The Commission on Higher Education (CHED) and the British Council today signed a partnership agreement that will send ten (10) qualified higher education faculty and staff to pursue doctoral studies in the United Kingdom beginning this year.
This partnership is part of CHED’s K to 12 Transition Program to support higher education institutions (HEIs) and personnel faced with multi-year low enrollment as a result of the full implementation of Senior High School (SHS) this year, while leveraging this period to invest significantly in improving the quality of higher education.
“The K to 12 Transition Period, despite its challenges, truly presents unprecedented opportunities for higher education institutions and our faculty and staff. This first semester alone, we are proud to share that we have sent 4,085 of our faculty and staff for graduate studies in our top graduate education providers locally. Also, as of today, we have received more than 300 applications for our Institutional Development and Innovation Grants,” shared Dr. Patricia Licuanan, CHED Chairperson.
Through the partnership, CHED and British Council, through the Newton-Agham Programme will co-fund scholarships for full doctoral studies in the UK. The partnership also paves the way for the joint development of niche programs between Philippine and UK HEIs to co-develop niche programs that remain unavailable in the Philippines, despite being identified as critical in supporting national development, among them: transportation studies, design engineering, tropical medicine and public health, energy security studies.
“The real focus today is a new and very exciting two-year program on supporting transnational innovation linkages between the UK and the Philippines. This program will offer funding to new partnerships on capacity building and we hope that the outcome of this will be a series of more partnerships between the UK and the Philippines,” said Nicholas Thomas, Country Director of the British Council in the Philippines.
Last year, CHED and British Council co-funded Institutional Links grants for the modelling of dengue outbreaks (Philippine Genome Centre and London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine), and for using ICTs for disaster mitigation (De La Salle University and University of Leicester). The British Council also supported the development of SHS Teaching Guides for the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Academic Strand.
“We are fortunate that the British Council has remained a constant and committed partner, in working with us in strengthening Philippine Higher Education,” said Dr. Licuanan. “We hope that these continued efforts in forging partnerships will allow our countries and schools to truly learn from one another,” she continued.
The K to 12 Transition Program is a five-year effort aimed at the strategic development of HEIs and personnel during the transition period from 2016 to 2021. The Program includes a range of programs to support faculty and staff through scholarships for master’s and doctoral programs, locally and abroad, non-degree programs, as well as institutional grants for HEIs.