(Association of Pacific Rim Universities hold 2016 APRU Asia-Pacific Women in Leadership Workshop)
By Euchrissa Theresa Ladrera for UP Cebu Public Information Office
(Fotos by Elisha Judy Tabaque)
TO DISCUSS the progress of gender mainstreaming as strategy for promoting gender equality and challenges of women leadership in the academe, senior university leaders, researchers and administrators from four Association of Pacific Rim Universities (APRU) member universities convened at the 2016 APRU Asia-Pacific Women in Leadership (APWiL) Workshop, Wednesday.
Launched in June 2013, APWiL serves as a platform for sharing practices in advancing women’s participation in the academe and research as well as in bridging the gender gap in higher education through policy development.
This year’s two-day workshop, which is centered on the theme, “Making Numbers Matter: Sustaining the Next Generation of Women Academic Leaders,” is hosted by the University of the Philippines through the Office of International Linkages (UP OIL), a unit under the Office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs mandated to explore areas of linkages with foreign and local institutions.
The workshop aims to continue the discussions on previous APWiL workshops on the necessity of gender quotas, issues of merit and excellence, and implicit gender bias as well as to explore ways of addressing the gaps and drawbacks of women leadership in the academe.
Outgoing UP President Alfredo Pascual, through Professor Joselito Florendo, UP Vice President for Planning and Finance, recognized the university’s role as an instrument for gender equality and justice starting in its own campuses.
“Universities as leaders of many disciplines and researchers have the means and the obligation to study and to provide solutions to the societal issues and the challenges of development. Examining the ways of achieving development is paramount so that it will become faster, sustainable and inclusive,” Pascual said.
Aside from its national mandate, Pascual also recognized UP’s mandate to be the country’s global research and regional university.
“It is incumbent upon UP to channel the successes of our country to efforts of other countries to make gains in the same fields,” Pascual said, highlighting UP’s role in the country’s great success on gender equality.
He also acknowledged the successful history of women leadership since the year 1912, citing that half of the university’s major administrative positions was held by women.
“For change to be true, it must always come from within,” Pascual said, calling APRU universities to uphold gender equality and justice as essential within their spheres of influence.
Gender Equity in US Higher Education
Meanwhile, Dr. Cindy Fan, Vice Provost for International Studies and Global Engagement of the University of California, Los Angeles, introduced the idea of the “pipeline myth” during her discussion of gender equity in US higher education.
“Women graduated at a higher rate than men across all racial groups, which increases women’s representation in the pipeline,” Fan said.
She also interpreted the “glass ceiling” as a two-dimensional concept that refers to intangible barriers preventing women to rise to senior level positions as well as a reflection of the persistent pay gap between men and women at the same faculty rank.
According to Fan, among all public sectors, the academe is the only one with a declining number of women leaders.
“Women do not hold associate professor or full professor positions at the same rate as men appears. They are also not ascending to leadership positions,” she said.
State of Gender Mainstreaming in Tertiary Education and Women’s Academic Leadership
Dr. Amaryllis Tiglao-Torres, Professor Emeritus from the University of the Philippines Diliman and executive director of the Philippine Social Science Council, defined gender mainstreaming as putting gender equality in the center of policy, plans, structures, research and teaching.
“To mainstream is to introduce separate courses on women if it’s possible, but also to say that the perspective that is carried into the women’s studies course is also adapted in the other courses of the university,” Torres said.
In her lecture, Dr. Helen Lockey, Director of Educational and Institutional Intelligence of University of Hongkong pointed out that the greatest difficulty women face in moving to senior-level roles is a “double-burden.”
“The double burden is that, we hold on a job and we hold on the family as well, something that men don’t have to manage, Lockey said.
She also highlighted that family background could influence women’s leadership capacity.
“Women who have been mentored achieve greater successful careers,” she said.
To achieve gender parity, Lockey cited initial steps such as women-friendly policies, talks and seminars for women and researches assessing the classification of the jobs offered to men and women
in the university.
During the panel discussion, Dr. Carolyn Sobritchea, Chairperson and Technical Working Panel on Gender and Women’s Studies, Commission on Higher Education stressed that consultative process, listening skills and participatory planning are essential to the survival of women academic leaders.
“I also value the attitude and the norms in my university. While there’s a lot of patriarchal narratives, there is respect on academic excellence,” Sobritchea said, adding that women should assert for the post they deserve to get in the academe.
Continuing Challenges to Equity and Promotion of Women to Key Leadership Positions
Through the concept of “glass ceiling and glass floor,” Dr. Michael Tan, Chancellor of UP Diliman differentiates male and female approaches towards academic leadership.
“If you are male, you do it by storming the barricade. While women need to be much more careful because they are the ones on a glass floor. They have to thread carefully and softly and not make too much noise,” Tan said.
Continuing Gender Equity Issues in Academic Disciplines To wrap up the presentations, Dr. Robyn Overall, Emeritus Professor and Chair of Women in Science, University of Sydney and Dr. Merlyne Paunlagui, Director, Center for Strategic Planning and Policy studies illustrated gender equity in the field of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).
“In an environment where things are changing, it is important to be able to think outside the box. To do that, we have to optimize diverse opinions to harness researches done in a team,” Overall said, stressing that diverse teams deliver better results than homogeneous teams.
In an interview, Dr. Rhodora Bucoy, Charperson of the Philippine Commission on Women, shared that APWil workshop is a platform to share practices on gender equity with other foreign universities.
“Through this workshop, we hope to be able to come up with concrete steps to address the socalled, glass ceilings and better schemes based on the experience of AustraliA and other countries,” Bucoy said.
The second leg of the APWil workshop continues today at the Marco Polo Plaza Cebu. Representatives from the different APRU-APWil universities hope to come up with action plans for pursuing collaborative research projects and training collaborations among APRU member universities in order to develop the next generation of women academic leaders.
¬Accomplishment Report in September 2016
Prof. Marie Jane Matero was invited by the USAID (United States Agency for International Development) as one of the resource speakers during its 4th Case Writing Workshop held on 7th September 2016 at the Radisson Blu Hotel, Cebu¬¬¬ City, Philippines.
The Commission on Higher Education (CHED) invited UP Cebu to participate in its efforts to improve the country’s Business Administration programs. Faculty and staff of BMC attended the activity entitled “Zonal Public Hearing/Consultation on the Proposed Revised Policies, Standards and Guidelines for Undergraduate Programs for BS Business Administration, BS Entrepreneurship and BS Office Administration and Proposed PSG for Graduate Program in Business Administration” held on 9 September 2016 at the Cebu Parklane International Hotel, Cebu City.
The following BMC faculty and staff who attended this public hearing were:
Prof. Mary Gretchen F. Chaves, DBA- BSM Coordinator
Prof. Stevenson Q. Yu, CPA, MBA- MBA Coordinator
Ms. Marve Deiparine, Graduate Program Staff
Prof. Leahlizbeth A. Sia presented to the Psychological Association of the Philippines (PAP) her research paper entitled “Emotional Labor: Its Influence an Employees’ Work and Personal Life in a Philippine Franchise Dining Industry” during PAP’s 53rd Annual Convention “Strengthening the Bond of Research & Practice in Philippine Psyhology” held from 14-16 September 2016 at Fontana Convention Center, Clark Freeport Zone, Pampanga
Prof. Leahlizbeth A. Sia was invited by the University of San Carlos (USC) to be Chair of the Panel in the Proposal Presentation and Oral Defense of the Thesis entitled: A multiple case study approach towards identifying practices for food manufacturing SMEs with fuzzy hybrid MADM” held at the OR and Simulation Lab of USC – Talamban Campus, Cebu City in September 2016
Management Class Activities and Community Service
From 9 – 11 September 2016, the entire Management 173 class went to Kool Adventure Camp in Balamban and went through a 3-day youth development program. The Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc (RAFI) was tapped by Prof. Tiffany Adelaine Tan to help bring out the creativity of the students in an outdoor adventure. Figure below shows students cooking their own breakfast, on the trail and in reflection.
On 24 – 25 September 2016, Prof. Tan and Ms. Estela Fernandez, together with Arts and Humanities lecturer Ms. Christy Manguerra and 20 Management 173 students travelled to Bantayan Island to conduct a situational analysis of the island. The UP Cebu group was hosted by Mr. Allan Monreal, the President of the DamgosaKaugmaon, a non-government organization (NGO) helping the communities in the island. Figure 6 shows the Management students with Mr. Monreal in different locations of Bantayan Island.
Chancellor Liza Corro with her BM 162 students conducted an extension work entitled ” Empowerment of Micro Small and Medium Enterprises of Pinamugahan and Neighboring Municipalities” on 24 September 2016 at the Monteray Farms Resort, Pinamugahan, Cebu.
Academic Program Improvement:
The API on the proposal to conduct a case study writing workshop was able to achieve the first of two parts of case narrative writing:
1. the faculty agreed to collectively publish a “case book” material that puts together the outcomes of the case narratives written;
2. Prof. Chaves shared her knowledge and experience, and provided some tips on writing business case study writing;
3. each individual faculty (who were earlier encouraged to prepare the narrative materials) started to write the draft of their respective case studies in the fields of management where they may be able to use the case study materials;
4. the faculty were able to collegially consult with each other in terms of “cliniquing” to improve the narrative substance and form; and
5. the faculty agreed to continue a month after the second part on the case writing workshop
The University of the Philippines Cebu (UP Cebu) launched its 18-month countdown for its Centennial Celebration earlier at 1:30 p.m in the university’s Performing Arts Hall (PAH).
UP Cebu will turn 100 this 2018. The school was established in 1918 to serve as a satellite unit for UP Diliman, the flagship campus of the entire UP System. It is the oldest UP campus outside Luzon.
Present in the event is UP’s Assistant Vice President for Public Affairs, Jose Wendell Capili, who will give a speech on recognizing UP Cebu as an institution ‘of public service by being a hub of excellence in research, creative design and information technology’.
