The British Council, in partnership with the South Manila Educational Consortium (SMEC), organised a series of workshop designed for university leaders. The Leadership for Internationalisation Programme, developed and delivered by Cardiff Metropolitan University on 2 to 8 December at Hotel Benilde, aimed to equip top-and mid-level leaders in higher education institutions with leadership and management capacity that will enable their institutions to function effectively internationally.
Following the ASEAN Economic Integration and the major K to 12 education reform, Philippine colleges and universities now operate in an increasingly international higher education environment—students have become more mobile, international academic cooperation has intensified and the number of transnational education programmes has risen. In response, more pressure has now been placed on Philippine institutions to embrace the strategy of going global, especially now that they are poised to compete with the major players in Southeast Asia.
The five-day programme was designed to prepare leaders to meet these emerging global trends and challenges in the sector. It introduced the range of opportunities brought by internationalisation in higher education and explored the components of successful international partnerships. By using Cardiff Metropolitan University’s experience as a case study and engaging in group workshops, participants were able to identify key features of an international strategy that would fit the context of their institutions.
Professor Mohamed Loutfi, Pro Vice-Chancellor (International) at Cardiff Metropolitan University, shared in a videotaped message that the course is of high importance to both the Philippines and the UK in boosting education and leadership within the sector. He added Cardiff Met’s wide international presence and partnerships across 20 countries around the world including Malaysia Singapore and Vietnam.
The programme comprised of three individual modules—one for presidents, another for vice-presidents and deans, and the last for programme directors and coordinators—making it the first of its kind in the Philippines. In line with the British Council’s education strategy and SMEC’s thrust to integrate international standards, the course sets the tone for the succeeding collaboration between the two organisations, including a study tour and a partnership forum of Philippine higher education leaders in the UK, which would eventually catalyse partnerships between SMEC institutions and UK universities.