10th CALOHEA National Meeting at Ateneo de Manila University Highlighted Student Workload Measurement Challenges to Student Mobility and Internationalisation of the Philippine Higher Education

The 10th CALOHEA National Meeting was successfully held on 21 – 22 September 2023 at Ateneo de Manila University, the Philippines. The meeting coincided with the CALOHEA Capacity Building: Implementing Student Workload Measurements for More Effective and Holistic Learning Outcomes in the Philippines’ Higher Education”, organized by the International Tuning Academy, University of Groningen (RUG), and ASEAN University Network (AUN). Brimming with knowledge sharing sessions, policy dialogue and breakout workshop sessions, the eventful National Meeting garnered the attendance and interest of over 220 guests, most of whom were academics and higher education professionals; 65 were on-site participants while 160 attended the sessions online.

The two-day hybrid event brought together multinational top management, experts, policy makers as well as CALOHEA representatives and practitioners to showcase and discuss the project’s mechanisms and their potential roles in contributing to region-wide HEIs internationalization. In the context of the Philippines, this meeting put an emphasis on the country’s pressing Student Workload Measurement issues which contextualize much of the country’s higher education challenges and future development frameworks. It also served as a great opportunity to showcase how the project’s 3 Recognition Mechanisms can be the key to enhance the country’s student and academic mobility, life-long learning and internationalization.

Knowledge Sharing Sessions and Policy Dialogue on Student Workload Challenges to Philippine Higher Education Recognition, Mobility and Internationalisation

The first day of the event began with opening remarks by Fr. Roberto C. Yap, President of Ateneo de Manila University, and Dr. Maria Yarosh from Tuning Academy, University of Groningen respectively. In his opening speech to welcome participants and guests, Fr. Roberto C. Yap emphasized on the shared vision of higher education institutions on ensuring opportunities and access to future-proof high-quality education to the students, and how ASEAN HEIs are being challenged and emboldened to look for new ways of teaching and learning amidst the shifting global landscape, citing the CALOHEA project as a potential solution to help with region-wide internationalization efforts by creating new core recognition mechanisms.

Likewise, Dr. Maria Yarosh mentioned in her opening speech describing the CALOHEA National Meeting, which was also the second CALOHEA Dissemination Meeting in the Philippines, served as an exciting opportunity to discuss and learn from the guests and participants based their active participation throughout the event and feedback on the CALOHEA project’s recognition mechanism implemented so far in the Philippines and, in extension, Southeast Asia.

Fr. Roberto C. Yap and Dr. Maria Yarosh during the opening ceremonies

Following the opening ceremonies, Dr. Maria Yarosh and Mr. Korn Ratanagosoom, First officer and Chief Strategy Officer of the ASEAN University Network proceeded to give the audience an overview on the work progress of the CALOHEA project in Southeast Asia and the world. Their presentations included the introduction of the CALOHEA Recognition Mechanisms, the current state of student mobility.

(From the left) Jeraldine Ching, host and moderator, Ateneo de Manila University, together with Dr. Maria Yarosh and Mr. Korn Ratanagosoom during Q&A following the presentation under the topic “CALOHEA Project Overview in South East Asia and the world”

After the presentation, the participants embarked in the policy dialogue focusing on the prospects of student workload challenges to the promotion of student mobility, degree recognition and internationalization under the national HEIs context of the Philippines.

The first half of the dialogue presented views from top management and policy makers in charge of degree recognition mechanisms from the government and the universities, quality assurance agencies and international relations offices. The speakers in this part of the policy dialogue included Dr. Edizon A. Fermin, Vice President for Academic Affairs, National Teachers College and Chair of Commission on Higher Education (CHED) Technical Panel for Teacher Education and Ms. Cristina M. Alikpala, Assistant Vice President for University Partnerships and Internationalisation, Ateneo de Manila University. During his presentation, Dr. Fermin also shared the insights of Atty Lily Freida M Milla, Director, International Affairs Service, CHED, who was unable to attend the event.

