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CGACC signs cooperation with Philippines

A joint statement on education cooperation was signed between the US advocacy group Centre of Global Advancement of Community Colleges and the Philippines’ Commission on Higher Education during the NAFSA conference.

Holding the signed agreement, Solakian(l) and De Vera (r) with the respective delegations. Photo: The PIE News

An area attendees also discussed was online delivery

The meeting was led by CGACC executive director and CEO Zepur Solakian and CHED’s chairman J. Prospero E. De Vera III.

“We are hoping to demystify the concept of community colleges and communicate the benefits”

On the CGACC team, representatives of several community colleges across the US attended the meeting, while the CHED was accompanied by a delegation including Embassy and institutions’ representatives, and vice consul Darell Ann R. Artates.

The attendees discussed how the cooperation could take shape in the future, focusing on education collaboration and two-way mobility of staff and students.

For Solakian, it was also a chance to advance recognition of community colleges on the global stage.

“We are hoping to demystify the concept of community colleges and communicate the benefits of studying in one of our institutions – the higher middle class in the Philippines would be very much attracted to this area, particularly some subject areas such as nursing,” she said.

Solakian explained that CGACC is communicating with the CHED group to kickstart the partnership.

The ideal way to go, she explained, would be forming two committees: one at the leadership level, aimed at fostering institutional partnerships, and the other at the international student level, focused on student mobility.

During the meeting, De Vera explained that the Commission had increased funding for internationalisation “very aggressively” over the past two years and explained that the Philippines have collaboration agreements with Canada and the UK on education internationalisation.

“In the US we are exploring where we can go. This exploratory meeting is crucial,” he said.

Lifelong learning is another area US community colleges, with their strong ties with industry, could lend their expertise on, attendees discussed.

Online delivery was another talking point, which De Vera said the Commission is encouraging universities to invest in to maximise technology in the delivery of education and increase access to higher education.

“Open distance learning is a strategy to increase access… I am sure there are many universities in the Philippines who would be interested in that,” he said.


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