First in History: UP Joins the 10th QS APPLE Conference and Exhibition

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UP delegation: (from left) UP Open University Vice-Chancellor for Academic Affairs Dr. Melinda F. Lumanta, Special Assistant to the UP President Dr. Lourdes M. Portus, Assistant Vice-President for Academic Affairs and Director of Office of International Linkages Dr. Rhodora V. Azanza and Ms. Alvie Simonette Q. Alip.

It was the first time that the University of the Philippines had an exhibition booth and presented three papers at the recently concluded 10th Quacquarelli Symonds – Asia Pacific Professional Leaders in Education (QS-APPLE) Conference and Exhibition at the Taipei International Convention Centre, Taipei City, Taiwan on November 11-13.

The 10th QS-APPLE convened senior and middle-ranking academics, educators, researchers and administrators from universities and colleges around the world which aspire to advance their own internationalization program. The conference and exhibition became a venue for sharing valuable knowledge and best practices on internationalization. These provided opportunities for future networking for the more than 500 representatives of 231 institutions in 37 countries who participated in the event.

Parallel sessions were on four major tracks: (1) Internationalizing the Student Body: International Student Recruitment, Support and Exchange; (2) Internationalizing the Curriculum: Educating Global Citizens; (3) Transnational Education and International Partnerships; (4) The Global Higher Education Market: Trends, Policies and Key Developments.

Participants from universities and institutions in the business of education came from the following countries: Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, China, The Democratic Republic of Congo, Czech Republic, Finland, France, Germany, Ghana, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Iraq, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Korea, Kuwait, Lebanon, Macao, Malaysia, Mexico, Mongolia, the Philippines, Poland, Qatar, Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Africa, Taiwan, Thailand, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, the United States, and Vietnam.

Aside from UP, the following Philippine universities sent representatives to the conference: University of Perpetual Help System, University of Santo Tomas, and Mindanao State University. UP is the only Philippine university that participated as exhibitor. The booth which featured UP’s international programs and activities generated interest among most delegates. The brochures of the Office of International Linkages (OIL) and the seven constituent universities and one autonomous college were distributed. Delegates had the opportunity to view a UP audio-visual presentation that highlighted foreign students who have adopted “Tatak UP.” Moreover, delegates got a sampling of selected Filipino books and UP souvenir items.

The UP delegation was composed of three University officials who presented their respective papers, and three academic staff members led by Assistant Vice-President for Academic Affairs and Director of Office of International Linkages Rhodora V. Azanza.

Eighty-eight papers were presented by 110 speakers at the conference. Dr. Rhodora V. Azanza discussed Challenges and Successes in the Internationalization of the University of the Philippines’ Student body. Special Assistant to the President Lourdes M. Portus, talked about the General Education Program in Expert English for ASEAN on behalf of Vice-President for Academic Affairs Gisela P. Concepcion. UPOU Vice-Chancellor for Academic Affairs, Dr. Melinda F. Lumanta together with Ms. Alvie Simonette Q. Alip presented their paper on Initiatives in developing an international curriculum: The UPOU Experience.

Several foreign universities expressed interest in developing partnerships with UP. Most notable of these was National Taichung University of Education (Taiwan) President Ru-Jer Wang, who visited the UP booth and signified his desire to forge a memorandum of understanding with UP.

Meanwhile, Dr. Keiko Ikeda from the Division of International Affairs of Kansai University introduced his University’s Program for Short-Term Exchange Students and indicated interest in offering this to UP students as well.

It was also an occasion for UP to affirm existing ties with partner universities, such as, Ewha University, Yeungnam University, Yonsei University and Osaka University.

On the whole, the promotion of UP to the international community by way of this conference was successful. The exposure of the delegates to the premier university in the country and the national university of the Philippines promises more active international collaboration and exchange with foreign universities.

The 11th QS-APPLE conference and exhibition will be held in Melbourne, Australia from November 25–27, 2015.