The British Council and the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) are partnering for the ‘Access and Competitiveness through Internationalisation of Higher Education’ or ACT-IHE project. This comes as the global community celebrates the International Day of Education with the theme 'Recover and Revitalize Education for the COVID-19 Generation' on 24 January.
ACT-IHE is a PHP 117-million project between the Philippines and the UK for Filipino learners to have wider access to quality higher education and make universities in the Philippines more globally competitive. The project will create new transnational education (TNE) partnerships between the UK and Philippine universities, support students to earn internationally recognised qualifications and enhance the use of English as a medium of education in the country.
‘This partnership will expand bilateral cooperation in higher education between the Philippines and the UK,’ said UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) Minister for Asia Nigel Adams during his visit to Manila last November 2020. ‘Through the project, we will facilitate exchanges of expertise and create new academic partnerships between our two countries.’
The three-year project ‘will contribute to the development of people’s potential in areas critical for the economic and social development of the Philippines,’ explained Pilar Aramayo Prudencio, Country Director of the British Council.
‘With the help of CHED, we will provide TNE scholarship grants to Filipinos. These grants will focus on niche areas in response to the Philippine government’s goals of building local expertise in national priority areas, especially in academic fields where there are few or no local programmes available,’ she added.
The project builds on the success of the previous CHED-British Council project, the Joint Development of Niche Programmes through Philippines-UK Linkages, which pioneered UK-Philippine TNE degrees in niche areas such as data science, tropical biological oceanography and sustainable food systems. Through TNE, Filipinos can now access UK degrees in the Philippines and gain global qualifications through postgraduate programmes offered by Philippine institutions in partnership with UK universities.
‘As the education sector moves to recover from the impact of the pandemic, we are confident that our project with the British Council will help build the resilience of the higher education sector as we explore and create flexible, innovative models of collaboration and delivery of higher education programmes,’ noted Atty Lily Milla, CHED Director for International Affairs.