Last October 27, the UP Board of Regents allowed UP Cebu to elevate its status as an autonomous unit to a constituent university, which took effect immediately.
As a constituent university, all four departments of UP Cebu will be elevated to colleges and schools with Atty. Liza Corro heading the entire university as its chancellor.
Statement from the Office of the Secretary of the University and of the Board of Regents on UP Presidency Candidates
On 23 September 2016, the UP Board of Regents received the nominations for the following for the position of UP President:
- Consolacion R. Alaras
- Danilo L. Concepcion
- Gisela P. Concepcion
- J. Prospero E. De Vera III
- Rowena Cristina L. Guevara
- Orlando S. Mercado
- Benito M. Pacheco
- Roger D. Posadas
- Caesar A. Saloma
- Michael L. Tan
At a special meeting of the Board of Regents held on 1 October 2016, the Board conducted a preliminary screening and evaluation of the nominees based solely on the following minimum requirements: 1) holder of a Master’s degree; doctorate preferred; 2) substantial academic experience at the tertiary level; 3) should be able to serve the full term of six (6) years before reaching the age of 70; and 4) no conviction for administrative and criminal offenses. Based on this, the Board then unanimously accepted the nominations of the following as candidates for the UP Presidency:
- Danilo L. Concepcion
- Gisela P. Concepcion
- J. Prospero E. De Vera III
- Rowena Cristina L. Guevara
- Benito M. Pacheco
- Caesar A. Saloma
Four (4) of the ten (10) nominees were not included in the list of candidates for the UP Presidency due to the fact that they did not meet the minimum requirement that a candidate “should be able to serve the full term of six (6) years before reaching the age of 70.”
The Board of Regents’ unanimous decision to uphold this requirement, after due deliberations, was based on the following legal grounds:
- Under Republic Act No. 9500 (the UP Charter of 2008), Section (j), the Board of Regents is given the power to elect the University President based on standards and guidelines set by the Board of Regents itself. Clearly, the Board of Regents is expressly granted the power to set the standards or requirements in electing the UP President.
- The UP Charter of 2008 is silent on the age requirement or limit for the UP President.
The old UP Charter (Act 1870), likewise, was also silent on the age limit for the UP President. Yet the Board of Regents was empowered then as now to set the age limit for the position, which it did set at 70 years old in 1961 by way of a Board Resolution at its 686th meeting held on 14 June 1961. The age limit of 70 years old now forms part of UP’s University Code.
- The age limit of 70 years old has been in existence since 14 June 1961. Such age limit was last observed during the time of UP President Francisco Nemenzo who was elected for a term of 6 years (from 6 August 1999 to 5 August 2005) but had to resign upon reaching the age of 70 on 9 February 2005, a few months before the expiration of his term.
- There are general legislations that provide for the age limit of 70 years old. For instance, RA 8292 (the Higher Education Modernization Act of 1997) states that the term of the President of a state college or university may be extended beyond the age of retirement (65 years old) but not later than the age of 70 years old.
- Regarding the requirement for serving the full term of six (6) years, the UP Charter of 2008 (RA 9500) provides the basis. Section 13 (j) of the UP Charter clearly states, among others, the Powers and Duties of the Board of Regents, as follows:
Section 13 (j): “To elect the President of the University for a single term of six (6) years following a process of democratic consultation with the university community based on standards and guidelines set by the Board. In the event of a vacancy, the Board shall elect a President who shall serve a full term.”
- In addition, Section 14 (paragraph 2) of the UP Charter provides:
Section 14 (paragraph 2): “The President of the University shall be appointed by the Board and shall serve for a single term of six (6) years.”
For inquiries, please contact:
Edna Estifania A. Co, DPA
Vice President for Public Affairs
The 28 resource maps produced by the UP Cebu Phil-LiDAR 2 project have been handed to the local government units of Negros Occidental on 17 August 2016.
They show in detail the agricultural and coastal resources of the province.
UP Cebu Phil-LiDAR 2, headed by Dr. Judith Silapan, associate professor of biology, with Brisneve Edullantes as assistant project leader, is part of the bigger Phil-LiDAR 2 project which seeks to use LiDAR data to ensure that the ongoing programs of government agencies complement each other. Formerly called the Nationwide Detailed Resources Assessment Using LiDAR, it is directed by the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) and composed of various projects by other national government agencies chaired by the Department of Energy and Natural Resources.
LiDAR or “light detection and ranging” is a surveying technology used to create high-resolution maps.
Negros Occidental was the first of six provinces to receive the resource maps from Phil-LiDAR 2. It has 32 municipalities but only 28 of them were covered by LiDAR. Besides Negros Occidental, the provinces in Western Visayas are part of the Phil-LiDAR 2 Project in UP Cebu.
During the ceremony, Engr. Rowen Gelonga, regional director of DOST in Negros Island, encouraged those in local government to be researchers and not merely users so as to push for innovation. Filipinos are capable of high-quality research, he said, as evidenced by the output of the project.
For Atty. Liza D. Corro, UP Cebu acting chancellor and dean, the endeavor will help map out changes for the province.
