UP connects with Filipino scholars in Europe

Young Filipino scholars gathered at the Philippine Embassy in London on Friday, April 24, for the UK stop of the University of the Philippines (UP) roadshow.

The three-week tour aims to update UP graduates abroad on developments in the University as well as to encourage them to share their academic expertise or make financial contributions to UP.

(READ: Infographics on the new system-wide donation scheme – page 1 and page 2)

Dr. Aaron Joseph Villaraza, deputy director of the Office of International Linkages, was tasked to meet with the thirteen PhD students, postdoctoral researchers and faculty members from the University of Oxford, University of Cambridge, University of Warwick, University of Birmingham, University College of London and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine to present UP’s efforts at internationalization.

He talked about UP’s continued expansion and infrastructure growth, citing among others the soon-to-open UP Professional Schools at the Bonifacio Global City in Taguig, and the future UP campus in the Clark Green City in Pampanga.

These structural developments create an environment that is supportive of research and creative work, as seen in the number of UP publications (though still considerably behind its ASEAN counterparts) produced by different UP campuses, the growing pool of UP Scientists and UP Artists, and the increasing number of research and creative work grantees.

Most importantly, he discussed the programs through which foreign-trained scholars can join UP. These are the Balik PhD Recruitment program for those who will return to UP as faculty members, the World Experts Lecture Series for experts who will visit UP for a week to give a seminar, and the Visiting Professor Program for one to three months of stay in UP to teach or mentor graduate students.

Through COOPERATE (or Continuous Operational and Outcomes-based Partnership for Excellence in Research and Academic Training Enhancement), they can also host UP graduate students in their universities.

All four programs are implemented by the UP System through the Office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs and the Office of International Linkages.

Dr. Aaron Villaraza is joined by Vice Consul Rommel Romato (8th and 9th from left) and academics from UK universities. An international UP, according to Villaraza, serves the Filipino and the world.  (Photo by Aaron Villaraza)

Vice Consul Rommel Romato said that he was pleased to help organize the activity within the premises of the embassy. Aside from handling the educational portfolio of the embassy, he represents the Department of Foreign Affairs in the London Education and Research Network which the UK Higher Education International established to support mobility and exchange of good practice in higher education and to promote joint research projects.

Earlier, UP Vice President for Academic Affairs Gisela Concepcion met with Filipino academics at Motel One Wien-Westbahnhof in Vienna (April 23).  It was made possible with assistance from Mr. Aries Cases.

On April 25, she was welcomed by a small but eager audience at the Philippine Embassy in Berlin. Guests also came from the cities of Potsdam, Glienicke, Ploen and Paderborn. Later, an extended fellowship with Dr. Concepcion was given at the residence of Dr. Gabriel Kühne and former president of UPAA Germany, Dr. Jingky Lozano-Kühne.

(READ: Write-up of Berlin organizers on the event)

Her meeting with Paris-based scholars yesterday, April 27, concludes the European leg of the roadshow. It was held at the Musee de l’Homme inside Palais de Chaillot. 

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Dr. Gisela Concepcion talks about the new opportunities in UP that are available to foreign-trained scholars. The Berlin stop was co-hosted by the University of the Philippines Alumni Association Germany e.V. (UPAA Germany), The Filipino Students, Alumni and Academics in Germany (FSAAG) and the Philippine Embassy in Berlin.

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Vice President Gisela Concepcion (front row, 5th from left) and roadshow attendees pose for a souvenir shot. Behind her is Dr. Thomas Ingicco, former UP Archeological Studies Program faculty member and Balik PhD grant recipient, who co-organized the meeting in Paris.

In the three meetings, Dr. Concepcion discussed UP’s academic and research and development (R&D) facilities and programs, faculty development programs, and opportunities and priorities for R&D and innovation.  Also presented were some public impact projects generated by UP in recent years particularly in areas of disaster resilience and management, and food security and sustainable agricultural development.

Dr. Concepcion will be in the United States next on these dates: May 3 (New York), May 5 (Salt Lake City) and May 7 (San Francisco).

The roadshow is part of UP’s strategy to internationalize and enhance its research and creative activities in an ever-increasing globalized landscape.

Download the official poster here.

(Updated: 4 May 2015)