Philippines, China sign deal to boost academic cooperation
MANILA, Philippines – The Philippines and China signed on Thursday, August 29, a memorandum of understanding (MOU) in order to fast-track cooperation between the two countries in matters of higher education.
Commission on Higher Education (CHED) Chaiperson Prospero De Vera III and China Foreign Minister Wang Yi signed the MOU during President Rodrigo Duterte's visit to China – his fifth time in the country since assuming power in 2016.
According to CHED, the MOU "signifies the mutual commitment of [China and the Philippines] to push for the internationalization of universities in both countries."
CHED said that in order to hasten the collaboration between the agency and its Chinese counterpart, the MOU will focus on the following:
- Mutual recognition of degrees to promote lifelong learning and the practices of profession in both countries
- Increasing the number of universities recognized by both countries in their registry
- Scholarships, training programs, and country visits for teachers and students
- Information sharing on the structure of higher education, academic quality, performance standards, evaluation of results, methodology development, student affairs, and qualifications frameworks
- Establishment of credit transfer arrangements
- Strengthening cooperation in the study of languages and the establishment of additional Confucius Institutes in the Philippines
- Promotion of participation in educational congresses, conferences, workshops, symposiums, training courses, and exhibits
De Vera said that the agreement would "improve the quality of education available to our students."
"This academic cooperation manifests our collaborative efforts to deepen and expand support and opportunities to develop future-ready graduates and contribute to innovation and technology for economic growth and national competitiveness for both countries," De Vera added.
As a result of the MOU, CHED and its counterpart agency in China are to establish this year a joint working group to develop projects between higher education institutions in both countries.
"Other relevant government agencies of the two countries or other relevant institutions which are authorized by the two governments may participate in the joint working group," according to CHED.
CHED had signed a similar deal with the Center for Global Advancement of Community Colleges (CGACC), a US-based group, earlier in May.
The goal of the partnership was likewise to strengthen student and faculty exchanges between the US and the Philippines, "to promote adult education, and to adopt innovative practices in community colleges for state universities and colleges and local universities and colleges." – Janelle Paris/Rappler.com