More than 100 representatives from local, regional and national offices came to what was described as “the biggest local maps turnover in a single activity for the whole Phil-LiDAR 2 project”.
A two-day training was also conducted on August 18 and 19 to make sure that the local personnel can manipulate the maps using Geographic Information System.
Expanding its coverage, the Times Higher Education (THE) World University Rankings now includes institutions from 10 more countries for 2016-2017, including one from the Philippines, its national university, the University of the Philippines.
In its communication to UP, THE said UP ranked “in the band of >800 this year out of 980 institutions” from 79 countries. UP got its highest scores in knowledge transfer and lowest in research influence.
THE ranks universities based on five “pillars”: 1) teaching or the learning environment (30 percent); 2) research volume, income, and reputation (30 percent); 3) citations or research influence (30 percent); 4) international outlook of staff, students, and research (7.5 percent); and 5) industry income or knowledge transfer (2.5 percent).
“Your strongest Pillar was Industry Income where you ranked in the fifth decile. Your weakest Pillar was Citations where you ranked in the ninth decile,” THE informed UP.
In its website, THE defines industry income as a university’s ability to help industry with innovations, inventions and consultancy. “This category seeks to capture such knowledge-transfer activity by looking at how much research income an institution earns from industry (adjusted for purchasing power parity), scaled against the number of academic staff it employs.”
“The category suggests the extent to which businesses are willing to pay for research and a university’s ability to attract funding in the commercial marketplace – useful indicators of institutional quality,” according to THE.
UP’s industry income score was 40.8, a few points higher than the median score of 38.9 in a box plot where the highest was 74 and the lowest was 32.1. Its ranking in this category was 431.
UP’s second highest ranking was in international outlook, where it ranked 512th. In teaching, it placed 695th; in research, 848th; and citations, 859th.
Universities were excluded from the THE World University Rankings if their research output amounted to fewer than 200 articles per year over a five-year period. UP is the only institution from the Philippines ranked thus far.
According to its website, the rankings “are the only global university league tables to judge research-intensive universities across all of their core missions – teaching, research, knowledge transfer and international outlook.”
According to Phil Baty, editor of the THE rankings, THE World University Rankings is now on its 13th year. “Going from strength to strength,” it is now drawing on 150 separate data points on each of 1,313 of the world’s leading research universities.
“Our data analytics tools, available to universities through THE DataPoints, allow institutional research teams to interrogate this data alongside that from two annual THE Academic Reputation Surveys, providing 250,000 items of data, and bibliometric data from Elsevier, based on more than 56 million citations to 11.9 million research publications (including 528,000 books or book chapters) over five years,” Baty informed UP.
THE’s communication to UP did not include the rankings of other global universities, which the Times supplement is set to release on September 21, 2016, 9:00 PM (BST).
Opening remarks during the 14th Association of Pacific Rim Universities Senior Staff Meeting, 7-9 September 2016, Crimson Hotel Mactan
THE INTERNATIONALISATION OF HIGHER EDUCATION IN THE ASIA-PACIFIC
Alfredo E. Pascual, University of the Philippines President
Good morning to you all!
It is my honor and pleasure to welcome you to the 14th Senior Staff Meeting of the Association of Pacific Rim Universities (APRU), here on the historic island of Mactan, Province of Cebu. It is here in Mactan where Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan fell in battle in 1521 against the warriors of the island, led by Datu Lapu-Lapu. Cebu Province is also where the first seeds of Christianity were planted in the Philippines, and its capital, Cebu City, was the first capital of and is the oldest city in the country. Today, Cebu is one of the most developed provinces in the Philippines. Mactan Island itself is one of the major tourist destinations in Cebu Province. It offers some of the best diving, snorkeling, island hopping, jet-skiing, sailing, and cultural activities in the country. My reference to these interesting activities is an invitation for you to include a little fun during your stay in Mactan.
I am glad to meet again with our colleagues from the leading universities of 17 member economies of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC). As with the previous APRU Senior Staff Meetings, this meeting is convened to review the development and implementation of APRU initiatives and activities, and make recommendations to be presented at the next Annual Presidents Meeting. The participating senior staff will also have a chance to update one another on the latest developments in our respective universities.
The last APRU Senior Staff Meeting, which was held in early September of last year at the University of Auckland, had discussions around the theme, International Impact and Advocacy: APRU’s Next Phase. That theme arose from the consensus developed by the APRU presidents at their Osaka meeting in June 2015 that APRU “could play a greater role in informing policy and championing global issues”—driven by the view of the university as an agent for global transformation.
I believe the theme for this year’s Senior Staff Meeting, The Internationalization of Higher Education in the Asia-Pacific, is closely related to the focus of its discussions last year. Indeed, the current theme manifests the spirit of APRU itself. Among the objectives of this distinguished association are to “foster cooperation in education and research” among the member-universities in areas of major importance such as “economic development, science and technology, human resource development, education and environmental protection”; and to “enable these universities to become effective contributors to the development of a prosperous and integrated Pacific Rim community.”
