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About the Project

The British Council in the Philippines has been working closely with the Commission on Higher Education (CHED), the government agency responsible for higher education in the Philippines, on several projects since 2016. One of these collaborations is the Joint Development of Niche Programmes through Philippine-UK Linkages (JDNP), a pilot project on transnational education (TNE). Through partnerships between 11 Philippine and nine UK universities, we introduced 17 UK-Philippine master’s and PhD degrees in niche areas.

In 2020, the British Council’s partnership with CHED expanded through the approval of the Access and Competitiveness through Internationalisation of Higher Education (ACT-IHE). The new project seeks to widen access to quality education and build competitiveness of Filipino higher education institutions on international higher education by strengthening their capacity to internationalise. ACT-IHE contributes to the Philippines’ efforts in modernising higher education through internationalisation and TNE. Outputs of the project include the creation of five new UK-Philippine postgraduate programmes, crafting of a TNE toolkit in the Philippines and provision of capacity development for Philippine government agencies in support of the implementation of the Transnational Higher Education Law.

JDNP and ACT-IHE are part of CHED’s broader efforts to produce quality degree programmes that align with international standards. These are part of the Philippines’ wider goal of increasing recognition of education or experience, certifications, licenses and other professional qualifications of Filipinos in other countries and vice versa. It reflects Philippines’ aspiration for successful integration of Filipinos in national and international labour market. Within the country, there exists a national policy since 2012 (Executive Order No. 83, s. 2012) that institutionalises a quality-assured national system for the development, recognition and award of qualifications. The Philippine Qualifications Framework (PQF) outlines the different levels of educational qualifications and sets the standards for qualification outcomes. One of the goals of the national policy is to align the PQF with international qualifications framework to support mobility and increase the recognition and comparability of Philippine qualifications.

The Philippines’ experience has been in the negotiation of bilateral Mutual Recognition of Professional Qualifications (MRPQ) for select types of professions to fill the demand of specific labour markets such teaching, nursing and engineering. With the adoption of the K to 12 Basic Education programme, which brought Philippine education up to par with global standards, the country is now better positioned to explore MRPQs and Mutual Recognition Agreements (MRA) with other countries.

MRAs and MRPQs exist within ASEAN Member States on seven professional qualifications: engineering, nursing, architecture, land surveying, medical, dental and accountancy. Outside of Southeast Asia, trade agreements with other countries (e.g. Japan) include MRAs. In line with its interest to increase recognition of Philippine qualifications internationally, CHED is expanding these negotiations to other countries like New Zealand and the UK, to name a few. In November 2017, CHED and the New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA) implemented a project on the comparative analysis of New Zealand and Philippine bachelor’s degrees which explored approaches to assessment and certification and better understand the qualifications frameworks of both countries. In 2021, a draft joint report was developed. The outputs produced and the processes that the parties underwent serve as a springboard for CHED to establish similar arrangement with other countries.

With the growing number of UK-Philippine TNE partnerships, CHED has expressed interest to explore an arrangement with the UK on further increasing the recognition of qualifications between the two countries. Through this, CHED hopes to facilitate seamless mobility of students and professionals between the UK and the Philippines.

Consultant requirements

We are looking for a UK consultant to provide technical assistance to CHED in producing a template for the contextual analysis of Philippine bachelor’s degree qualifications which CHED can use for the comparability processes with other countries, including the UK. The UK consultant will be doing this through a review and analysis of the draft Philippines-NZ Quality Assurance comparability report.

The following essential and desirable criteria for the role are as follows:

  • Must have extensive knowledge and experience on international higher education or comparative education, particularly in the UK and Southeast Asia, and must be able to provide evidence of similar work and engagement conducted previously. (Essential)
  • Must have expertise in National Qualifications Frameworks and in Quality Assurance systems and procedures, and experience in developing and reviewing referencing and comparability processes. (Essential)
  • Must have worked on a project in Philippine higher education and must be able to provide evidence of this work. (Essential)
  • Must demonstrate experience working with diverse, multicultural teams. (Essential)
  • The consultant must be able to deliver the entire project virtually. (Essential)
  • Availability to provide regular updates via call, email and Microsoft Teams. (Essential)

How to apply

The documents that must be submitted to form your proposal are listed at Part 2 (Submission Checklist) of Annex 2 (Supplier Proposal) to this RFP. All documents required as part of your proposal should be submitted to Pierre.Pecson@britishcouncil.org.ph by the response deadline, as set out in the timescales section of this RFP.

Response deadline

Deadline for clarification questions (Clarification deadline) Sunday, 03 July 2022
Deadline for submission of proposals (Response deadline) Sunday, 10 July 2022
Final decision Tuesday, 12 July 2022
Contract start date Monday, 25 July 2022

Further information

All clarification requests should be submitted to Pierre Pecson, Education Manager, at Pierre.Pecson@britishcouncil.org.ph by the clarification deadline, as set out in the timescales section of this RFP.