British Council signs partnership agreements with CHED, SMEC

Wednesday 03 August 2016



The British Council in the Philippines formalised its partnership with the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) and the South Manila Education Consortium (SMEC) last 2 August at Marco Polo Hotel in Ortigas, in support of transnational education in the Philippines and the continued establishment of linkages between the UK and the Philippines.

Dr. Patricia Licuanan, Chairperson of Commission on Higher Education; and Nicholas Thomas, Country Director of the British Council in the Philippines sign the partnership agreements at the opening of the British Council-facilitated forum on transnational education.

The British Council and the Commission on Higher Education signed three agreements last 2 August, which cover science and research, HEI capacity building and funding support and the alignment Philippine credit transfer system with existing CTS.

The partnership agreement on Newton Agham Programme, launched with CHED last year, extends the partnership for another year and will expand the programme to include PhD scholarships intended for ten qualified higher education faculty and HEI staff.

Additional to this is the collaboration for the joint development of niche programmes, which sets out a two-year partnership between CHED and the British Council in providing capacity and funding support to the Philippine higher education institutions (HEIs) to develop and implement niche programmes in partnership with UK universities.

“The main focus today is the new and very exciting two-year programme to support transnational education links between the UK and the Philippines. The programme will offer seed funding and capacity building to put in place new and innovative programmes that will enable future Filipino students to benefit from the very best of both Philippine and UK education,” Nicholas Thomas, the country director of the British Council in the Philippines, said.

Through the programme, HEIs will build alliances and long-term collaborations which will enable them to acquire high quality international higher education to make them globally competitive.

“Apart from local opportunities it is clear to CHED that it is critical to also invest in building capacity in emerging fields that remain unavailable locally. Through our best faculty members who would go into those fields and in parallel to investing in faculty that we invest in upgrading our institutions so that they become a nurturing academic environment for our learners.” Dr Patricia Licuanan, Chairperson of the Commission on Higher Education, said.

The British Council and CHED has collaborated on several programmes in the past, including the development of the teaching guides for Senior High School on the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) strand which was launched last 29 July. Last year, the British Council and CHED co-funded institutional links between the Philippine Genome Centre and the London School for Hygiene and Tropical Medicine for modelling dengue outbreak; as well as between the De la Salle University and the University of Leicester for ICTs for disaster mitigation.

In addition to these partnerships, the British Council and the South Manila Education Consortium (SMEC), represented by Br. Dennis Magbanua, FSC, signed an operational agreement (OAA) on Leadership for Internationalisation Programme for University Presidents and Vice Presidents. This OAA aims to develop the skills of university leaders on internationalisation of education and through the programme raise the importance of incorporating internationalisation goals into the university’s overall vision and mission.