The Office for Institutional Development in Higher Education (OIDHE) has started to network with higher education institutions (HEIs) in the country in pursuit of its mandate to help in their capacity building.
At the Linkage and Opportunities Meeting held on March 30 via video conference, OIDHE and Graduate School (GS) officials presented to the participants OIDHE’s programs and UPLB’s postgraduate courses and application requirements and procedures.
The participants, composed of representatives of state universities and colleges (SUCs), local universities and colleges (LUCs), special chartered public HEIs (SCPs) and private universities and colleges (PUCs), numbered 130 at audience peak.
In his message given at the meeting, Chancellor Jose V. Camacho, Jr. said that with OIDHE in place, the intent to connect, collaborate, and capacitate HEIs is institutionalized and prioritized. He also expressed his excitement to see “what more we can do together to future-proof the quality of higher education in the country.”
“As the national university, UP is mandated to take on a distinctive higher leadership role in higher education and development in the country, and we are always ready and willing to perform our duties in the service of the nation,” Chancellor Camacho added.
OIDHE was created in UPLB on Sept. 24, 2020. According to Dr. Greg Pawilen, OIDHE director, it is a brainchild of three leaders in higher education. These are the chair of the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) and the UP Board of Regents, Dr. Prospero E. de Vera III; Chancellor Camacho who was then the dean of UPLB GS, and former UPLB chancellor, Dr. Fernando C. Sanchez, Jr.
OIDHE is envisioned to provide strong leadership and a robust support system in the development of higher education in the Philippines.
According to Dr. Pawilen, OIDHE’s programs are in the areas of leadership development, curriculum and academic program development, human resource development, and collaborative research development.
Its creation is aligned with Republic Act No. 9500 or the UP Charter of 2008 that tasks the university to lead in setting academic standards and initiating innovations in teaching, research, and faculty development, and to serve as a public service university.
Dr. Pawilen reported that based on CHED data, the country has 1,949 HEIs of which 112 are SUCs with 430 satellite campuses, 103 are LUCs, 13 are SCPs, and 1,721 are PUCs.
He further said that OIDHE is based in UPLB because these HEIs are mostly or have been created as agricultural schools.
UPLB has a history of networking with agricultural schools through various organizations such as the Philippine Association of State Universities and Colleges and through the implementation of research programs.
Rocky Marcelino, program coordinator for academic collaboration of OIDHE, presented the programs of OIDHE. He enjoined the participants to look into UPLB’s “strong GS” (programs) and said that OIDHE will also help provide scholarships and grants for prospective students consistent with its mission to connect, collaborate, and capacitate.
Marcelino said that through OIDHE, UPLB is bringing “UPLB and its experts to the doorsteps of SUCs and LUCs, and HEIs.” He further explained that OIDHE takes care of the local end of institutional partnerships for UPLB while the Office for International Linkages takes care of international partnerships.
Among the upcoming programs of OIDHE are a forum on local history with the Department of Social Science and a training on statistical tools for research with the Institute of Statistics.
Marcelino discussed the engagement process with the HEIs, which he said must begin with the latter expressing its intent through a letter or even through informal means of communication. This will then be followed by the drafting of a memorandum of understanding/agreement, the implementation, and finally, the assessment.
Dr. Jomar F. Rabajante, dean of GS, and Dr. Rhea L. Gumasing, its assistant school secretary, also gave presentations during the webinar. Dr. Rabajante discussed the various postgraduate programs of UPLB and scholarship programs such as CHED Sikap that HEIs may avail themselves of for their faculty and staff. Dr. Gumasing discussed the process of and requirements for application to GS.
Dr. Ronilo Jose D. Flores, coordinator for leadership and development of OIDHE served as the emcee and facilitator of the webinar and open forum. (Josephine M. Bo)