The second part of the policy dialogue covered the perspectives of academic staff and faculty members on how international quality standardization and student mobility can be achieved. Key points in this session include the ongoing trends, norms and policy related to student mobility and internationalization, the importance of curriculum design, planning and management, desired teaching traits and competencies, as well as the diversification of student and academic mobility programmes to best support each student’s individual life-long learning plan and aspiration. This part of the dialogue was presented by Dr. Norman Dennis E. Marquez, Assistant Vice President for Health, Care and Well-Being of Ateneo de Manila University, and Ms. Julianne Gatdula, President, Civil Engineering Society (CES), De La Salle University and Ms. Theresa Nebres Ladrido, High School Principal from Xavier School, San Juan.

At the end of each presentation, the audience were welcomed and encouraged to engage directly in a quick Q&A session with the speakers and exchange ideas, insights and questions they might have on the topics of discussion.

Dr. Edizon A. Fermin presenting his insights during his presentation.
(From the left) The Q&A session with the speakers: Ms. Theresa Nebres Ladrido, Ms. Julianne Gatdula and Dr. Norman Dennis E. Marquez, with Dr. Maria Yarosh as moderator

Capacity Building and Workshop Sessions on Three CALOHEA Subject Areas

In the afternoon and on the second day, breakout sessions were organized for the meeting guests, dividing into three groups based on CALOHEA Consortium – regional working teams formed to work on the 3 Recognition Mechanisms at the degree programme, institutional and regional levels. Throughout the breakout sessions, participants were able to select which Subject Area group(s) to join and learn about how these mechanism can be implemented within one out of three Subject Areas (Civil Engineering, Medicine, and Teacher Education) each group was led by international CALOHEA practitioners who generously shared with the participants their knowledge and hands-on experience in their respective subject area. These sessions provided rooms for speakers, participants and guests to share ideas and connect through active group knowledge sharing and networking.

On the second day of the event, the participants in each group convened once again to familiarize themselves with relevant CALOHEA tools, and how they can be exploited and practiced under the context of the Philippines’ higher education. This time, each session is led by Philippines-based moderators who have been involved in local CALOHEA projects.

The breakout session on CALOHEA Recognition Mechanisms for the Medicine Subject Area Group

Conclusion to the 10th CALOHEA National Meeting

In reference to the message of Dr. Robert Wagenaar, Director of the International Tuning Academy and Chair of the CALOHEA project, “a transparent and well-designed curriculum, timewise feasible for students to implement, is the foundation for (inter)national recognition and therefore for international cooperation”. The 10th CALOHEA National Meeting was successful in bringing to light how Student Workload challenges the Philippines’ efforts to pinpoint key elements and contribute to the student and academic mobility, recognition and internationalization movement among Philippine HEIs. Ultimately, it also showcased the edge and benefits the project’s Recognition Mechanisms can provide to help universities bolster internationalization under the context of the country.

The AUN Secretariat, as the project’s regional coordinator, would like to use this opportunity to extend its highest appreciation to the host, Ateneo de Manilla University, as well for the flawless organization of such an eventful meeting. The successful conclusion of this event served as another milestone in the project’s ongoing mission to raise awareness on the importance of academic mobility and internationalization of ASEAN HEIs, as well as how CALOHEA Recognition Mechanisms can help in building a firm foundation for the region’s higher education future.

The CALOHEA project takes to the center stage this month in Viet Nam in The 11th CALOHEA National Meeting, hosted by Hanoi University of Civil Engineering (HUCE), in collaboration with the International Tuning Academy of the University of Groningen and ASEAN University Network, taking place on 26-27 October 2023. Focusing on the capacity building theme of “Implementing CALOHEA Recognition Mechanisms for More Effective and Holistic Learning Outcomes” in the context of Viet Nam’s Higher Education, interested universities are encouraged to learn more about the two-day hybrid event here.

To register for the upcoming CALOHEA Capacity Building programme, please visit https://forms.gle/N5hod6kggi8xC9e37 until 21 October 2023

To learn more about the CALOHEA project, please visit calohea.org.

To watch the recorded version of the meeting’s knowledge sharing and policy dialogue sessions, please visit https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YNP8vjU16JM

Read more about previous CALOHEA National Meetings and Capacity Building Programmes in the titles below:

Prince of Songkla University Took the First Step to Optimise Students and Curriculum’s Maximum Potentials with the CALOHEA’s Student Workload Measurements
“International Academic mobility is not a product of chance”, CALOHEA Will Turn Up the Scale of Student and Academic Mobility in Asia
The Successful 8th CALOHEA National Meeting at Universitas Hasanuddin