First-ever higher education summit slated in Taguig

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THE Philippine Business for Education (PBEd) on Friday announced that it will hold the first-ever Philippine Higher Education President’s Summit at the SMX Taguig Convention Center in Taguig City (Metro Manila) on August 15.

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Over 500 school presidents and administrators from the country’s private, local and state colleges and universities are expected to attend this summit to discuss the Philippine higher education system as one sector and speak with one voice.

PBEd President Chito Salazar said the summit is a significant event because it would be the first time that the country’s private and public higher education institutions (HEIs) will gather to meet each other and tackle various issues of common interest.

“This summit will bring together the country’s post-secondary education sector, which has historically been fragmented along ownership lines. With this initiative, we hope to transcend ownership lines so that the higher education sector will now have the opportunity to speak with one voice on the issues that are of common interest to all of them,” he added.

Salazar said that the problems of the country’s education system are huge and it needs an equally powerful force to change and reform the system.

“Such power will only come from a unified sector, one that works together to correct the wrongs of the system. Thus, unifying the higher education sector is central to improving higher education and ensuring a better future for our youth,” he added.

Dr. Jose Paulo Campos, president of the Philippine Association of Private Schools, Colleges and Universities (Papscu), said, “If the higher education sector speaks as one, it will be in a better position to develop and advocate proactive reforms in Philippine education,”

The summit will see the ratification of the Manila Declaration on Higher Edu–cation, which sets out a five-point agenda for reform on issues such as linkages between the academe and industry; funding or government support for post-secondary education; rationalization and development of research and science and technology; governance of the country’s post-secondary education system; and faculty development and quality graduate programs.

“We hope that with this agenda, we will be able to build a relevant, responsive and high quality higher edu–cation sector that will be an invaluable resource for Phi–lippine development,” Tomas Lopez, president of the Association of Local Colleges and Universities, said.

The summit will also feature speeches by Anant Agarwal, an entrepreneur and chief executive officer of edX, an online learning platform developed by Harvard Uni–versity and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Sir Richard Gerver, an education innovator; and the United States Ambassador to the Philippines Philip Godberg.

There will also be a special discussion on the new K-to-12 system to address issues and concerns raised by various education stakeholders.

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