The “University of the Philippines (UP)-Southern Taiwan Universities (STUs) Dialogue” was held at the UP Bonifacio Global City (BGC) Campus on 29 September 2018, a month after the “UP System International Linkages and the Envisioned Taiwan-Philippines University Collaborations: Skills Upgrading and Training” was held, in continuation of the discussions between the officials and faculty of UP and STUs. During these meetings, representatives from participating universities presented their respective institution’s strengths in shaping future inter-university collaborations for a stronger regional development in Southeast Asia.
Representatives from the National Kaohsiung University of Science and Technology (NKUST), National University of Kaohsiung (NUK), Chang Jung Christian University, National Chiayi University, Yuan Ze University, Shu-Te University, Edu-Connect Southeast Asia Association, and the Kindness Chain Hotel comprised the Taiwanese delegation. Representatives from the Taiwan Economic and Cultural Office Press Division and the Mandaluyong City Local Government also joined the event.
Dr. Teodoro J. Herbosa, UP Executive Vice President, welcomed the delegation and acknowledged the STUs’ commitment in nurturing their relationship with UP and the Filipino people. Dr. Ching-Yu Yang, NKUST President, furthered that the STUs are more than willing to continue strengthening their partnership with UP for various academic collaborations.
The three thematic discussions on Academic Concerns and University Social Responsibility, Learning Commons, and International Executive Masters in Business Administration (IEMBA) Program were led by EVP Herbosa, UPTV Executive Director and former UP Open University Chancellor Professor Emeritus Grace Alfonso, and University of the Philippines Diliman Extension Program in Pampanga (UPDEPP) Director Grace Gorospe-Jamon, respectively.
Discussion highlights were later presented in the plenary session. For Academic Concerns and Social Responsibility, the participating universities intend to have more meaningful collaborative programs with UP. Since STUs are composed of more than ten universities, EVP Herbosa suggested that STUs e-mail their research or fields of interest to him so that he can match them with appropriate counterpart units within the UP System. Collaborations with STUs, for example, will be on faculty exchange, graduate degree programs, and English teaching in Taiwan. This could be initiated in the proposed “Weekend Kapihan” in Kaohsiung, a regular matching exercise that aims to come up with concrete proposals and will involve UP and STUs faculty members and researchers.
Professor Emeritus Alfonso announced that the Learning Commons Center will be launched in partnership with National Kaohsiung University and the Open University of Kaohsiung during the upcoming International Conference on Distance e-Learning (ICODeL) on 26-28 November 2018 at Kaohsiung, Taiwan. The Learning Commons Center is a platform or place wherein everyone can meet, access information, and take courses. This will be set up in the Information Technology area near NUK and will benefit not just locals but more importantly, overseas workers (Filipino, Malaysian, Thai, and Vietnamese, among others) in Taiwan.
Director Jamon-Gorospe said they were keen on implementing the IEMBA Program at UPDEPP. The courses will be taught in English and Mandarin.
Assistant Vice President Delia Tomacruz concluded the event by thanking all the participants of the activity. In her closing remarks, she emphasized that “only by working hand in hand can we shake and, hopefully, alleviate regional poverty and inequality.”