The Commission on Higher Education (CHED) in the Philippines has launched a new transnational education (TNE) project to forge links between the country’s top universities and the UK to boost internationalisation.
The aim of the project is to support connectivity between universities on the Higher Education Institution (HEI) international platform and ultimately equip students to succeed in the global workplace.
The Philippine government has dedicated £350,000 to the project, with an additional £150,000 coming from the British Council. This two-year project, which commenced in August 2016, is envisioned to establish new, niche UK TNE postgraduate degree programmes in the Philippines.
Through its partnership with the British Council, the project will specifically support twinning, joint degree programmes, dual degrees and franchise models in priority fields of study between the institutions. The programmes must fit into priority areas including climate change, agriculture and food security, digital innovation and creativity, and transportation studies.
Backing provided by CHED will go towards seed funding for the projects allowing ten preselected universities in the Philippines access to funds via proposals for TNE partnerships.
The Philippines has one of the youngest youth populations in the ASEAN community and one of the fastest population growth rates. However, the current higher education enrolment rate is only 35%.
In its 2015 report, Opportunities and Challenges in the Internationalisation of the Philippine Higher Education Sector, the British Council noted that the country’s high level of proficiency in English positions its universities favourably within the ASEAN region.
However, it points to “major restrictions in its constitutional, legislative and regulatory frameworks which present significant barriers to foreign higher education institutions operating in the country”. This includes limitation on ownership, immigration and visa requirements, and labour laws.
Overall, the project aims to provide capacity and funding support to Philippine HEIs to establish international connectivity and engagement through developing TNE partnerships with HEIs in the United Kingdom.