THE Commission on Higher Education (CHED) recently held a forum with representatives of various higher education institutions (HEIs) from the Philippines and Canada to reinforce academic cooperation between the two countries.
The event, which was attended by more than 20 public and private HEIs from the Philippines and institutions from the Vancouver Island Public Post-Secondary Alliance, also provided a venue for participants to initiate networking and exchange of ideas and best practices in the field.
“In today’s global village, establishing linkages with key partners around the world is necessary for higher education institutions to be truly globally competitive,” CHED Chairperson Patricia Licuanan said.
Licuanan urged the country’s higher education institutions “to explore more opportunities for greater cooperation and collaboration in order to better prepare our students and faculty to face the challenges of the 21st century.”
Canadian Ambassador to the Philippines Neil Reeder acknowledged the Philippine government’s decision to pursue the Kindergarten to Grade 12 (K-to-12) system, saying this will in the long run strengthen the educational system and will better position the Philippines in the international education market.
“This event is a testament to our commitment in growing all natures of ties in education that will contribute to the enhancement of our bilateral relationship,” Reeder added.
As early as 2013, official visits of the Philippine delegation to Canada and vice-versa spurred interests to increase academic cooperation.
In November 2014, a Joint Statement on Education Collaboration and Action Plan (academic year 2015-2018) between the Commission on Higher Education and Canadian Bureau for International Education was formalized.
The agreement forms a wider relationship between the two countries in the next three years. It encompasses a broad range of areas to include: partnership missions; Ph.D. sandwich program; continuing long-distance research collaboration; reciprocal student and faculty/academic personnel mobility; capacity building training; academic leadership certificate program and support to K-to-12 or post-secondary transition program.
Apart from this, the Philippines has bilateral agreements with individual provinces of Canada, i.e. Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, British Columbia, Ottawa and Quebec on academic exchanges, scholarships and the like.
Licuanan said that partnerships between the Philippines and foreign institutions are very important to improve the quality of education in a globalized world.
The commission, she said, recognizes the importance of linkages and collaborative arrangements with foreign countries at various levels.