CHED sees need to seize opportunity to ‘innovate, trailblaze’ on new ground in times of change

Published April 14, 2021, 12:38 PM

by Merlina Hernando-Malipot

To further equip Philippine higher education institutions (HEIs) to cope with changes in the education landscape, the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) continues to coordinate with its partners for various projects and initiatives.

(Photo from CHED)

“In times of rapid change when there is uncertainty, we need to seize the opportunity to innovate and trailblaze on new grounds,” CHED Chairman J. Prospero De Vera III said in a statement issued April 13.

As such, CHED has partnered with Mapua University to gear up HEIs in data analytics and digital transformation for post-COVID era.

To equip PHEIs with data science and analytics skills for the post-COVID world, CHED and Mapua launched the Data Analytics and Digital Transformation Training for Higher Education which is an executive program delivered by Carnegie Mellon University – Australia (CMUA), a global leader in data analytics.

CHED explained that the program is a 10-day virtual training that will “combine a comprehensive business intelligence, data analytics, and technology management curriculum with a hands-on focus.”

The 60 participants – who come from 45 HEIs all around the Philippines – will be taught by CMUA’s expert pool of faculty who are also industry experts, with many active industry collaborations that put them at the forefront of data science developments.

The opening program was attended by De Vera, Mapua President Dr. Reynaldo B. Vea, Carnegie Mellon University – Australia Head Professor Emil P. Bolongaita, and CHED OIC Executive Director and International Affairs Staff Director Lily Freida Milla.

De Vera noted that the partnership between Mapua and CMUA is “very timely” – not only to improve efficiency in the operations of HEIs using data science – but also “build upon our efforts to create smart campuses and continue flexible learning” in the post-COVID era.

CHED, De Vera said, has been pushing for the development of smart campuses across the country in Bayanihan 2. “But we can only lay the foundations and we need technology experts to guide the HEIs to ensure efficiency of operations for enrollment, customizing delivery of education courses, faculty-student interaction, and recruitment of faculty,” he added.

Meanwhile, Bolongaita said that this initiative will also empower Philippine educators and play a small part in helping the country recover from both the public health and economic crisis that coronavirus disease (COVID-19) has created.

“The Philippines is being tested like never before and while it’s difficult to imagine, the pandemic will come to pass. We want to make sure that educators are ready for this and that the workforce more broadly is upskilled,” Bolongaita said.

Aside from the virtual training with CMUA, CHED said that participants shall also be developing asynchronous data analytics modules with localized applications that will cascade the training to other Philippine HEIs.

Participants may also choose to continue on to a Master in Business Analytics in Mapua University, as the program will be credited.

This project is among the 11 programs that are lodged under CHED’s International Continuing Professional (ICPE) grants which funds international certificate programs and short courses for Philippine HEI faculty and staff to develop and advance Philippine higher education.