The strengths and areas for improvement of UPLB’s BS Chemical Engineering (BS ChE) and Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) programs were revealed during the closing program of the five-day ASEAN University Network-Quality Assurance Programme Assessment on Oct. 30.
From Oct. 26 to 30, UPLB underwent the said undertaking in its quest to secure its sixth and seventh AUN-QA certificates through BS ChE and DVM. The said certificates will ascertain the quality of these programs vis-a-vis the existing standards and practices in ASEAN.
During the closing program, the AUN-QA assessors presented their preliminary findings based on interviews with the college administration, faculty members, academic and support staff, students, alumni, and employers; review of documents, including the Self-Assessment Reports; and virtual campus tour. All of these were held online via Zoom.
The preliminary findings were categorized based on the program itself, university and college resources, and results.
According to the assessors, among the strengths of BS ChE are its comprehensive Programme Learning Outcomes (PLOs); its orientation towards outcomes-based education (OBE); its now four-year curriculum with new courses such as Innovationeering and Engineering Industry Research; the mastery of its academic staff; the numerous researches and high research outputs of its personnel; and the regular job fair for its students, to name a few.
Meanwhile, some of the strengths of DVM are its PLOs that are aligned to UPLB’s mission-vision and the requirements of the Commission on Higher Education; its theoretical lectures, laboratory and clinical work, and undergraduate thesis that allow students to apply their learnings; its good teaching and learning facilities, including the hospital for small animals which the assessors described as impressive; the established record of passing and drop out rates; and the periodic evaluation of the curriculum.
Dr. Yahaya Md. Sam, chief assessor from the University Teknologi Malaysia, stressed that UPLB can be proud of its high quality graduates of BS ChE and DVM, whom the employers are happy about for their technical and adaptive skills and for being fast learners.
On the other hand, among the common areas for improvement of BS ChE and DVM, the assessors said, are the need to involve the alumni and employer sectors in curriculum development; enhancing the OBE component in terms of curriculum and training of faculty; the use of blended learning; and the development of an evaluation system that will monitor the academic status of the students.
The assessors were Sam and Dr.Kageeporn Wongpreedee of Srinakharinwirot University (SWU), Thailand for BS ChE; and Dr. Ngo Van Thuyen of Ho Chi Minh City University of Technology and Education, Vietnam and Dr. Porngarm Virutamasen of SWU for DVM.
“QA is a never-ending journey. AUN-QA will continue pursuing the development of quality education in our region,” said assessor Dr. Thuyen.
Leading the UPLB contingents during the virtual program was Dr. Fernando C. Sanchez, Jr., who made his last public appearance for a university event as UPLB chancellor before his term ends on Oct. 31.
“Rest assured that your observations, comments, and suggestions for BS ChE and DVM programs will be considered and incorporated as UPLB continues to evolve and improve,” Dr. Sanchez said to the AUN-QA representatives.
Joining the closing program were Dr. Choltis Dhirathiti, executive director of AUN, and UP System’s Dr. Maria Cynthia Rose Bautista, vice president for academic affairs, and Dr. Alyssa Alampay, assistant vice president for academic affairs (academic assessment and development system).
Also present were UPLB’s Dr. Rex Demafelis, past vice chancellor for research and extension and a professor of chemical engineering; Dr. Maribel Dionisio-Sese, university registrar; and Dr. Nina Cadiz, director of the Academic Assessment and Development Unit.
The workforce of the College of Engineering and Agro-industrial Technology and College of Veterinary Medicine also attended the program, led by their respective deans, Dr. Arnold Elepaño and Dr. Jezie Acorda. (Mark Jayson E. Gloria)