The Philippines and Australia held a ceremonial signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on higher education and research as a prelude and important milestone to the commemoration of the 75th diplomatic ties between the two countries in 2021.
At the sidelines of the Australian Technology Network (ATN) Education Summit on Saturday, September 26, 2020, Philippine Commission on Higher Education (CHED) Chairman J. Prospero E. De Vera III and University of Technology Sydney (UTS) Vice Chancellor and President and ATN Chair Professor Attila Brungs signed the MOU on Higher Education and Research.
Philippine Ambassador to Australia Hellen De La Vega along with presidents of state colleges and universities of the Philippines also viewed the ceremony online.
The ATN is a consortium of four of the most innovative and enterprising universities in Australia, namely: UTS in New South Wales, RMIT University in Melbourne, University of South Australia, and Curtin University in Western Australia.
The MOU intends to facilitate cooperation between Philippine State Universities and ATN Member Universities particularly on science and innovation in higher education and research. It will also support the longstanding education cooperation between Manila and Canberra.
“On the ATN Global Engagement Plan, we want to expand this and make it richer and deeper, one of our core areas of focus now is on the Philippines,” Professor Brungs said in his opening remarks as he recognized the importance of the Philippines in Australia’s international education sector.
Brungs added that the ATN and CHED will develop a work plan to activate this collaboration with the objective of implementing activities by 2021.
Chairman de Vera, for his part, said the Philippines and Australia will be celebrating the 75th anniversary of establishment of diplomatic relations in 2021 and higher education cooperation is an important part of this milestone.
The CHED chair explained that the MOU is aligned with the priorities of the Philippines Australia Comprehensive Partnership and the national development plans of the Philippines.
“This important agreement that we sign today is crucial in pushing for stronger internationalization of Philippine Higher Education Institutions,” said De Vera.