Education beyond borders for global competitiveness
Business Mirror
October 26, 2016

“EDUCATION Beyond Borders for Global Competitiveness” was the theme of the sixth National Education Forum (NEF).  It is very timely as the 21st century presents unparalleled risks, as well as opportunities for the whole world and the societies in it, including higher or university education.

Thinking and working globally is now the norm for the survival, prosperity and competitiveness of every nation. As global citizens, we are required to develop a global mind-set,  such as increasing our capacity to think and work on a global and intercultural scale. In the Philippines, this can be accomplished through a new higher education that meets these challenges.

One form of being globally competitive is through education beyond borders. Thus, the PCCI Education Committee, in collaboration with the EDC Networking Committee on HRD conducted the NEF on September 1 with the participation of leaders and professionals in business and education, particularly the heads and deans of higher-education institutions.

The NEF saw the need to strengthen the role of the government and our educational institutions in providing the highest degree of education beyond borders to achieve global competitiveness. It is also intended to enhance the quality of our higher-education system as a key determinant of the future growth of our economic competitiveness; assert that education is important for global competitiveness; advocate a reform agenda centered on the internationalization of our education system to help the export sector; and advocate to the government to increase its investment in education to become globally competitive.

“Internationalization of higher education is the expansion of higher learning within and beyond national borders and centers of scholarly studies. It involves the integration of international or intercultural dimensions to higher education institutions’ purpose, functions, and/or delivery and as a process of interchange of higher education between nations, between national systems of higher education  and between institutions of higher education”, Commissioner Maria Cynthia Rose Bautista from the Commission on Higher Education said.

Science and Technology Secretary Fortunato de la Peña augmented this endeavor with the Department of Science and Technology’s Service for Excellence and Equity through Science, Technology and Innovation.

Director Jerry Clavesillas of the DTI’s Bureau of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise Development talked about the Entrepreneurship Development Programs of the DTI, which include the Negosyo Center, SME Roving Academy and Negosyo Kapatid mentoring and coaching program. Other notable speakers in the NEF are Deputy Director General Rosanna Urdaneta for policies and planning of the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority, Director Levinson Alcantara of the Philippine Overseas Employment Agency and Lord Louis Valera of the Professional Regulation Commission.

A special session on Industry-Academe Linkage specifically on Financial Services, Agriculture, Retail and Tourism was also included in the whole day event. It allowed the government, private sector, industry, education sector and training institutions join hands and work together by building on the capacity of the Filipino workforce that will fit the requirements of the job market.□

Grace T. Mirasol, Export Development Council, Department of Trade and Industry