MMSU, USask ink deal for research, academic exchange

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The University of Saskatchewan (USask), a leading public research university in Canada, is partnering with the Mariano Marcos State University (MMSU) to promote academic and research exchange.

In a virtual signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) today, May 19, MMSU President Shirley C. Agrupis and USask Interim Provost and Vice President for Academic Melissa Just agreed to jointly work on academic exchange, research projects, extension activities and development reforms.

Dr. Agrupis said this partnership shall further contribute to global understanding and cooperation through enabling cross-cultural exchanges, which “shall redound to the benefit of Philippine higher education.”

The two schools vowed to conduct joint conferences and publications, and to share academic materials and technical expertise. They shall also hold capacity building programs on health, medical and applied sciences, agriculture, climate change and sustainable development, sports and recreational management, education, food system and nutrition, humanities, culture, arts, social
sciences, and business management.

Dr. Meghna Ramaswamy, USask international office director, expressed her delight to work with MMSU in exploring short-course training programs, joint research projects and publications, and student and faculty exchanges.

Meanwhile, Dr. Marlowe U. Aquino, project leader and MMSU international programs chief, committed the University will engage with technical partners in USask for a meaningful exchange of expertise, practices, particularly on cultural documentation.

The partnership is in line with the Philippine-Canada Universities Education Consortium for International Collaborative Partnerships (PhilCanEDUCON – Magic 7+), an academic and research collaboration of seven Philippine universities, including MMSU, and Canada’s USask.

An offshoot research of this partnership is being undertaken by a team of MMSU researchers who study on Sustaining the Ilocano Culture through Contextualization of Indigenous Knowledge System and Development of Culture-Sensitive and Science-based Education Platform. It is under the research program that aims to intensify Filipino culture towards sustaining indigenous knowledge systems.

The MMSU team, who leads the PhilCanEDUCON Magic 7+ Research Program, received an Php 8Million fund from the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) to support the said study.

Faculty researchers from the College of Teacher Education (CTE), College of Agriculture, Food and Sustainable Development (CAFSD), College of Health Sciences (CHS), College of  Industrial Technology (CIT), College of Arts and Sciences (CAS), and College of Business, Economics and Accountancy (CBEA), and Graduate School comprise the team.

Canadian Ambassador to the Philippines Peter McArthur believes that this, “impressive milestone of inking a proposal will benefit many communities in the Philippines.” He also commended the leadership of MMSU which “stirred Magic 7+ to its success so far.”

For his part, Dr J. Prospero E. De Vera III, CHED chair, beamed, “Our continuing thrust on internationalization is bearing fruit,” noting that it is a significant highlight of this year’s celebration of Philippine Higher Education Day and CHED’s 27th Foundation Day.

Dr. Lily Freida Milla, OIC-CHED executive director, agreed that the sharing of culture, heritage and indigenous knowledge marks a true international partnership.

PhilCanEDUCON – Magic 7+ aims to foster academic and scholarly collaboration among USask and seven SUCs in the Philippines, including MMSU, Benguet State University (BSU), Central Luzon State University (CLSU), Central Mindanao University (CMU), Don Mariano Marcos Memorial State University (DMMMSU), Mountain Province Polytechnic State College (MPPSC) and the University of Southeastern Philippines (USeP).