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Philippines: “Come home after studying abroad”

Philippine education secretary Armin Luistro has called for Filipinos to return home after studying abroad, warning the country is losing its best students.

He commended plans to put Filipino education on par with global standards

Secretary of Education Armin Luistro is confident in the Philippines’s new revamped education system but urges students to return after studying abroad

Speaking at the European Higher Education Fair he did not denounce outbound mobility but said: “We need to transform this vicious cycle of our best and brightest going abroad and never coming back.”

Luistro also commended plans to put Filipino education on par with global standards, discussing the extension of the public education system this year from a 10 to 12-year curriculum (K-12).

Sheldon Shaeffer, director at the Bureau of Education of Unesco, Asia Pacific, has said the programme is necessary “to make the system comparable to and competitive with other countries”. It is also likely to help more Filipinos win places on overseas courses.

“We are more than ready to become real partners with the European Union”

Luistro also said he wanted to bring more overseas students to the country which is gaining popularity for its affordable university and English language courses. According to the Philippine Immigration Bureau, more than 24,000 people have applied for a study permit this year – compared to fewer than 8,000 just four years ago.

Interest is said to be coming from neighbouring Asian countries and Europe, particularly in English language teaching which the Philippine government has promoted extensively since 2005.

“I think we are more than ready to engage again in a new mode that will allow us to become real partners with the European Union in terms of competitiveness,” Luistro said.

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