Distinguished Professor and CMU-A Head Professor Emil Bolongaita appeared alongside two former CMU-A students to speak via Zoom to audiences at the International Grants Conference and Networking Session (ICoNS) in Baguio City, Philippines on Tuesday. Hosted by the Commission on Higher Education (CHED), ICoNS is a hybrid, three-day conference showcasing the internationalization efforts of CHED. The event marks the 28th anniversary of the agency, which was formed in May 1994 with the goal of reforming the education system in the Philippines.
Professor Bolongaita was on hand to talk about the ongoing partnership between CHED and CMU-A which offers a scholarship program for Filipino faculty and staff of Philippines higher education institutions to study a Master of Science in Public Policy and Management or Master of Science in Information Technology at Carnegie Mellon University in Australia.
CMU is honoured to be an international partner of CHED and we are delighted to be able to contribute to CHED’s mission to transform Philippines higher education.
“CMU is honoured to be an international partner of CHED and we are delighted to be able to contribute to CHED’s mission to transform Philippines higher education,” said Professor Bolongaita. “Higher education is particularly vital to the prosperity and progress of any nation in today’s hyper digitized and globalized world. The Philippines needs to continuously upskill its workforce who are not just cognizant of but deeply competent about the new technologies that are transforming enterprises and economies, politics and policy, governments and governance.”
The programs available at CMU-A offer students an internationally recognised degree and provide an opportunity to work on real-world projects for public and private sector clients, allowing them to directly apply knowledge and skills learned in their courses. Recent projects by CHED scholars at CMU-A have included a policy research project titled “The Role of Government Banks in Improving Financial Inclusion in the Philippines” with Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas as their client, and a policy research project titled “Who Runs the World? Women’s Role in Building Smart, Inclusive Cities”.
To date, 32 CHED-CMU scholarships have been awarded to faculty and staff from public and private universities across the Philippines. Professor Bolongaita noted that the program attracted top calibre individuals – of these 32, five graduated with highest distinction, and two graduated at the top of their respective programs.
Former CHED-CMU scholars Ms. Crislin Cruz (MSc in Public Policy and Management) and Dr. Carl Demetria (MSc in Public Policy and Management) also took to the virtual stage to share their experiences as students and scholarship recipients.
Ms. Cruz described how excited she was to receive the scholarship and offered a humorous perspective on her adjustment period after moving to Australia – particularly having to get used to Australian weather and Aussie accents. She also talked about her research work and the opportunity to meet and learn from top-notch CMU faculty, as well as making new international friends and attending international conferences.
Dr. Demetria told audiences that he chose CMU because he wanted to gain an international perspective and was drawn to CMU’s strong program with offerings in information systems, public policy and management. As a medical specialist, Dr. Demetria already had a medical degree and MSc in Information Systems under his belt, but chose to do his MSc in Public Policy and Management at CMU so he could focus on using technology to maximise efficiency in healthcare policy.
In addition to offering full degree programs, CMU-A has also worked in partnership with CHED and Mapua University to deliver a series of short courses designed to train Philippine educators in digital transformation and data analytics.
“Digitally savvy and data smart educators will be invaluable assets to the country as it pursues sustainable and inclusive development,” Professor Bolongaita explained.
He finished his speech by reinforcing CMU’s commitment to working with CHED. “There is no superior equalizer and catalyser in humankind than education,” he said. “And so with CHED, CMU will continue to make every effort to ensure that it will be an effective partner for creating a better future for the country.”