CHED Chairperson Patricia B. Licuanan (5th from left) and British Council Philippines Director Nicholas Thomas (6th from left) with the 8 recipients of the CHED-Newton Fund scholarships

The Commission on Higher Education (CHED) and the British Council-Newton Fund has awarded its first batch of PhD scholars to study in the United Kingdom (UK), as part of the CHED K to 12 Transition Program.

Through a simple ceremony led by CHED Chairperson Patricia Licuanan and British Council Philippines Director Nicholas Thomas, the eight (8) scholars were formally awarded their scholarship grants and lauded for their efforts in advancing science research in the country.

“Indeed, it is reassuring and inspiring to know that we have scientists who are determined to deepen their knowledge in the fields of earth sciences, environment, and medicine. We support this by continuing our investments in research and development to further technology-driven national development and global competitiveness,” said Licuanan.

“We congratulate our first batch of scholars for this invaluable opportunity, and we are excited to have you back in your respective institutions and start making a difference in your respective fields,” Licuanan continued.

The scholars are John Dale Dianala of the National Institute of Geological Sciences; Peter Paolo Rivera, Marine Science Institute; Dave Buenavista, Central Mindanao University; Jhud Mikhail Aberilla, University of the Philippines Diliman; Luiza Galarion, UP Diliman; Sheen Mclean Cabañeros, University of Santo Tomas; Patrick Simon Perillo, Ateneo de Manila University; and Kevin Jace Miranda from Adamson University.

The eight will conduct research on a variety of topics including the earthquake cycle, nutraceutical potentials of indigenous plants in Mindanao, and the measurement of air quality in the country. They will be pursuing their studies in renowned UK research institutions and are expected to complete them by early 2020.

“We really look forward to more partnerships in the sciences between the UK and the Philippines. We believe that both countries have mutual strengths and we can continue to learn from each other, so do take advantage of the opportunity to learn more about your field. We hope that you share what you learn with your future students to help build capacity in the Philippines and help us become a more sustainable economy in the near future,” shared Karen Ann Hipol, Strategic Manager of the Newton Agham Programme, while addressing the scholars.

CHED first launched its scholarships for graduate studies abroad this year through the K to 12 Transition Program for qualified higher education institution (HEI) faculty and staff to gain training in the best institutions abroad for identified priority areas. Said faculty and staff are expected to return home following their studies, bringing with them specializations to fill gaps in Philippine sectors and communities.

Under the partnership signed between CHED and the British Council last August 2016, the scholarship provides for tuition costs and bench fees as covered by the British Council while living allowance will be provided by CHED. Besides developing faculty and staff, the partnership aims to build sustainable and long-lasting links between UK and Philippine institutions.

The K to 12 Transition Program
To support the full implementation of the K to 12 Program, the Commission on Higher Education’s (CHED) K to 12 Transition Program is aimed at the strategic development of Higher Education Institutions (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.

The Newton Agham Programme
The Newton Agham Programme, as delivered by the British Council, provides opportunities for internationalising research and higher education sectors in different countries by building capacity of researchers and institutions through international research partnerships with development impact.