By Merlina Hernando-Malipot
To foster greater cooperation and exchange between higher education institutions (HEIs) in the Philippines and United States of America (USA), the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Center for Global Advancement of Community Colleges (CGACC).
CHED Chairman J. Prospero De Vera III, in a statement, said that the Commission “continuously pushes for the internationalization” of Philippine HEIs. The partnership between CHED and CGACC, he explained, was “essential to build opportunities for increased student and faculty exchanges between Philippine HEIs and US community colleges.”
The partnership, De Vera added, also aims to “promote adult education” and to “adopt innovative practices” in community colleges for state universities and colleges (SUCs) and local universities and colleges (LUCs).
De Vera and CGACC Executive Director/Chief Executive Officer Zepur Solakia signed the MoU at the sidelines of the National Association for Foreign Student Advisers (NAFSA) conference held recently in Washington D.C.
“We are pushing this collaboration to create a platform where similarly-interested institutions can find areas of collaboration,” De Vera said. The Commission, he added, will “continue to increase funding for internationalization to assist HEIs link with universities abroad.”
De Vera explained that the MoU will focus on cooperation in the following areas: joint conferences, research activities and programs on community colleges; exchange of academic materials and publications; exchange of faculty members and students for research and lectures, and; development of capacity building programs on the governance and programs design delivery of community colleges.
Aside from De Vera and Solakia, also present during the signing ceremony were CHED Commissioner Ronald Adamat, Mariano Marcos State University President Shirley Agrupis, Polytechnic University of the Philippines Vice Presidents Anna Ruby Gapasin and Zenaida Sarmiento, Bataan Peninsula State University President Gregorio Rodis and Cotabato City Polytechnic College President Dammang Ban-tala.
Meanwhile, representatives from the College of the Canyons, Northern Virginia Community College, Pima College, Riverside Community College, Santa Barbara City College, Santa Monica College, Shoreline Community College, and Valencia College also joined the meeting.
De Vera said that the CHED and CGACC will “establish a joint working group to develop programs and projects between HEIs and community colleges” starting this year.