The first cohort of postgraduate students from the Philippines funded under the Joint Development of Niche Programmes (JDNP) are set to begin the first part of their transnational education study in the UK.

JDPN is a two-year programme funded by the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) and the British Council which aims to enhance the Philippines' higher education and research agenda by supporting students and professionals with internationally recognised academic qualifications to study niche disciplines not currently available in the country.

To date, there are 18 joint and dual degrees developed in partnership between ten Philippine universities and nine UK higher education institutions. These degrees are anchored in the country's national priorities, and the students are expected to develop long-term and sustainable solutions to these national priorities.

Public health is one of them. Clarenz Concepcion, an instructor at the UST Faculty of Pharmacy and enrolled in the MSc Public Health programme with the University of Leeds, noted that global warming affects human health and has contributed to the rise of health risks worldwide. 

'These are all of public health concern and these simply illustrate the need for bolder and more progressive governance in the public health sector. The matters of climate change, disaster risk management, the global epidemic of communicable and noncommunicable diseases, and the lack of mental health care in the world truly require the best of attentions that public health has to offer.'

Concepcion says in his speech at the send-off. 'These are the concerns that drive us to pursue and be engaged in the field of public health. We don't want to settle on the curative aspect of health alone. We want to give emphasis on the preventive standpoint. We want to work with communities and the population at large. We want to implement large scale solutions. We want to be engaged. We want to give an impact.'

Concepcion also adds that a UK education opens up opportunities for Filipinos working in the local healthcare industry to become globally competitive practitioners.

For the full list of participants please read the press release below: