DLSU Vice President for External Relations and Externalization Dr Laurene Chua-Garcia (third from left) joins as panel speaker at the conference ©

British Council

The De La Salle University (DLSU) and South Manila Educational Consortium (SMEC) took part in the UK–East Asia Higher Education Forum in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia last 31 October 2019. Organised by the British Council, in collaboration with the Association of Commonwealth Universities, the forum focused on the contribution of higher education institutions to local, regional and global development. 

Stakeholders from the academe, government agencies, the private sector and the civil society discussed their roles and contributions to pioneering innovation in research. The three panel sessions also touched on teaching and learning, integrating social entrepreneurship in institutional goals and achieving the Sustainable Development Goals within the context of higher education. With multi-stakeholders in attendance, the education forum also served as a venue for participants to explore partnership opportunities on social innovation within East Asia and with the UK.

In a session on Innovation in Teaching and Learning, DLSU Vice President for External Relations and Externalization Dr Laurene Chua-Garcia discussed at length about #WeCAN, or Collaborations among ASEAN’s Higher Education Institutions through SDG for Sustainable and Inclusive Development. #WeCAN is an initiative of the DLSU Center for Social Concern and Action (COSCA) through the Lasallian Social Enterprise for Economic Development (LSEED) program that seeks to provide a venue for collaboration between ASEAN countries in areas of social entrepreneurship and innovation. Dr Chua-Garcia highlighted DLSU’s commitment in localising the SDGs, as demonstrated with each unit of the university implementing at least one sustainable social engagement project.

SMEC also joined the conference in an effort to boost social innovation in the city of Manila via their member higher education institutions. Representing SMEC at the conference was Executive Director Victoria Dayao.

Other presenters in the panel sessions include the Sime Darby Foundation, National Innovation Agency of Thailand, De Montfort University, Yonsei University, Kuala Lumpur-based social enterprise PichaEats, Sunway iLabs, Hong Kong Social Enterprise Challenge, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Strathclyde University, Thammasat University, Universitas Prasetiya Mulya,Transformative Innovation Policy Consortium, University of Malaya, University of Liverpool, and Nanyang Technological University.