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CPAf faculty joins UPLB delegates’ visit to UK Universities

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Article by Ephraim C. Quiñones

Dr. Rowena DT. Baconguis joined the faculty and staff of various UPLB colleges who visited the University of Reading (UoR) and the University of Liverpool (UoL) in United Kingdom (UK) from April 16 to 22. Prof. Baconguis of CPAf Institute for Governance and Rural Development (IGRD) together with the other delegates networked with the administrators, faculty, staff, and students of UoR and UoL to explore ways to strengthen and expand UPLB’s memoranda of understanding with these universities.

Other delegates were members of the UPLB Graduate School (GS) Program for Relevant and Responsible Postgraduate Research (P4R3) Committee. Asst. Prof. Anna Floresca F. Firmalino of the College of Economics and Management (CEM) and the Director of the UP Professional School for Agriculture and the Environment under the UPLB GS, headed the delegation.

 

The group’s visit at UoR started with a meeting with the administrators of the School of Agriculture, Policy and Development to discuss how to develop more specializations for the joint dual PhD program partnership with UPLB. As of 2017, UPLB has a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the UoR to develop a Dual PhD by Research program in the fields of agricultural economics, agronomy, animal science, environmental economics, and horticulture as part of the CHED/British Council-funded Transnational Education (TNE) project.

A meeting with the UoR’s Pro Vice-Chancellor (Global Relations) Vincenzo Raimo and the Head of their International Partnerships Office Steve Thomas was also held to discuss other possible collaborations between the two universities.

For the Academic Year 2018–2019, six UPLB faculty will be starting the Dual PhD program with UoR, funded by CHED TNE scholarships. The possibility of a faculty exchange program and parallel research collaborations was also explored during the meetings with other professors, research fellows, and international partnerships managers at UoR.

Meanwhile, the UPLB delegates attended the lecture-discussions on supervisor-student expectations and Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education frameworks given by Liverpool Doctoral College representatives. They also joined the discussion and workshop on postgraduate mentoring and on new applications and approaches for sustainable agriculture and aquaculture. Further, they met with Prof. Anthony Hollander, UoL’s pro-vice-chancellor for research and impact, and other university administrators to discuss other possible collaborative academic programs and activities. They also visited various laboratory facilities and research centers.

As part of the CHED Institutional Development and Innovation Grant (IDIG) project that was awarded to the UPLB GS, the series of lecture-discussions, meetings, and university visits were meant to prepare the handbooks and guides to be composed by the P4R3 Committee, which will update and improve graduate student and faculty services in UPLB. Last year, as an initial step toward these objectives, Dr. Steven Edwards of the UoL (Principal Fellow of the UK Higher Education Academy) gave a talk to the UPLB graduate faculty on the mentoring process for graduate students during the 2nd Internationalization of Graduate Education for Agricultural and Rural Development (IGEARD) International Conference at the Acacia Hotel, Muntinlupa City.

The UK study tour was made possible through the grants from CHED, the British Council, and UP administration. UPLB will be assisting the capacity building in Benguet State University, Visayas State University, and Mindanao State University Marawi Campus as part of the cascading activities related to the deliverables of the CHED IDIG project.

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