Gone are the days when our universities could afford to concern themselves only with domestic issues and local communities. In our globalized, knowledge-driven, and interconnected world, we have learned to accept that our outlook must become global while continuing to address local concerns. Our universities are at the crossroads of the flow of knowledge around the globe. So as centers for learning and research, they must have an international perspective and promote exchanges and collaborations that transcend geo-political boundaries.
For the University of the Philippines, this country’s national university, internationalization is enshrined in no less than our Charter of 2008, which mandates us not only to serve as the country’s premier graduate and research university, but also as a regional and global university. UP is a system consisting of seven constituent universities and a constituent college, the latter being UP Cebu which is based in Cebu City. The UP System has over 17 campuses, big and small, located across the country, together offering close to 200 undergraduate degree programs and more than 300 postgraduate degree programs. It has about 55,000 tertiary-level students of which 28 percent are postgraduate, more than 5,000 faculty members, and 8,700 support staff. Our flagship campus in Diliman has about 45 percent of the students.
In light of our mandate, internationalization has been one of our major strategic initiatives, focusing on implementing projects and programs that help develop in our students and faculty an international outlook. All of our UP constituent units have pushed for regional and global competitiveness in their respective niche areas of expertise—for instance, IT and Creative Industrial Design for UP Cebu, Fisheries and Ocean Sciences for UP Visayas, Health Sciences in UP Manila, and Agriculture and Biotechnology in UP Los Banos, and so on.
Our internationalization initiatives have taken on several directions—improving student mobility; promoting online education; and undergoing international quality assurance and accreditation of curricular offerings. Let me discuss some of these initiatives.
Through our Office of International Linkages, headed by our Assistant Vice-President for Academic Affairs Dr. Rhodora Azanza under the office of Dr. Giselle Concepcion, Vice-President for Academic Affairs, we instituted the MOVE UP program (UP Mobility for Vigor and Excellence) beginning academic year 2012-13. This enables junior or senior undergraduates to study for one semester at a foreign university as exchange students. We provide the participating students with funding assistance to cover travel, lodging, and subistence costs fully or partially in accordance with our socialized tuition system.
During the current academic year (2016-17), we expect around 300 students to participate in the MOVE UP program. The favorite destinations are Japan and Korea. But we are encouraging more students to go to universities in our neighboring ASEAN countries in support of regional integration.
Another initiative is the COOPERATE Program (Continuous Operational and Outcomes-based Partnership for Excellence in Research and Academic Training Enhancement), under which postgraduate students at early thesis or dissertation proposal stage can undertake research or creative work at a foreign university. This program also supports UP research advisers who require a short-term visit to the student’s foreign co-adviser.
We are providing travel grants and financial assistance to enable postgraduate students to present their research or creative work at an international conference. This started two years ago, and so far we have given travel grants to over 150 postgraduate students.
We are now providing more travel grants to our faculty members for research dissemination through participation in international conferences. To provide even more of our faculty the opportunity to participate in international events, we now provide subsidy to encourage our various academic units to host in the Philippines an increasing number of international conferences, workshops and meetings.
We are bringing into UP international professors and experts under our World Expert Lecture Series. Introduced two years ago, this program funds the travel of eminent world leaders in academe, government, or industry to the Philippines so they can give lectures in UP.
Starting in 2015, the UP OIL and UP OVPAA are conducting roadshows in Europe, Australia, Japan and the US to entice our alumni who are now working in foreign universities to return to UP as faculty members through our Balik PhD program or as visiting professors. Alternatively, they are asked to host in their respective institutions the UP postgraduate students who plan to go for a sandwich program under our COOPERATE program. Several of our academic units now have such arrangements.
Due to the nature of our mandate as a state-funded university, we have not done much to increase the number of foreign students enrolling in our undergraduate programs. The reason is simple. For every foreign student we take in, we would necessarily have to bump off one Filipino student because we have fixed admission quotas. However, we are working to increase the number of foreign students in our postgraduate programs, where there is more capacity and less competition from our local students.
In terms of cross-border partnerships, we have partnered with foreign universities in order to provide innovative educational programs. One example is the Nagoya University-Asian Satellite Campus now hosted in UP Los Banos, which makes postgraduate programs of Nagoya University available to Filipino students without spending extended periods in Japan.
Our UP Open University has forged a partnership with Southern Taiwan universities to offer continuing education to Filipino overseas workers in Taiwan. Other academic units of UP are also in discussions with these universities for academic exchanges in the areas of education, culture, industry, and agriculture.
In terms of international linkages, we have existing relationships with almost 300 academic institutions in Asia, Australia, North America, Europe and Africa. It has been a continuing process of adding and weeding out. The arrangements cover student and faculty exchanges, dual degree programs, and/or research collaborations.
We have launched university-wide research and networking hubs in partnership with other national and international organizations. One example is our Philippines Korea Research Center ([email protected]) established last year in partnership with the Academy of Korean Studies (AKS), whose main research agenda covers the areas of social sciences pertaining to Philippines-Korea relations.
We have introduced the China/Strategic Studies Program also last year under the UP Center for Integrative and Development Studies. One set of activities is a lecture series aimed at promoting intellectual and civil society linkages between the Philippines and China in order to build mutual understanding and trust.
