WITHIN the past few years, accrediting associations gathered their own groups to draft survey questions on the area of internationalization. This was in response to CHEd Memorandum Order (CMO) 55, Series of 2016 issued November 15, in which the Commission on Higher Education (CHEd) made explicit what internationalization of higher education is, as distinguished from transnational education or international education. Just like any major change introduced in higher education, this global-related undertaking needs quality assurance. Albeit the questions of the self-survey leave room for home-based internationalization, since majority of the private colleges and universities in the provinces usually have less resources in terms of experts and funding grants. Internationalization attempts therefore, can be home-based, at best. These higher education institutions cannot avail of international experts — that is, academics who have studied or had been visiting professors or researchers in universities offshore, and hence, have had actual experience in offshore settings in an academic capacity. These changes in higher education need to assure stakeholders that there is sustained assurance of quality.
Home-based internationalization. Ten months after Agenda 2030 was issued, the CHEd issued CMO 52 s.2016 encouraging Philippine higher education institutions to strive for equity with the world’s best. The CMO contained the various funding grants available to academics for projects as well as for research, service and further studies, and as the CMO states, these are “Pathways to Equity, Relevance and Advancement in Research, Innovation, and Extension.” A month later, CHEd issued CMO 55 s. 2016 (issued Nov. 11, 2016) describing the different mediums of internationalization. Since not all higher education institutions are in a position to undergo actual experiences offshore in terms of further studies, the CHEd also described forms of internationalization that could be affordable, considering the availability of this century’s amazing communications technology. To the CHEd, internationalization is “the process of integrating international, intercultural and global dimensions into the goals and functions (teaching, learning, research and service) and delivery of higher education; it involves a process of inter-change of higher education between nations, with partnership between nations, between national systems of higher education and between institutions of higher education.”(Knight and de Witt, 1997, as quoted by CHEd in https://ched.gov.ph/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/CMO-55-s.-2016. pdf). As distinguished from cross-border internationalization, which refers to the movement of people, programs, providers, knowledge, ideas, projects and services across national boundaries,” the CMO defines “home-based or campus-based internationalization” to include “activities that occur in the home campus without the learner or the education service provider moving out of their respective national territories.”
World acceptance of home-based internationalization. While experiencing offshore studies personally would render substantial benefits to students and academics, it is a matter of popular knowledge that in the case of the Philippines, our economic circumstances would make such mobility only possible for a few when compared to the thousands who would desire to undertake offshore studies. Hence, internationalization “at home” is a welcome form of internationalization to most of our institutions — a convenient term to designate internationalization activity aimed at the whole student body. The European Commission’s education policy has included internationalization at home since 2013 and has influenced much European higher education. In fact, the initiatives of the British Council with its partnership with CHEd acquiring links for a select 10 Philippine universities to be recipients of funding support for their tie-ups with selected British universities is a more advanced form of home-based internationalization and aptly referred to as transnational education (TNE).
Through the facilitation of CHEd since 2016, 10 Philippine universities (University of the Philippines, Ateneo de Manila University, Bicol University, Central Luzon State University, De la Salle University, Miriam College, University of San Carlos, Saint Louis University, Silliman University and University of Santo Tomas) partnered with top United Kingdom (UK) universities (Queen Mary University of London, University of Liverpool, Liverpool Hope University, Goldsmiths University of London, Newcastle University, University of Reading, University of Leeds and Coventry University) to develop and offer joint masters and doctoral programs on subject areas considered national priorities but remain unavailable locally. These include data science, food systems, meteorology, food security, and disaster risk and reduction, among others. Beginning this school year, this TNE programs will “allow Filipinos to earn a joint/dual PHL (Philippine) and UK degree at half the cost of a UK education without leaving the PHL. Thirty-three Filipino scholars are now enjoying its benefits.”
Introducing global perspectives. Activities suggested by CMO 55 include “providing international dimensions content in the curriculum, teaching and learning programs as well as in the learning materials.” An example would be a doctoral course in “Intercultural Leadership and Global Perspectives.” Global perspectives was added to ensure that students would embed such perspectives as leaders, where leadership dynamics would operate within intercultural dimensions. In international studies and in the social sciences, the basics of foreign affairs may be useful knowledge for today’s students. Considering the love for and opportunities for mobility, especially among millennials, basic knowledge on managing foreign currency, passports and visa — entry into and exit from a country — could well be topics in an appropriate course. It could be useful for students to know that the Schengen visa allows “its holder to circulate in the Schengen area, that this visa covers entry to 26 countries (“Schengen States”) without border controls between them. And since German and French are popular foreign languages, learning one or two would be to the students’ advantage. Schengen visa admits entry to Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.” <https://ec.europa.eu › … › Schengen, Borders & Visas › Visa policy>