The year 2021 marked many milestones for Iloilo Science and Technology University through the External Affairs Office’s, internationalization agenda. In October 2021, the University was able to formalize 16 international partnerships with various academic institutions from Myanmar, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, and Thailand in addition to its active partners from Japan and Taiwan.
The Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) and Approved Minutes of Meeting (AMM) Signing Ceremony was done virtually and was led by ISAT U President Dr. Raul F. Muyong. Dr. Nemia H. Mabaquiao, Vice President for External Affairs served as witness during the online event supported by the rest of the Vice Presidents of the University, Campus Administrators, Deans, Directors and External Affairs Office personnel.
The MOU and AMM Signing Ceremony was done in four separate days which started on October 16, 2021 at 2:00 PM Philippine time with Pangkep State Polytechnic of Agriculture(PSPA) in Indonesia. On October 25, 2021, there were 13 international institutions that took part in the ceremony with nine (9) Indonesian institutions: Bina Insani University (BIU), Institut Teknologi dan Bisnis Asia Malang (Institut Asia), Politeknik Elektronika Negeri Surabaya (PENS), Sekolah Tinggi Informatika dan Komputer Indonesia (STIKI), Universitas Muhammadiyah Pontianak (UM Pontianak), Universitas Pendidikan Ganesha (Undiksha), Universitas PGRI Madiun (UNIPMA), Universitas PGRI Semarang (UPGRIS), Universitas Tidar (UNTIDAR) one (1) from Laos: Dongkhamxang Agriculture Technical College (DATC), two from Malaysia: Politeknik Ibrahim Sultan (PIS) and Politeknik Mersing Johor (PMJ); and one from Thailand: Chiang Rai Rajabhat University (CRRU). On October 26, 2021, there was another MOU signing between ISAT U and Institut Pertanian Bogor (IPB) University in Indonesia. The online event was capped with the MOU signing of ISAT U and Kyaing Tong University (KTU) in Myanmar on November 12, 2021.
In his message of commitment, Dr. Raul F. Muyong – ISAT U President, promised international partner institutions to uphold the commitment toward international higher education mobility and internationalization of education among ASEAN partners. He wished good health, reinforced commitment, strengthened motivation and enthusiasm to students, faculty, staff and international affairs personnel. According to him, these people are the prime movers of each school’s goal to internationalize education. Dr. Muyong also emphasized that partnerships do not only aim at sharing knowledge and expertise, and provide avenues for growth and development, it is also an opportunity for appreciation of values and uniqueness amidst cultural diversity in the academe.
The establishment of concrete international partnerships since 2018 has allowed Iloilo Science and Technology University to send outbound students and accept inbound ones through its International Credit Transfer Program. The Welcome and Orientation Program for the said student mobility program for the second semester of Academic Year 2021-2022 was held on March 8, 2022 and was attended by the respective rectors of Universitas PGRI Madiun and Universitas Pendidikan Ganesha, both located in Indonesia.
Aside from the International Credit Transfer Program, ISAT U’s international partner institutions agreed to collaborate with the University on various mobility programs like the guest lecturer exchange, co-curricular and extra-curricular online activities, summer programs, short courses, and faculty and staff online trainings among others.
The External Affairs Office has also strengthened ISAT U’s connection with various UNEVOC Centers across the globe by collaborating with the Higher Colleges of Technology – UAE’s largest applied higher education institution – together with the UNEVOC Centers in Africa, New Zealand, Australia, Russia and Tanzania, through the UNESCO-UNEVOC approved project “Future Foresight Institutional Capacity for the Post COVID-19 World”. Dr. Nemia H. Mabaquiao – Vice President for External Affairs, Dr. Juniffer B. Badoles – National and International Affairs Director, Dr. Adrienne D. Veloso – Extension Services Division Director, and Mrs. Jieza J. Napone – External Affairs Marketing and Communications Officer, completed a two-day training on February 28 and March 1, 2022 as one of the milestone events of the said collaborative project.
Moreover, with the enthusiasm and support of the men and women of the various offices under the External Affairs Office and the rest of the offices across all ISAT U campuses, the University’s application to the QS Stars Rating are well underway. ISAT U, despite the challenges brought about by the pandemic and the emerging trends in the new normal continues teaching, touching and transforming lives in Western Visayas and beyond.