CHED Gears Up for ASEAN 2015

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CHED-Philippines-croppedThe crafting of the ASEAN 2015 Action Plan for Philippine Higher Education is underway.

Its development—only one in a set of tasks to be undertaken by the agency—is in preparation for the establishment of an ASEAN Community by 2015.

ASEAN 2015, as it is more commonly known, rose from ASEAN Vision 2020 proposed during the summit in 1997. This vision of the region as a “concert of Southeast Asian nations, outward looking,  living in peace, stability and prosperity, bonded together in partnership in dynamic development and in a community of caring societies” formed the concept of a regional community.

It was not until six years later, however, that the idea was given form through the signing of Bali Concord II. Four more years passed before the Cebu Declaration on the Acceleration of the Establishment of an ASEAN Community by 2015 was signed during the organization’s 12th summit.

In a CHED briefing paper released by its International Affairs Service (IAS) in March 2014, Chairperson Patricia Licuanan admitted that the country needs to “catch up with the much earlier preparations of its ASEAN partners.”

Apart from the action plan, Licuanan said the following need to be accomplished: (1) a policy framework for the “Internationalization of Higher Education,” (2) the inclusion of more Philippine universities in the ASEAN University Network (AUN), (3) participation in the ASEAN International Mobility of Students (AIMS) Program, and (4) the development of a better credit transfer system and “Diploma Supplement which will enable the comparability of Philippine higher education with those of other countries.”

ASEAN 2015 is based on three pillar communities: political and security, economic, and socio-cultural. CHED, along with the Department of Education and the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority, fall under the third pillar. The lead Philippine agency in the ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community (ASCC) is the Department of Social Welfare and Development.

Two key elements in the ASCC Blueprint, adopted in 2009, guide CHED’s efforts toward ASEAN 2015—promoting human development and building the ASEAN identity. The IAS document, “The Role of Philippine Higher Education in ASEAN Community Building 2015,” enumerates CHED initiatives as of 10 March 2014:

  • Development of ASEAN 2015 Roadmap for Higher Education
  • Inclusion of Mindanao State University-Iligan Institute of Technology in the AUN-Southeast Asia Engineering Education Development Network
  • Hosting of AUN regional conferences
  • Adoption of the University Mobility in Asia and the Pacific Credit Transfer Scheme
  • Hosting the 7th AIMS Review Meeting
  • Participation in ASEAN Qualifications Reference Framework (AQRF) meetings and ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand Free Trade Area-Economic Cooperation Work Programme workshops
  • Conduct of AQRF workshop
  • Participation in ASEAN Quality Assurance Network meetings
  • Inclusion in the ASEAN Citation Index
  • Publication of “Enhanced Policies and Guidelines on Student Affairs ad Services”
  • Distribution of electronic copies of the “Guidelines for Accommodating PWDs in Post-Secondary and Tertiary Institutions”
  • Co-hosting the 6th International Conference on Humanoid, Nanotechnology, Information Technology, Communication and Control, Environment, and Management with De La Salle University
  • Co-hosting the 1st ASEAN Future Teachers’ Camp with the Philippine Normal University (PNU)
  • Preparation of the “Revised Policies, Standards, and Guidelines (PSGs) on the Student Internship Abroad Program”
  • Signing of memoranda with the Republic of Singapore, the Ministry of University Affairs of Thailand, and the Ministry of Education and Training of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam
  • Negotiating memoranda with Indonesia and the Lao People’s Democratic Republic
  • Framework for a typology-based quality assurance system for PH higher education
  • Reformulated PSGs into an outcomes-based education
  • Implementation of the Philippine Higher Education Research Network
  • A program for the adoption of a school or college offering BS degree in Chemistry
  • 2010 CHED-UPLB Summer School and Camp in Mathematics
  • Campaign for the implementation of the Special Program for Employment of Students
  • Sustaining excellence in biology instruction, research, and extension at the Institute of Biological Sciences, College of Arts and Sciences, UP ..Los Baños
  • The CHED-IMSP Research Program for Excellence in Mathematics
  • Preparation and issuance of policies and guidelines on student internship in local and international companies
  • Faculty Development Program
  • Gender and sensitivity training
  • Gender and development planning and budgeting
  • Women Empowerment and Development towards Gender and Equality training
  • Harmonized Gender and Development Guidelines
  • APEC Diploma Supplement Workshop
  • PSGs for Bachelor of Science in Business Administration Prescribing Additional Electives on Service Management for Business Outsourcing
  • Agreement between CHED and IBM on the offering of the Smart Analytics program
  • Celebration of the ASEAN Day in partnership with De La Salle University
  • PNU held a commemorative ASEAN flag raising ceremony during its Foundation Day (the International Affairs Service office of CHED will recommend that the same activity be practiced in all SUCs)

Apart from these, CHED also carries out the Higher Education Reform Agenda 2011-2016, components of which contribute to preparing the Philippines for ASEAN 2015.

These initiatives include, among others, the establishment of a quality assurance system for the Philippine Qualifications Framework; the shift to learning competency-based standards or learner outcomes-based qualifications in the disciplines; revision of the general education curriculum with the implementation of K to 12; review of graduate education and transnational programs; close collaboration with industry in specifying competencies and training of teachers in industry-oriented disciplines; and embarking on the Philippine California Advanced Research Institutes.

ASEAN member states recognize the crucial role of higher education in regional development. As the lead Philippine agency, CHED continues to work toward achieving a harmonized higher education environment in the region, which will ultimately contribute to the realization of an ASEAN Community by 2015.
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