Over the years, we have been very active in international networks and in forging partnerships with the global academe. Our affiliation with APRU and the ASEAN University Network (AUN) has become fruitful in terms of knowledge-sharing and securing UP’s place in the academic world map.
We are also part of the ASEAN European Academic University Network (ASEA-UNINET), the South and Southeast Asia and Taiwan Universities (SATU), AsiaEngage, and the Asia-Talloires Network of Industry and Community Engaged Universities (ATNEU) for public service. We are a member of the Korean Studies Association of Southeast Asia (KoSASA), of which I am now president. I have also served as a member of the steering committee of APRU and SATU, a testament to the increasingly active involvement of UP as a regional and global university.
The vitality and success of our internationalization programs and initiatives have allowed us to grow to the point where our international activities have moved from mostly one-on-one partnerships between individual faculty members or units within UP and their counterparts in foreign universities, to strategic academic partnerships and research collaborations between UP and foreign institutions.
I am proud to say that it is the competence and capability of our faculty, the continuing high caliber of their research and creative work, as well as the rich networks they have developed, that have facilitated our internationalization efforts.
Due to the promising research initiatives of our faculty, several projects have gained the support of different funding agencies external to UP. An example is the Philippine-California Advanced Research Institute (PCARI) grants which are funded by the government through the Commision on Higher Education (CHED). PCARI supports research projects done by UP in collaboration with the University of California. The PCARI grants focuses on UP research in health innovations and information and communication infrastructure.
UP is also getting funding support from the USAID STRIDE and UK NEWTON FUND. The USAID-STRIDE is currently funding seven projects under its Collaborative Applied Research with Industry (CARWIN) Cluster and six projects under the Pure Research Cluster.
Just two weeks ago, Dr. Concepcion and Dr. Azanza visited Harvard University to explore the possibility of developing programs together as part of our mutual thrust toward internationalization. They were accompanied by some of our campus heads and college deans.
Internationalization, as I have mentioned before, is first and foremost an outlook, an attitude that “thinks global” and “acts local.” For UP, our drive for internationalize stems from a sense of nationalism—the same sense of nationalism that drives our teaching and research programs. We view internationalization as a means to enhance our capability to serve our country and people. Through internationalization, we can learn from the best practices of other universities worldwide through enhanced collaboration.
Internationalization requires an unshakable sense of self, a genuine appreciation of our unique strengths and the gifts we offer the world, and a clear-eyed view of our own weaknesses. UP as the national university must seek to define and promote a truly Filipino identity and serve the needs of our country. And in turn, we create a distinct Filipino identity or innovation—something truly and proudly ours—that we can banner across the globe as we become a functional part of the greater world we live in.
I believe that in the broader sense, this is what we have all come here to do: To showcase our identities and share our gifts, just as we share in the responsibilities of taking care of our common planet.
Thank you. I wish you all a fruitful and insightful exchange of ideas.
 Association of Pacific Rim Universities. (2015). APRU 13th Senior Staff Meeting: International impact and advocacy: APRU’s next phase. Retrieved from http://apru.org/governance-meetings/senior-staff-meeting/item/656-apru-13th-senior-staff-meeting
 Association of Pacific Rim Universities. (n.d.). History, objectives, strategic framework. Retrieved from http://apru.org/about/history-objectives-strategic-framework
(UP Cebu Public Information Office/With reports by Euchrissa Ladrera ang Alex Durog. Photos by Kel Alegre and J. Yap)
EDUCATION leaders from 45 premier research universities gathered to discuss strategies on academic linkages in the Asia-Pacific during the 14th Association of Pacific Rim Universities (APRU) Senior Staff Meeting (SSM) Wednesday.
This year’s meeting, which focuses on the theme of “The Internationalisation of Higher Education in the Asia-Pacific,” is hosted by the University of the Philippines (UP), through the Office of International Linkages (UP OIL), a unit under the Office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs, which is mandated to identify and explore areas of cooperation and linkages with foreign and local institutions.
In his keynote speech, UP President Alfredo E. Pascual stressed that internationalisation is a means to serve the country and its people by acquiring the best practices from other universities worldwide through enhanced collaboration.
“Internationalisation is, first and foremost, an outlook, an attitude that thinks global and acts local,” said Pascual, highlighting that internationalisation requires a genuine appreciation of the unique strengths and gifts that the different universities could offer.
He also cited the university’s international initiatives in the form of faculty and student exchange (University of the Philippines Mobility for Vigor and Excellence or MOVE UP), joint research (Continuous Operational and Outcomes-based Partnership for Excellence in Research and Academic Training Enhancement (COOPERATE), and sponsorships of conferences and other special academic activities, such as the World Experts Lecture Series, which supports global experts in the academe to give special lectures to UP students.
Pascual recognized that the UP faculty’s competence in producing high-caliber research and creative works allows the university to gain support from various external funding agencies.
“These partnerships and affiliations have become fruitful in terms of knowledge sharing and in securing UP’s place in the academic world map,” Pascual said, citing the university’s partnership with APRU and other ASEAN and Europe academic networks.
He said some university officials recently visited Harvard University to explore the possibility of developing programs as part of the two university’s mutual trust toward internationalisation.
Dr. Patricia Licuanan, Chairperson of the Commission on Higher Education, shared to the delegates the current issues on higher education reforms in the Philippines.
“Public and private institutions should take different roles and emphasize different programs,” said Licuanan, stressing that the state system should focus on areas that market-driven private institutions may not be able to afford.
Licuanan said that internationalisation should not necessarily involve mobility, and added that the benefits of internationalisation should also be experienced by students who remain in the country.
She also stressed the importance of getting to know international partners by identifying which countries will be prioritized in terms of bilateral relationships.
“The Philippines has to ask that question which universities will we welcome to our shores to recruit students, should there be limits to this at all,” said Licuanan, prompting education leaders to be more critical in choosing international partners.
Licuanan also described the K-12 reform as necessary and has a positive impact on the students in the country.
“Those who will graduate from Senior High will be put directly to jobs. It has tracks, those who want to go to college and those tracks for vocational courses,” said Licuanan in response to the reform’s impact on students.
Meanwhile, UP Professor of English and Creative Writing, Dr. Jose Dalisay Jr. deepens the delegates’ understanding of Philippine society as a nation recreated in America’s own image.
“Not only did we switch to English and largely forget Spanish within a couple of generations; aside from American fashions, we adopted American jurisprudence, and were given a Supreme Court which wasn’t supreme enough, because its decisions could be appealed before the US Supreme Court in Washington. We were given a bicameral legislature, with a Senate and a National Assembly that was the equivalent of Congress. We learned about and launched national political parties, and threw ourselves with gusto into the electoral process. The Philippine press became as active and as raucous as its American counterpart,” said Dalisay in his speech, emphasizing a pattern that marked American influence over the country until the present time.
For Dalisay, America cherished its special partnership with the Philippines due to obvious economic and political reasons.
“Under the guise of free trade, we became a major source of raw materials and a market for US goods, and our location marked us as a strategic outpost overlooking China and Japan,” said Dalisay.
He also highlighted the distinct contrasts and contradictions of Philippine society.
“We have one of the freest presses in the world, amplified by totally unregulated social media. The flip side of all this is that, by some accounts, this is also one of the most dangerous and deadliest places in the world, after Iraq and Syria,” said Dalisay.
Being a home to the most resourceful and resilient people and natural bounty, Dalisay described the Philippines to be a “a rich country pretending to be poor.”
“In today’s globalised world, where traditional societies have been overlaid with growing patches of modernity and the mindsets that come with exposure to foreign shores, these contrasts are, of course, hardly unique to the Philippines,” said Dalisay.
According to him, the country’s cultural and political position as a gateway between East and West distinguishes the Philippines from others, being the “only predominantly Christian English-speaking country in Asia.”
He said the Philippine culture is a powerful instrument of social and political reform and modernisation.
“Considering the contradictions and the gaps I mentioned earlier, culture can do much to bridge the divides, to forge and sustain a set of core values, of national interests that cuts across family, class, and region,” said Dalisay.
With neighbouring nations having clear ideas of their roles and responsibilities, Dalisay urged Filipinos to redefine themselves.
“In this ocean of resurgent nationalisms, we Filipinos need to redefine ourselves as more than America’s students and surrogates. And again, it will likely be the educated Filipino, steeped in political and cultural discourse, who will lead in this enterprise,” said Dalisay, stressing that the best environment for education the country can hope for is a society where people have not stopped asking questions and seeking answers.
In a separate interview, UP President Pascual shared that the entire UP system will benefit from the initiatives that will be formulated from the series of APRU meetings.
“In meetings like these, they share each other’s experiences, we are able to learn from the practices of others and it’s up to us to decide which ones we will adapt and we will not accept,” said Pascual, adding that UP Cebu, being part of the UP system, will also benefit from it.
The three-day meeting that will be held at the Crimson Resort and Spa Mactan, Lapu-Lapu City will cover four remaining plenary sessions that will discuss the maximisation of the APRU Impact Report, a three-year pilot project, which will demonstrate the value of research universities in their societies that can build greater collective impact for its members; future perspectives on the internationalisation of higher education; panel presentations on international partnerships and a summary of other key issues.
The meeting is on its second day today.
OPEN LETTER FROM THE U.P. PRESIDENT TO THE U.P. COMMUNITY re the 25 August 2016 incident at the Board Room in Quezon Hall
Dear Members of the UP Community:
Last 25 August, as you may have already heard, a group identifying themselves to be students mainly from UP Los Baños and UP Diliman stormed into the UP Board Room in Quezon Hall shortly after the adjournment of the Board of Regents (BOR) meeting, but with several Regents still around. The students came to decry, among other issues, the alleged “failure” of the new computerized registration system, known as the Student Academic Information System (SAIS), during the registration period in UP Los Baños this semester.
While I definitely do not condone the disruptions the said group caused, I can understand the reasons for their distress. Evidently, information on what we are doing to address UP’s perennial registration problems and improve administrative efficiency has not been adequately disseminated.
