Central Bicol State University of Agriculture
Best Practice Focus Area/s
22 August 2020 – present
This is a GBPR entry
The Philippines called upon its higher education institutions to adhere to the Internationalization Policy Framework Transnational Higher Education Law. As such, Central Bicol State University of Agriculture (CBSUA) decided to form partnerships with foreign higher education institutions, crucially establishing their International Credit Transfer Program (ICTP). Because of this program, students were able to enroll in foreign universities, and as a bonus, their faculty was also able to engage in speaking engagements and research projects with other universities despite the onset of the pandemic.
Background and Problem
With Globalization on the rise, the Philippines, through Its Commission on Higher Education (CHED), called upon the country’s higher education institutions, including the CBSUA, to adhere to the mandates stated in CHED Memo No. 55, s. 2016, the Internationalization Policy Framework. This is made all the more pertinent given the issues raised in the Transnational Higher Education Law or RA 11448 authorizing SUCs to engage in internationalization programs and activities. And crucially for CBSUA, internationalization is vital since it is one of the key areas for their SUC Leveling, their Quacquarelli Symonds Ranking, and their AACCUP Accreditation Level IV.
Solution and Impact
The CBSUA, through its Office of the Vice President for Business and External Affairs and the College of Development Education (CDE), focused on the intensification of its internationalization initiatives, giving special attention to the formation of international partnerships and linkages with universities across Asia and Europe. Through many meetings and planning, Memorandums of Agreement (MOA) and Understanding (MOU) were arranged with some of the world’s leading universities to participate and sponsor various activities for CBSUA.
A notable result of these partnerships was that, during the onset of the pandemic, more students than ever before were able to enroll in foreign universities through the International Credit Transfer Program (ICTP). And despite the pandemic, CBSUA faculty were also able to continue participating in research projects, lectures, webinars, and presentations sponsored by both local and foreign partner universities. Said faculty research projects were even set to be published in international-refereed journals. And through the lectures and presentations facilitated by these partnerships, CBSUA faculty and students also become more aware of the cultural and social practices and values of the partner universities and the respective countries.
In December 2020, their internationalization endeavors allowed the College of Development Education (CDE) to attain the highest score in its Phase II, Level IV Accreditation by the Accrediting Agency of Chartered Colleges and Universities in the Philippines (AACCUP). Their endeavors also led them to be among the Top 16 in the First Philippine Higher Education Internationalization Award in May 2021, organized by the CHED and the University of the Philippines Open University (UPOU).
Notably, they were the only SUC from Region V to receive such an award. And because of this distinction, CBSUA, through the College of Development Education, was invited to co-host the 54th ASEAN DAY Celebration in their region, an event where internationalization efforts of state universities and colleges are awarded. And because of the successes of CBSUA’s internationalization efforts, other state colleges and universities have also started to benchmark and employ the university’sCDE’s best practices.