Presidents of six SMEC members institutions—Fr Marcelo Manimtim, CM of Adamson University; Dr Jose Paulo Campos of Emilio Aguinaldo College; Br Dennis Magbanua, FSC of De La Salle College of Saint Benilde; Dr Ester Ogena of Philippine Normal University; Dr Francisco Benitez of Philippine Women’s University; and Sr Ma Evangeline Anastacio of St Paul University Manila—joined by SMEC Executive Director Ma Victoria Dayao, represented the consortium in Wales last 10-13 October 2017 to share about opportunities for partnerships in the Philippines.
The weeklong activity included campus visits and meetings in Cardiff Metropolitan University, Swansea University, University of Wales Trinity Saint David, Aberystwyth University, and Cardiff and Vale College.
The presidents from SMEC sat down with the pro vice chancellors, deans and the international offices of the UK institutions to pin down possible collaboration areas. These include sending Filipino faculty to the UK for professional development programmes, development of postgraduate courses in various subject areas, mobility programmes for students, and joint research among others.
The Philippine delegation also took part in sessions with UK education agencies including Universities Wales, the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education, Universities UK International and the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales which were an opportunity to gain a better understanding of and learn about best practices in Welsh higher education.
“The Welsh universities visited were very welcoming and were very open to explore possibilities for student mobility and partnership in postgraduate education. Our Manila-based consortium looks forward to more opportunities to improve our educational offerings and student experience through this international collaboration,” shares Br Dennis Magbanua, president of SMEC.
Prior to the Welsh visit, founder and director of Education Insight Dr Janet Ilieva delivered a session on internationalisation of Philippine higher education to academics and staff of SMEC member institutions.
The forum in Wales is a follow-up activity to the leadership course delivered in Manila last December 2016 by Cardiff Metropolitan University where 120 leaders from 28 Philippine colleges and universities were present.