To strengthen collaboration between the University of the Philippines (UP) and universities in Taiwan, UP hosted a “homecoming” visit or meeting, the first for this year, at the Balay Kalinaw, UP Diliman, for top officials and delegates from UP and the Edu-Connect Southeast Asia Association on February 5, 2020.
According to UP President Danilo L. Concepcion and Edu-Connect Southeast Asia Association Executive Director Eing-Ming Wu, the visit was a “homecoming” since representatives from the two delegations had already been conducting workshops and meetings in the Philippines and in Taiwan in the past years.
Concepcion said the aim of these meetings was to provide opportunities for discussing academic partnerships, faculty advancement, and academe-industry linkages, among others, that seek to address the two nations’ social issues, to alleviate poverty and inequality, and to stimulate development in the region. He said UP’s relationship with Edu-Connect and their partners “are becoming among the strongest and the most fruitful.”
Wu further said that they were inspired by the Filipinos’ “bayanihan spirit” in pursuing teamwork and partnerships to achieve common goals.
Meetings in previous years included representatives from: key Philippine government agencies, such as the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA); local government units; the Philippine Association of State Universities and Colleges (PASUC); the Manila Economic and Cultural Office (MECO); and, other Philippine State Universities and Colleges (SUCs) and private Higher Education Institutions (HEIs).
Concepcion noted that the meetings held in 2018 and 2019 covered vital topics and possible collaboration in education, research, and development in fields such as agriculture, aquaculture, public health, resilience, technological advancement, social entrepreneurship, learning commons, and post-graduate programs, among many others. “We are enriching our shared and unique expertise in these fields through mutual learning and cooperation. We can be proud of what we have done and established, so far,” he said. These meetings led to the establishment of the Taiwan-Philippine Academic Network Platform, the UP-Kaohsiung-Pingtung Fellowship Center, the hosting of the 2018 International Conference on Open and Distance e-Learning (ICODEL), and the Learning Commons Center.
The first inter-university and multi-sectoral meetings and workshops held in 2019 focused on the themes: Exploring International University-Industry Linkages; Educational Collaborations; University Social Responsibility Projects; and, Research Lab Networkings in the Manila Metropolitan and Calabarzon regions. By midyear, the Edu-Connect delegation also went to the Manila Metropolitan and the Cordillera regions, to focus on: Austronesian Studies and Indigenous Affairs; Indigenous Innovation and Ecotourism; Regional Development with Business Intelligence and Entrepreneurship Education; Smart Highland Agriculture and Technology Development Training; English Learning and Social Immersion Programs for University Students Development; and others.
Dr. Ru-Jer Wang, president of the National Taichung University of Education; Dr. Herchang Ay, president of St. John’s University; and, Dr. Shun-Hsiang Weng, president of Meiho University, also gave inspiring messages during the program.
Thematic discussions about possible collaboration between UP and Edu-Connect members were then held within their respective subgroups on: Arts and Letters, Agriculture, Business, Engineering, International linkages, and Science.
Headed by Concepcion, the UP delegation was comprised of: Executive Vice President Teodoro J. Herbosa; Vice President for Academic Affairs Maria Cynthia Rose Banzon-Bautista; Assistant Vice President for Academic Affairs (Internationalization) and Office of International Linkages Director Gil S. Jacinto; Assistant Vice President for Academic Affairs (R&D Resource Management) Mary Delia G. Tomacruz; UP Mindanao Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Nilo Oponda; UP Diliman College of Arts and Letters Dean Amihan Bonifacio-Ramolete; College of Science Dean Giovanni A. Tapang; Virata School of Business Dean Joel L. Tan-Torres; UP Los Baños College of Agriculture and Food Science Associate Dean Adeliza A. Dorado; UP Diliman College of Engineering Asst. Prof. Roderaid Ibanez; Office of International Linkages-Diliman International Programs Associate Victoria Fajardo; and, UP Diliman Extension Program in Pampanga (UPDEPP) Director Edna Estifania A. Co.
The Edu-Connect delegation was comprised of top officials of: National Taichung University of Education, National Kaohsiung University of Science and Technology, St. John’s University, National Taipei University of Business, National Chung Hsing University, National University of Kaohsiung, National Chiayi University, National Tsing Hua University, National Taitung University, Chung Hwa University of Medical Technology, Chang Jung Christian University, I-Shou University, Meiho University, Chia Nan University of Pharmacy and Science, Green Power Agriculture Technology Co., Rainbow Family Life Education Association, Blessed & Blessing Church in Tainan, Chef Teng Restaurant Group, City Union Marketing Co., i-Pass Corporation, Brogent Global Inc., Mayushan Foods Co., GreatLink Travel Services Co., and MECO-EduConnect Start Up Training Network in Asia.