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CHED: PH Universities to visit MCC for benchmark

De Vera

The Commission on Higher Education (CHED) said universities in the country are set to visit the Mabalacat City College (MCC) to look at how it secured the highest rank in terms of using Information Technology (IT) in teaching.

CHED chairperson J. Prospero de Vera III cited the adoption of best practices among the country’s higher education institutions (HEIs), especially from excellent-performing universities in the global rankings like MCC. 

“Philippine universities are now going to Mabalacat. They will look at what it did to be number one. And then they will also adopt the good things that they are doing. So, it’s a continuous system of Philippine universities looking at each other, comparing, adopting best practices,” De Vera said.

De Vera said CHED is now intensifying internationalization efforts to support HEIs in the country.

He noted a “significant increase” in the number of Philippine universities joining the global rankings for internationalizing university programs and projects.

“Last SONA (State of the Nation Address), the President (Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr.) reported 52 public and private universities who have subjected themselves and have been ranked internationally, that has now increased to 86,” he said.

Among CHED’s efforts include providing opportunities for PH HEIs to join international education fairs through sponsored Philippine booths, sponsorship of officials of select universities traveling to other countries for immersion and possible program adoption, and continuing workshops among PH HEIs for global ranking requirements and compliance.

De Vera said presidents of Mapua University, National University, Polytechnic University of the Philippines, and Philippine State College of Aeronautics are among select university heads currently on sponsored visits abroad.

“They are now in Harvard looking at programs that can be partnered or can be replicated here. So, I sent seven presidents of Philippine universities in Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Harvard, and Arizona State University,” he added.

He said the 86 globally-ranked PH HEIs only account for the results of Word University Rankings for Innovation (WURI), and Times Higher Education Impact Rankings (THE-IR), and the figure may still increase once the Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) rankings release their results.

Mental health intervention

De Vera, meanwhile, underscored the need for a “very good and specialized” understanding, training, and tools in PH HEIs to address current mental health challenges faced by students.

He made the statement as the CHED entered into a memorandum of understanding with Unilab Foundation, Inc., which seeks to train counselors for suicide prevention and awareness programs in colleges and universities.

De Vera also highlighted the need for “peer counseling,” considering the dramatic change in needed interventions, and minimized the applicability of traditional safety nets for mental health.

In 2021, the University of the Philippines’ 5th Young Adult Fertility and Sexuality Study showed that one in every five Filipino youth aged 15 to 24 have considered ending their lives.