The British Council together with PACUCOA senior Leadership team, CHED Chairman J Prospero De Vera III, and higher education experts and representatives from the UK and the Philippines

Last 29-31 July 2019, the British Council together with the Philippine Association of Colleges and Universities Commission on Accreditation (PACUCOA) conducted the Orientation and Workshop on the Internationalisation of Higher Education (IHE) and Transnational Education (TNE) at the Crowne Plaza Manila Galleria. 

In his welcome address, PACUCOA Chair Dr Conrado Iñigo illustrated that accreditation helps institutions align with local and global standards. ‘We can propose the integration of internationalisation in the higher level of accreditation. Though quality education through voluntary accreditation is expensive, we firmly believe that the results of voluntary accreditation generate positive outcomes for PACUCOA schools,’ he mentioned.

The Commission on Higher Education (CHED) Chairman J. Prospero De Vera, who provided the keynote address on the second day, highlighted the importance of international partnerships in keeping abreast with other countries to upgrade the quality of higher education in the Philippines. 

He reiterated the need to institutionalise quality assurance frameworks to ensure that TNE programmes to be offered in the country are of supreme caliber. ‘We cannot rest on the success of the completion of the Joint Development of Niche Programmes (JDNP) Project. We must do more,’ de Vera added. JDNP is a collaboration project of CHED and the British Council. The project developed 17 TNE postgraduate courses between Philippines and UK universities in niche areas. 

CHED Commissioner Aldrin Darilag was also present in the event and delivered the keynote speech on the opening day. Higher education experts from the UK also attended the orientation and workshop. 

Kevin van Cauter of the British Council UK, Guy Perring of iGraduate, and Fabrizio Trifiro of UK Quality Assurance Agency were among the speakers who shared  their knowledge on strategies and approaches for a more robust internationalisation of higher education. Key experts from the University of the Philippines, University of Santo Tomas and Miriam College also shared rich insights and learnings from their internationalisation and TNE journey.

Over 400 senior PACUCOA accreditors and higher education institution (HEI) presidents and officials attended the first two days of the orientation. A smaller number of them stayed for the workshop on the last day that resulted to a draft quality assurance framework on internationalisation. PACUCOA aims to embed the IHE indicators in their accreditation standards. 

The draft QA framework on IHE will be piloted in selected PACUCOA member institutions this year and will be implemented widely in 2020.