UPLB GS, RUA hold QA and program management training-writeshop

The UPLB Graduate School (GS) and the Royal University of Agriculture-Graduate School (RUA GS) held a training-writeshop program on quality assurance (QA) and graduate program management on Feb. 21-24. 

This is the second UPLB GS-led activity under the World Bank-funded Higher Education Improvement Project (HEIP) partnership between both institutions, the first one being a workshop tackling institutional outcomes and educational philosophy.

The writeshop aimed to assist RUA-GS in drafting their official handbook on QA and program management in graduate education.

Roadmap toward quality graduate education

At the opening program, Chancellor Jose V. Camacho, Jr. cited the importance of the handbook in serving as the “roadmap”  and “compass” of RUA in offering quality graduate education. 

He also  expressed gratitude to the Cambodian partners for the trust  and confidence that they gave to UPLB as a partner and assured them that the university will remain their “helpful and faithful companions” in implementing HEIP. 

In her welcome message, Prof. Dr. Seng Mom, RUA vice rector and HEIP coordinator,  expressed appreciation for the commitment of UPLB-GS to the project amid the tough challenges RUA-GS faced in offering and managing graduate education in the Kingdom of Cambodia. 

Both GS deans, Dr. Nguon Samnang of RUA and Dr. Jomar F. Rabajante of UPLB, delivered their welcome remarks to officially begin the training-writeshop while UPLB GS Associate Dean Ronilo Jose D. Flores discussed the activities in the training-writeshop consisting of lectures by UPLB experts on QA and program management. 

Quality assurance in graduate education

Dr. Nina M. Cadiz, UPLB Quality Assurance Officer and director of the Academic Assessment and Development Unit (AADU), discussed “Internal Quality Assurance: Self-Assessment Reports (SAR) at the Programme Level.” 

Dr. Cadiz explained the importance of an internal quality assurance for higher education institutions and gave a snapshot of SAR making.

The second lecture on QA was delivered by UPLB GS Assistant Secretary Rhea Ledesma-Gumasing. She explained that quality management in higher education can be assessed through a systems approach that involves collaborative efforts in teaching, student service delivery, administration, and research. 

Graduate program management

To share with their RUA counterparts the best practices of UPLB GS in program management, Dean Rabajante talked about the existing policies and structures being observed in managing and offering graduate programs at GS. He also discussed the steps in proposing and instituting new programs at UP. 

Dr. Maria Genaleen Diaz, chair of the UPLB Molecular Biology and Biotechnology program, shared their experiences in implementing the said interdisciplinary graduate program. 

Her discussion included the structures, administration of courses, and graduate student advising schemes in what is considered a unique program offering of UPLB GS.

Closer look at handbook writing

During the second day of the training write-shop, the participants were provided with a closer look at GS processes, rules, and regulations. The Graduate Program Management Committee (GPMC) scheme was also highlighted by GS Secretary Pamela Custodio.

The participants then discussed and drafted the initial outline of the RUA-GS handbook based on the lectures. The outline was then presented to the experts for consultation.

Afterwards, Dr. Edmund Centeno, director of the UPLB Center of Advanced Training and Learning, shared the best practices in handbook writing, layouting, and designing.

Each lecture was followed by an open forum  where the participants, organizers, and the invited experts discussed how RUA-GS can improve their graduate education services. 

The remaining days of the training-writeshop were solely devoted to the actual handbook writing, consultations, progress presentations, with the activities’ synthesis made by RUA-GS Dean Nguon Samnang.

The writeshop was formally concluded by Dr. Anna Floresca F. Firmalino, director of the Office of International Linkages. She described the event as the beginning of an improved RUA-GS and said that the operating handbook may serve as a model for other institutions in RUA. 

RUA GS is expected to present their updated and approved handbook on QA and program management in future partnership activities. The four-day training-writeshop was moderated by Keirth France Eymard Manio, project staff of UPLB GS for the HEIP partnership. 

The HEIP is supported by the Ministry of Education, Youth, and Sports of the Kingdom of Cambodia. (KFEMManio)

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