Demonstrating its commitment of educating students and of engaging students in world affairs, Holy Angel University (HAU), through its Office of International Affairs, will provide scholarships to two Karen displaced refugees from Myanmar starting school year 2019-2020. They will be taking teacher education in the University.
According to HAU senior internationalization officer Leopoldo N. Valdes, it is an opportunity for HAU to be involved in providing outreach to other peoples and help to victims of genocide. One of the consequences of the internal strikes or conflicts in Myanmar is that many have been displaced from their homes, work and study.
It so happened then that HAU President Dr. Luis Calingo, said Mr. Valdes, was invited to present a keynote speech about strategy formation and execution for organization change at the recent Thailand Quality Education Forum in Bangkok. Other keynote speakers were Thailand Deputy Minister of Education Dr. Udom Kachintorn and Singapore Management University President Prof. Lily Kong.
During the said international conference, Dr. Calingo introduced HAU to other academic institutions or organizations for potential partners. It should be noted that Dr. Calingo’s experience in serving as an academic leader in three higher education institutions (HEIs) for the past 12 years, including two in the USA where he has been for 35 years, has made an indelible mark in the international scene.
In that meet, the Institute of International Education (IIE), an internationally recognized educational and cultural exchange organization, invited HAU to participate in IIE PEER (Platform for Education in Emergencies Response) project to help displaced and refugee students from Myanmar to “build a sustainable future through educational opportunities.”
Recently, a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signed between the HAU and the IIE to explore collaboration on activities related to IIE’s Program for Refugee Educational Placement (PREP) Initiative, to help displaced students obtain an accredited university degree, with a view of possible future negotiations between the parties in good faith to enter into a mutually acceptable agreement.
It is interesting to note that IIE promotes educational exchange around the world by, among other things, administering scholarship programs, providing testing and advising services, research and information on opportunities for international study, and providing emergency assistance to students and scholars.
Valdes said that HAU is looking forward to engage in more partnerships so that “we can work for more practices, innovations, and new programs.” He further remarked: “Global citizenship means a stronger, better and critical thinking about the world, not just thinking about the Philippines… We want our students not only to be competitive but also to be competent so that they can have stature internationally. Then comes the interculturalism to understand different cultures. Then as we go on, we want them to have a wonderful integration.”