“We may have the good ideas from our national leaders and they are trying their best to implement these ideas but if you do not have the complement of highly trained professionals and innovators in the country, then those good programs will not last… they will not be sustainable,” UP Vice President for Academic Affairs Gisela Concepcion told Balitang America, a nightly news program of ABS-CBN International that is aired by The Filipino Channel.
Vice President Concepcion was in San Francisco on May 7 as part of UP’s three-week roadshow that aimed to encourage foreign-trained alumni to go back to the University to teach and do research.
San Francisco was the last stop in the tour that included Vienna, London, Berlin and Paris in the European leg and New York and Salt Lake City in the US leg.
Henry Bensurto Jr., Philippine consul general to San Francisco, noted in his opening remarks how the continuing brain drain among Filipinos leads to the loss of knowledge and skills, thereby affecting the Philippines’ economic ledger. He shared what the Department of Foreign Affairs is doing to help address this shortage.
The consul general likewise acknowledged the role of UP in developing Filipinos who can keep up with their ASEAN counterparts and be competitive globally.
[READ: PHL Consulate General in San Francisco hosts University of the Philippines roadshow.]
The Philippine Consulate General co-organized the meeting with Susan Po Rufino and Polly Cortez of the Friends of UP Foundation.
Aside from recruiting highly qualified graduates for faculty positions, the roadshow likewise hoped to explore collaborations for exchanges of students and experts.
UP through the Office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs (OVPAA) created several programs to develop its human resources or what Concepcion calls the “suprastructure.”
Among these are the Balik PhD Program which grants returning faculty members an outright relocation package and a start-up/step-up research grant, and COOPERATE which gives opportunities for graduate students at early thesis or dissertation or proposal stage to undertake research/creative work at a foreign university. COOPERATE, implemented by the Office of International Linkages, also allows faculty advisers to undertake short-term visits to foreign potential research/creative work co-advisers or groups.
Meanwhile, under the Visiting Professor Program, Filipino experts may spend up to two months in UP to teach and mentor graduate students and collaborate with the faculty and research staff.
Available programs for faculty, researcher and student development can be found on the OVPAA website at ovpaa.up.edu.ph.
(Updated: 9 June 2015)