Monday 30 January 2017


The Philippines is poised to become a strong player in the ASEAN higher education with the launch of the Transnational Education linkages programme under the partnership of the British Council and the Commission on Higher Education.

The TNE linkages programme is a two-year programme that will link the Philippine and UK universities in an effort to upgrade the higher education offerings in the Philippines. It will provide capacity building and funding support to the Philippine higher education institutions to develop partnerships with UK higher education institutions, focusing on identified national priorities. 

Both the British Council and CHED have pre-selected ten universities based on their status as Centres of Excellence and Development, with extensive experience in internationalization work. 

The ten universities are Ateneo de Manila University, Central Luzon State University, University of Santo Tomas, University of San Carlos, Saint Louis University, Silliman University, Miriam College and De la Salle University

In November last year, they met with 17 UK higher education institutions (HEIs) in London to explore potential partnerships on specific areas of study identified by the Philippine government as national priorities. The identified national priorities were transportation studies, climate change, design engineering, education, tropical medicine and public health, energy, security and renewable energy, maritime engineering, social science, economics, oceanography, agriculture and digital innovation and creativity. 

In August last year, the British Council and CHED signed the operational alliance agreement for the TNE Links programme, designed to internationalise the country’s higher education through partnerships with UK universities. 

Janet Ilieva, Founder and Director at Education Insight, highlighted that the Philippines’ growing young population and rising wealth ‘continue to drive demand for higher education in the country.’ As one of the world’s fastest-growing economies, the Philippines relies on service industries and ‘depends heavily on the ability of the country to continuously innovate and upskill its workforce.’

With the ASEAN integration and with English a choice of instruction in higher education institutions, the Philippines is in a good position to respond to both the demands across the region and within the country to drive and sustain economic growth through developing higher education programmes.

Lotus Postrado, Head of Education at British Council Philippines, explains that the potential and lasting impact of the project lies in its ability to "draw on UK expertise and its leading position in global higher education, to trigger changes within the Philippine Higher Education sector, changes which will see new and long-standing partnerships forged against a new and exciting culture of international standards and ambition....We are breaking new ground and planting the seeds for real change within our universities and in how these institutions view and engage with the rest of the world, and in this case, with experienced and engaging UK partners".

During the TNE meeting in London last November, Silliman University signed an MOU with the University of Derby during the short meeting with UK universities last November 2016 for a joint certificate programme on Nursing in Extreme Condition. The programme development is on-going and discussions are currently underway for the other universities for the future TNE partnerships.