeling anxious due to fear of potential danger and uncertainty of the future. It has also become a challenge for many  institutions to provide adequate  psychosocial help to  its students.

In order to address these concerns, the UPOU Office of Student Affairs (OSA) launched an online tool to respond to the concerns of UPOU students amid the COVID-19 outbreak. This is the OSA Psychosocial Online Support Hub. 

OSA Psychosocial Online Support Hub is an initiative of the Guidance and Counseling Program (GCP) of UPOU OSA.,This is part of UPOU’s response to COVID-19 safety and awareness. The UPOU OSA urges UPOU students to report their needs and concerns not just in relation to academic matters but also concerns related to their mental health through the Psychosocial Online Support Hub.

Students may access the OSA Psychosocial Online Support Hub by filling up this form

Aside from the OSA Psychosocial Online Support Hub, the UPOU OSA also has an existing student assistance service also known as the OSA-Guidance and Counseling Program (GCP). This program aims to provide assistance to all enrolled students of UPOU by helping them utilize their potentials to the fullest according to their abilities, interests and needs.

Get in touch with OSA by sending an email to

3. UPOU Library Online Resources

You may check these guidelines to access the library resources: 

Open Access Books and Journals 

Finding Books and Journals online can be hassle and time consuming as several links are offered by different websites. Well, lessen the hassle! UP Open University Library curated free online books and journals that will surely help students in finding resources. Find your books using the following online libraries!

4. You can check out hundreds of Open Education Resources (OERs) via UPOU Networks

Learning resources  are instructional materials  used by students to meet the expected learning based on their course objectives. These resources come in text and video format among others. Students have different preferences in terms of choosing their learning materials for better understanding, some prefer reading while others prefer viewing. If you are looking for educational video materials, the UPOU Networks serves as an online repository of learning materials in multimedia formats. All the learning materials curated in the repository are available free for use not only by UP/UPOU faculty members and students, but the general public as well. The site also has sections for online conferences, webinars, and real time streaming of various UPOU events.

5. The UPOU Office of Gender Concerns

The Office of Gender Concerns (OGC) “functions, among other matters, to create and sharpen awareness of women and gender-related issues; encourage and strengthen teaching, research, extension, and advocacy programs on gender and for gender equality; vitalize Women’s and Gender Studies multi and interdisciplinary programs; initiate the integration of gender concepts into academic curricula; and promote incentives for the recognition of the achievements and contributions of women and other marginalized sectors to national development and gender consciousness.”

If students have gender concerns and issues, they can visit the OGC website. 

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