In a ceaseless pursuit to upgrade its brand of premier education, Mariano Marcos State University (MMSU) has ventured into international virtual exchange programs with foreign universities amid the COVID-19 pandemic crisis.
Despite the limitations posed by the health crisis, the University is pursuing international academic exchange to share its faculty’s expertise with foreign universities, to gain new knowledge and practices and to continue to build its stature in the global academic scene.
With the dynamism of the Office for External Linkages and Partnerships, headed by Dr. Mee Jay A. Domingo, the University has started to map out and implement the schedule and program of instruction for the said virtual exchange.
This semester, various faculty from the College of Arts and Sciences (CAS), College of Business, Economics and Accountancy (CBEA) and College of Health Sciences (CHS) have started working with the professors of Indonesian universities, such as the Universitas Muhammadiyah Prof. Dr. Hamka (Uhamka) of Jakarta, and the Universitas Pendidikan Ganesha (Undiksha) of Bali.
Dr. Domingo has initiated making consultations and arrangements with Dr. Purnama Syae Purrohman, Uhamka’s international relations officer, and Dr. I Nyoman Jampel, Undiksha’s rector.
Here, three departments of CAS are involved in the program. First, the Department of Computer Science (DCS) shares its expertise to Undiksha through Prof. Lee Carlo P. Simon who conducts lectures and laboratory classes on computer networking. Prof. Simon meets his foreign students two hours a week.
Second, the Department of Languages and Literature – Communication faculty will also serve as guest lecturers at Uhamka. Prof. Editha B. Valdez, and this writer will hold special sessions on art reporting, development communication, and social change communication among the communication students of the said foreign University.
Third, the Department of Mathematics is also set to exchange its faculty to Uhamka with Dr. Lawrence A. Eclarin, who specializes on modern geometries and mathematical crystallography; and Dr. Michelle D. Reynera who specializes on algebra and graph theory.
Meanwhile, CBEA’s Economics Department will also teach Uhamka students. Prof. Orlino J. Mandac and Prof. Mishael S. Barrera will teach introductory to economics, managerial economics and industrial economics.
Uhamka’s Dr. Ahmad Diponegoro, Dr. Bambang Dwi Hartono, and Dr. Enny Gusniarti will also teach economics and public policy subjects to MMSU economics and accountancy students.
Moreover, CHS’ Department of Pharmacy also extends its expertise to Uhamka through Profs. Janelyn V. Rojas and Angelica May DC Mendoza who will serve as lecturers on respiratory pharmacology and dyslipidemia among Uhamka students.
In return, three members of Uhamka’s Faculty of Pharmacy and Sciences — Dr. Apt. Siska, Apt. Lusi Putri Dwita, and Apt. Nurhasnah — will teach pharmacy students on hypertension and diabetes mellitus.
Domingo said, “this virtual venture does not only showcase our aggressiveness as an institution with respect to internationalization but also demonstrates our unending goal to advance and re-shape our instruction.”
For her part, MMSU President Shirley C. Agrupis expressed her zeal and support for the venture saying that “as we continue to progress in spite of the global pandemic, we could really show that we ACHIEVE no matter what.”
The global virtual faculty exchange was approved by the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) and is bound by a signed Memorandum of Agreements among the three universities.