Last December 2021, the British Council hosted a consultation workshop with the Philippine Commission on Higher Education (CHED), local accreditation agencies and select universities to validate the draft internationalisation quality assurance (QA) indicators for Philippine state universities and colleges.
With CHED recognising the role of internationalisation as a driver of quality and relevant opportunities, we collaborate with various partners to re-engineer policies that will compel higher education institutions (HEIs) to internationalise. We continue to engage universities and help them understand the pathways to boost their internationalisation initiatives—leading to greater impacts on their institutions and student journey.
To integrate internationalisation standards in HEIs, an initial QA classification system has been developed. The proposed internationalisation QA metrics feature four accreditation levels covering six areas: philosophy, faculty, instruction, research, student services and governance.
Although this has been a huge development in internationalisation in the Philippines, participants argued that not many universities have the capacity to work on internationalisation QA. Student mobility and services, as well as the perception that internationalisation is a capital-intensive initiative, have been considered by many institutions as main challenges.
Nonetheless, experts still recognised the small-scale internationalisation efforts of public universities. With this, experts included Level 0 in the metrics to recognise initiatives and to reinforce support for HEIs aiming for higher accreditation levels. Conversely, a Level V was also raised for universities that have transcended the national standards.
Additionally, more articulations on inclusion on the QA indicators are recommended, as it is also a key component of the Sustainable Development Goals.
CHED International Affairs Staff Director Atty. Lily Milla emphasised, ’[Internationalisation] is really more than QA. This is quality, inclusivity and sustainability in [higher education]’.
We anticipate that these will also allow HEIs to assess their own initiatives and provide clear pathways for the internationalisation of higher education in the Philippines.
The final policy paper and metrics will be submitted to CHED for its adoption and implementation.
The workshop is part of the British Council’s wider work in institutionalising internationalisation in Philippine higher education. In 2019, we inked a partnership with the Philippine Association of Colleges and Universities Commission on Accreditation (PACUCOA) to develop and implement similar metrics for private HEIs.