The internationalization of education places an emphasis not just on the interactions between and among people, institutions, countries, cultures, and systems but most importantly, it allows for the integration of an international, intercultural, and global dimension into the processes, policies, teaching and learning, research, production, and other service functions of a higher education institution. However, there is yet to be a set of indicators for an internationalized university. Apparently, there is no “one size fits all” internationalization model. Internationalization of education is a process of transformation that is adapted to the specific requirements and objectives of each higher education organization. ISAT U must therefore choose its own unique strategy for internationalization based on its well-stated vision, mission, goals, objectives, and anticipated outcomes. Furthermore, the University also acknowledges the need to learn and collaborate with international universities to study their respective internationalization processes driven by assessment of priorities, current global trends, and numerous beneficial initiatives.
In order to create new approaches, and improve current processes and systems in the University to meet international higher education standards, some of the ISAT U Board of Regents and some of the Administrative Council members led by University President, Dr. Raul. F. Muyong, conducted a schools visit and collaboration talks with the following institutions: (1) Politeknik Ibrahim Sultan, Malaysia (2) Universiti Tun Hussein Onn Malaysia, (3) Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, (4) Politeknik Ibrahim Sultan, Malaysia and (4) Temasek Polytechnic, Singapore. The rest of the delegation was composed of Dr. Carmelo V. Ambut – Vice President for Research and Extension, Dr. Gabriel M. Salistre, Jr., – Vice President for Administration and Finance, Dr. Nemia H. Mabaquiao – Vice President for External Affairs, Hon. Erafil Joy Cabangal – Student Regent, Hon. Samuel Arsulo – Faculty Regent, Hon. Leo Sombiro – Regent representing the Alumni, Hon. Rowen Gelonga – Regent representing the Department of Science and Technology, Hon. Jessraf Palmares, Regent representing the Private Sector, Hon. Eddie Cañuto – Regent representing Hon. Francis Joseph G. Escudero (Chairperson, Committee on Education, Culture and Arts – Senate of the Philippines).
The ISAT U international schools visit and collaboration talks allowed the delegates to make a school performance comparison. This comparison can help identify areas of strengths and weaknesses and provide insights into how ISAT U can improve its overall performance in its tripartite function. Best practices of the five institutions in Malaysia and Singapore were presented which helped the delegates identify those that have been effective so they may study them further, and look into the possibility of incorporating them in the ISAT U academic community which may lead to better outcomes. Furthermore, the collaboration talks were also able to rouse motivation for innovation by exposing administrators and the Board of Regents to new ideas and approaches. The delegates further learned about the educational landscape of Malaysia and Singapore, their national imperatives; the polytechnic sector of both countries; and international initiatives on research, instruction, scholarships, marketing; and human resource policies.
And as ISAT U forges onward toward the future, it continuously makes sure to answer the call of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The international activity supports SDG No. 4: Quality Education, SDG No. 8: Decent Work Economic Growth, and SDG No. 17: Partnerships for the Goals. The Global Goals can only be met if people in the academic institution, industry, and communities work together. To build a better world, people in various sectors need to be supportive, sympathetic, resourceful, enthusiastic, and most importantly, cooperative.
In summary, the ISAT U international schools visit and collab talks have provided valuable insights for the administrators and Board of Regents of the university, helping them find ways to improve the institution’s performance, adopt best practices, stimulate innovation, encourage sustainable practices, and ensure that ISAT U is meeting quality international standards and be future-ready.
written by: Jieza J. Napone, LPT