No important announcement
As one of the long-standing and pioneering progressive schools in the country, Our Lady of Fatima University (OLFU) hosted an international learning conference entitled, “Synergizing Partnerships in Advancing Research, Knowledge and Service (SPARKS),” on September 15-16, 2017 at Novotel Hotel, Quezon City.
OLFU’s milestone two-day event was conceptualized to be a capacity-building conference and venue for local and international leading experts to convene, interact and share ideas on the internationalization of higher education.
Delegates from seven countries, China, Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, Australia, United States and the Philippines, attended the conference with talks that centered on the theme of academic diplomacy featuring four international speakers plus a host of local speakers, all notable experts in their fields. Also in attendance were approximately 34 organizations from government, business and education sectors.
The Welcome Address was given by Dr. Caroline Marian S. Enriquez, President of OLFU who spoke about the need for establishing and understanding academic diplomacy in this revolutionary age of innovation and technology. She said, “As an institution which values the substance of both academic diplomacy and excellence, the SPARKS International Conference is the first of a series of international conferences that we plan to get into because we want to expose not only our students but also the other schools who may not have the capabilities to launch something like this. Our goal with SPARKS is to open up the mindset of students to the importance of internationalization in the context of other cultures and the differences between regions so that they can apply it with deference to how it should be done, in ways that are culturally and politically correct. The SPARKS International Conference is the first step in OLFU’s aim to achieve “a global and borderless meeting of the minds.”
Keynote Speaker was Prof. Datuk Dr. Noor Azlan Ghazali, Chairperson of the University Mobility in Asia and the Pacific (UMAP) and Vice Chancellor of the National University of Malaysia who shared his valuable insights on the importance of fusing strengths in bridging academic diplomacy in higher education in Asia.
Foreign invited speakers were Erin Watson-Lynn,Director for Asialink, University of Melbourne, Australia and Chair of the Advisory Board of the National Centre for Student Equity in Higher Education who presented Asialink’s experience with Track II Diplomacy and summarized best practices for academic diplomacy in Asia. Ooi Ching Ya, Assistant Vice-President, Culture Education & New Growth Apple Education Chair, Asia Pacific, Singapore, shared her thoughts on reshaping education to nurture our future generations as digital-savvy and culturally-connected global citizens.Dr. Yasmin Y. Ortiga from theSchool of Humanities and Social Sciences in Nanyang Technological University, Singapore discussed how migrant academics engage with fellow scholars within their countries of origin.
Leading the roster of local expert speakers, Dr. Laura Quiambao Del Rosario, President, Pax Et Lumen International Academy and former Philippine Ambassador to India, DFA, talked about how education and diplomacy play leading roles in finding solutions to current global issues. Xavier Alpasa, faculty member of the Ateneo Graduate School of Business and Chief Strategist of Xavier and Associates, spoke on harnessing and optimizing the potentials of Academic Diplomacy for Sustainable Development. Dr. Luis Maria R. Calingo, President, Holy Angel University, presented case studies of how six higher education institutions leveraged on internationalization to introduce academic innovations. Charlito S. Ayco, Managing Director of WeGen Foundation shared his thoughts on how to build lives and break barriers to human development by addressing housing and energy poverty. Julio S. Amado, III, Deputy Director-General of the Philippine Foreign Service Institute, talked about ethics and cultural integration in academic diplomacy.
The SPARKS International Conference was mounted in celebration of OLFU’s 50th Founding Anniversary. From a 25-bed hospital in then-underdeveloped Valenzuela in 1967, OLFU has exponentially expanded into five campuses; Valenzuela, Quezon City, Antipolo, Pampanga and Nueva Ecija and has consistently produced topnotchers over the years.
Remaining true to its vision of “improving man as man,” OLFU is gearing up for the comeback of College in SY 2018-2019. OLFU is now accepting applicants to College with affordable downpayment and easy installment schemes in its continuing mission to make good education attainable to anyone.