IN BROADSTROKES January 2015: More doors opened as 2015 unfolded
More doors opened as 2015 unfolded
More doors have been opened as UPLB welcomed 2015. The continuous flow of potential international partners assures UPLB a flourishing participation in the international academic community. This development is very timely as President Alfredo E. Pascual has called for intensified internationalization of our graduate programs at the recently concluded UPLB Graduate Faculty Conference held in Tagaytay City on 15-16 February. The same occasion also saw AVP and International Linkages Director Rhodora V. Azanza reaffirming internationalization as the way to go for UP.
For the month of January 2015 alone, UPLB welcomed academicians from France, Russia, Japan, and Korea. We met with representatives from France’s University of Bordeaux and University of Pau and Pays de l’Adour at the French Embassy in Makati City on 5 January. The discussions hinted at joint degree program offerings of UPLB with the 574-year old institution and southwestern France’s third largest public and secular university, respectively.
On 23 January, we also sat down for an exploratory meeting with Russia’s Primorskaya State Academy of Agriculture. The said academy is situated strategically near China, Japan, and Korea, and its representatives came to explore possible academic cooperation with UPLB.
Meanwhile, Japanese Setanorian High School and Korean investors also visited the University premises on 7 January to learn more about UPLB. The Korean visitors explored the possibility of hosting English learning institutes at UPLB in the mold of the partnership we have with Kyungnam University of Korea.
Amid our aggressive internationalization efforts, we never and we should not forget to nurture our linkages with local and national stakeholders. As the National University and as a public service university, our doors have always been wide open for the Filipino people. In fact, we hosted three separate events with local and national leaders for the month of February.
Our roundtable discussion with local government officials of Los Baños led by the Honorable Mayor Caesar P. Perez on 6 February highlighted our mutual position to continue to nurture a harmonious relationship with each other. Also mong the topics discussed with the LB LGU officials were security, future collaborative projects in instruction, research, and public service to enhance the living conditions and livelihood of the communities.
Meanwhile, Camarines Sur Representative, Hon. Maria Leonor “Leni” G. Robredo inspired the UPLB community as she shared her ideals and thoughts on governance and ethics during the 17th Anniversary of the College of Public Affairs and Development on 4 February. Our netizens praised Hon. Robredo on social media for her emulative brand of leadership and humility as they tuned in during the forum’s livestreaming courtesy of the Information Technology Center.
Senate Majority Floor Leader Hon. Alan Peter S. Cayetano also paid a visit to UPLB to discuss Republic Act No. 10648, or the “Iskolar ng Bayan Act of 2014” during a forum held at the CEAT Electrical Engineering building on 6 February. The bill, authored by Senator Cayetano, provides college scholarship to top public high school students. UPLB students, together with students of the Los Baños National High School, voiced out their concerns about the law and the country’s education sector during the forum.
At the heart of these proactive and responsive external relations is our concern to bring the best to our “Iskolar ng Bayan.” As the Second Semester of the new academic calendar unfolded, we extended the registration period to give more time for our students to settle their financial obligations and class schedules.
We are also laying the groundwork for the implementation of the K-12 program anticipating the changes that it would bring to our undergraduate curricula. As a proactive step, the UPLB General Education Council held a two-day conference workshop, the results of which were presented at the UP System GE Workshop on 5-6 February in Tagaytay.
True to our commitment towards One UP and the use of integrative interdisciplinary approaches in our programs, we have thrown our full support and cooperation behind the offering of the Professional Masters in Tropical Marine Ecosystems Management (PM-TMEM) that aims to build capabilities of on-the-job environmental managers through a specialization in marine protected areas. THE PM-TMEM is offered through an inter-CU collaboration with UP Visayas and UP Diliman. In UPLB, courses under the PM-TMEM are offered at the College of Forestry and Natural Resources and the School of Environmental Science and Management to students specializing in watershed management. The course was developed with funding from the USAID.
We launched two books before 2014 ended. The first is entitled Microalgae of the Seven Lakes of San Pablo City and Crocodile Lake of Los Baños authored by Dr. Macrina T. Zafaralla (11 December 2014). Another book entitled Changing Philippine Climate: Impacts on Agriculture and Natural Resources (launched 10 October 2014) was written by coordinating lead authors Josefino C. Comiso, Catalino A. Blanche, Terry I. Sarigumba, Ma. Victoria O. Espaldon, and Felino P. Lansigan and lead authors Nestor T. Baguinon, Roger C. Birosel, Jesusita O. Coladilla, Rex Victor O. Cruz, Leonardo M. Florece, Rafael D. Guerrero III, Rodel D. Lasco, Rosa T. Perez, Juan M. Pulhin, and Lourdes V. Tibig.
The events of January have shown to us that we are engaging stakeholders at the local, national, and international levels to become a globally competitive university, yet fully relevant and responsive to the needs of our country.