I have decided to write this letter not only to those students who came to the BOR for “answers”, but also to the University community at large, whose members deserve to know the pertinent facts behind these issues.
At the heart of the protesters’ complaints was the SAIS, which is an integral part of the eUP program we launched in 2012 to integrate and harmonize the information and communication technology infrastructure across all constituent universities (CUs) of the UP System. The eUP program has, in addition to SAIS, other key information systems covering human resources; financial management; supply, procurement and campus management; and executive information.
The eUP program also has other components, such as, upgrading of fiber optic networks, increasing bandwidth for faster Internet connectivity, and providing computers and other equipment to our various campuses—things which the University needs regardless of what information systems we implement and which accounted for about 70% of the P750 million spent on the eUP program.
SAIS was specifically designed to streamline such familiar and often tediously complicated processes as admission, enlistment, cross-registration, advising, study program planning, shifting, transferring, and alumni tracking, as well help faculty members and academic units do longer-term planning to meet future demand for courses. SAIS is meant to eventually banish the long queues that have remained an embarrassing hallmark of the UP registration system in this digital age.
We agreed to adopt SAIS because its particular features address our needs. And more significantly, SAIS has worked, and worked well, for over 700 of the world’s leading universities and colleges (e.g., NUS, NTU, SIM, Universiti Malaya, Chulalongkorn, HKU, HKUST, Harvard, Stanford, Cornell, Princeton, Cambridge, Oxford, ANU, RMIT, UNSW), including some local higher education institutions. Properly implemented, SAIS can do much more than the respective registration systems previously or currently in use in the CUs can handle.
SAIS has already been successfully implemented previously in three CUs—in Manila, Baguio, and Cebu. This semester we introduced SAIS in UP Los Baños, and after a few initial glitches at the start, SAIS settled down to its normal operation, thus enabling registration to proceed up to its completion. The fact that there were initial glitches cannot mean that the system per se is fatally flawed, and thus, to be rejected.
We already expected that the adoption of any new system, such as SAIS, will have birthing problems. But in the case of UPLB, the problems were compounded by a massive and apparently malicious Denial of Service (DoS) attack on our server at around the start of registration, which is now under investigation by the authorities. Apparently, someone out there wanted SAIS to fail, for reasons only he or she can tell.
I assure you that we are dealing with operational problems as well as certain issues being raised by the students and will make SAIS work as it should, while taking cognizance of everyone’s needs and concerns.
There have been suggestions, for example, that we should have sought a cheaper, open-source alternative. We already did. We discovered in 2012 that a consortium of US universities, known as Kuali, had been trying to develop a student administration software. However, we found out that a consortium member (University of California Berkeley) had pulled out after five years of waiting and another one (Florida State University) had left a couple of years earlier. Both of these universities that pulled out of the consortium subsequently decided to adopt the Oracle PeopleSoft Campus Solutions software, which we call SAIS, for their student information system.
The original quote for the software suite we got was not cheap, but we were able to secure the perpetual license at a huge discount. In any case, the benefits we expect it to bring us would far outweigh the costs. And I would like to make it clear that whatever funds we have spent on the eUP program did not, and will not, diminish any of the pre-existing funding commitments of UP prior to our administration.
The reality is that during the past five years we have been able to mobilize very substantial increases in the funding for UP from government and other sources.
This availability of funding resources has enabled us to pursue not just the eUP program, but also many other important and much bigger initiatives. For example, we have been able to provide substantial merit promotion (P800 M) and monetary benefits (P2.8 B) to our faculty and staff members; to invest in more than a hundred new buildings and renovations in our various campuses (P9 B); to modernize the hospital equipment of PGH (P3 B); to support interdisciplinary research of our faculty (P950 M); to support their PhD and Master’s studies; to provide them research dissemination travel grants; to recognize their achievements through professorial chairs, enhanced scientific and arts productivity awards, and other academic awards; to send students on exchange programs abroad; to provide undergraduate and postgraduate student assistantships; and to meet other priority needs of the University and its constituents.
I understand and accept that dramatic political action is part of our hallowed tradition of dissent. In a sense, this is good as it provoked more questions about and drew more attention to what eUP is all about and what it will mean to the University’s future.
As I approach the end of my term, I can only hope that as a university—indeed the national university—we can continue to discuss and resolve our problems in an atmosphere of reason and sobriety, impelled by our common love of this institution and our desire to seek only the best for it and its future. That desire should include openness to new ideas and new technologies to improve the way we work.
As a community of scholars, students, and workers dedicated to the truth, we cannot allow malice, ignorance, and disinformation to derail the University’s growth or block the way forward.
Should you have any more questions about any aspect of eUP or SAIS, my office will only be too happy to receive and to answer them.
There is an urgent need for us to catch up with our peer universities in the region and the rest of the world. Please join me in this continuing quest to bring our beloved University up to the highest global standards—to be a model for the other local higher education institutions. Much of the future of our country will depend on the future of the University of the Philippines.
Thank you for your attention and support.
Alfredo E. Pascual