In continuing exploration of possible collaborations between southern Taiwan universities and the University of the Philippines, a Taiwanese delegation composed of university, government, and industry representatives met with top UP officials on February 4, 2018 at the Board of Regents Room, Quezon Hall, UP Diliman, Quezon City.
Southern Taiwan universities and the UP System began actively pursuing system-wide linkages in April 2016, under the administration of President Alfredo Pascual; and the most recent meeting signified a seamless continuation of the efforts into the administration of President Danilo Concepcion.
The Taiwanese delegation, led by Edu-Connect Southeast Asia Association Executive Director Eing-Ming Wu, chair professor of Shu-Te University, met with UP Executive Vice President Teodoro Herbosa, who represented Concepcion, Vice President for Academic Affairs Cynthia Rose Bautista, and Assistant Vice President for Academic Affairs for Internationalization Gil Jacinto.
The delegates included representatives from Taiwan’s Ministry of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Education, the Edu-Connect Southeast Asia Association, Chang Jung Christian University, I-Shou University, Kaohsiung Medical University, National Chung Hsing University, National Kaohsiung Normal University, National Kaohsiung University of Applied Sciences, National Taitung University, Shiu Chien University, Shu-Te University, St. John’s University, Tamkang University, Tungfang Design University, Wenzao Ursuline University of Languages, Center for Jewelry Company, the Formosa Social Development Institute, Hamastar Technology Co. Ltd, and Pretty Lady Co. Ltd.
Bautista highlighted the resurgence of academic exchange under mutual thrusts to internationalize and uplift regional human capital; and now, with industry expressing interest and efforts to directly impact on the economy through partnerships among universities, cities, and industry. The efforts will involve the Philippine National Economic and Development Authority, the Department of Science and Technology, the Department of Trade and Industry, and the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) through the Edu-Connect Southeast Asia Association program. Visits to these Philippine agencies were next in the delegates’ itinerary.
In the short time since formal partnerships began in May 2016, 13 active memorandums of agreement have been forged between UP and southern Taiwan universities. Eight UP faculty members are now taking graduate studies in Taiwan. In UP Cebu, a Masters course is jointly delivered with Shu-Te University. In November 2017, academic cooperation between UP and the Taiwan Strategic Alliance for Colleges of Education and Humanity/National Taiwan University System was formalized.
Among the proposals forwarded at the last meeting was the establishment of a one-stop shop to facilitate a more targeted matching of academic offerings and demands between Philippine and Taiwan universities; and pursuit of more twin, joint, dual-degree, or sandwich academic programs. Immediately, UP, CHED, and the Taipei Economic and Cultural Offices in both countries can sit down for strategic planning to catalyze more and affordable academic exchange. Academic exchange could also include Philippine undergraduate students, who may have the budget for studies abroad in the wake of the legislated free tuition.
A Taiwanese industry representative cited the suitability of UP as a technology demonstration site. (Jo Lontoc, UP MPRO)