The University of the Philippines is succeeding in making public service an essential part of the higher education program. For Partido State University, the public service arm of UP has enabled a budding and growing University to access UP’s expertise to capacitate its faculty members as well as help enhance PSU students’ competency in highly technical courses where faculty members having advanced degrees are lacking or inadequate. For instance, UP has been consistently sending its experts from the National Institute of Geological Sciences (UP-NIGS) to conduct lectures for our geology students.
UP has assisted PSU in forging research collaborative ties with research institutions here and abroad. True to its mission of shaping the minds that shape the nation, its faculty members, in their personal capacity, have shared opportunities for collaborative research engagements with budding researchers of PSU. The efforts of scientists and professors of UP Visayas and UP Los Banos to motivate, mentor and link PSU faculty researchers to their networks of research institutions and organizations not only boost our faculty members’ confidence but also improve our institutional capacity for research and development.
UP helps small and growing higher education institutions (HEIs) and state universities and colleges (SUCs) like PSU to accelerate their development as an institution of higher learning. It sends its curriculum and disciplinary experts to help PSU redesign its curriculums to achieve outcomes-based education (OBE) and develop demonstrable student competencies.
HEIs and SUCs like PSU gain many opportunities from UP public service. First, it informs SUCs of UP services and resources that can be accessed. Second, it provides assistance to its clientele in accessing services and resources to the fullest. Third, it provides advice on how clientele SUCs could maximize the benefits in terms of capacitating and developing them for opportunities accessed. HEIs or SUCs can gain both opportunities in research, extension and instruction capacity development and related resources to support and sustain their growth. The networks and linkages that UP has developed and nurtured over the years are being offered to SUCs and HEIs so that they too, like PSU, could be mainstreamed to the global networks of academic institutions, gain insight from the experience and grow.
Collaborating with UP through its public service program helps PSU financially through partnering and sharing of resources in implementing academic-related activities. Because it has its own budget for public service, UP shoulders its own expenses in joint engagements, thus greatly reducing the expenditure of partner SUCs in implementing such activities mutually agreed by UP and PSU. We suggest that UP should scale up its public service program in assisting HEIs and SUCs in the provinces. Also, there is a need for increased budget for its public service program for UP to fully implement activities that will further help strengthen higher education programs in the country.
The Philippine Association of Extension Program Implementers, Inc. (PAEPI) is a non-stock, non-profit organization whose aim is to make extension on the same level of professional practice as teaching and research in the country’s colleges and universities.
Its vision is to elevate the level of the discipline to make it an effective means of social and individual transformation. To that end, PAEPI organizes capability training conventions, where paper presentations are made and is in the process of compiling those inputs into a professional journal.
The country is still in the process of making public service an essential part of higher education. With the impact of K-12, professors can now be involved in extension and public service activities during the transition period from 2016-2018.
The constraints are institutional in nature, as every higher educational institution has different policies governing the conduct of extension and public service programs. The suggestion made to the Commission on Higher Education during the Extension Conference in 2015, was to institutionalize the framework for the policies governing extension programs.
Opportunities are now available because of the Commission on Higher Education K-12 Transition Program which includes funds for innovation. These funds should be applied for and accessed by higher educational institutions so that extension and public service programs can be conducted during the transition period.
Top photo coourtesy of Nanette Tolentino / SOS-UPD