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CHED hails TAU’s IZN, SDG accomplishments
Text by Mr. Jerome L. Duque (TAU-ELIA)
Poster by Mr. John Paul Q. Gordovin
The Commission on Higher Education (CHED) lauded the internationalization (IZN) and Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) strategic initiatives of Tarlac Agricultural University (TAU) during the 2022 ASEAN Philippine Higher Education IZN Champions Of Nation-building and Sustainability (ASEAN ICONS) Internationalization Awards held at Hilton Manila on 26 August.
CHED commended TAU for its international reputation and visibility as evidenced by its inclusion in international rankings and ratings especially in Times Higher Education (THE) Impact Rankings, Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) Stars, and World Universities with Real Impact (WURI).
In 2021 and 2022, TAU ranked 601-800 globally in THE Impact Rankings. TAU was also the first state university and college (SUC) to ever make it to the said prestigious assessment. In WURI, TAU was listed in the 101-200 tier in the last two cycles and performed best in student mobility and openness (number 1 in the Philippines) and Fourth Industrial Revolution. Set to last until 2024, TAU’s 3-Star rating in QS proved the university’s excellent service in Academic Development, Social Responsibility, and Inclusiveness.
CHED also introduced several recognitions to reward Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) with best IZN and SDG programs in the past five years.
TAU’s national winning entry in the Global Citizenship category is the Inter-institutional ASEAN Festival (IAF) which is a product of TAU’s collaboration with 19 South East Asian HEIs. Conducted from August to October 2021, IAF is a combination of ASEAN-wide cultural, literary, and multimedia competitions and webinar series on contemporary challenges in the region such as wetlands conservation and protection and employment readiness of ASEAN graduates.
Another finalist in the same category is the TAU Global Discourses. Said program opens a space for interdisciplinary dialogue. It revolved around the fora that featured and tackled relevant learnings, purpose and vision as well as TAU and its partners’ pursuit of a collective effort to adapt to the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic and more importantly, an encultured practice to achieve and promote the UN SDG. A contender from Mariano Marcos State University (MMSU) joined the two qualifiers from TAU.
Meanwhile, the twin venture, International SDGs Bootcamp (ISB) and Global Goals Cross-sectoral SDG Dialogues (GGSD), was declared as the national winner in the Outstanding Contribution to Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion category. ISB is an innovation-based mentorship and competition among SDG advocates and champions. GGSD is an undertaking TAU launched with SEED4Com, a Cebu-based volunteer organization, under the auspices of SDG Academy Philippines. TAU bested all the contenders including the two finalists from the Philippine Normal University and MMSU.
Dr. Max P. Guillermo, TAU President, expressed his gratitude to CHED for recognizing TAU’s IZN programs. “We also thank our constituents for supporting our projects. This is just the beginning of our journey towards achieving our vision of becoming one of the top universities in Asia. Let us altogether continuously push TAU to greater heights,” Dr. Guillermo added.
In a statement, Dr. Christine N. Ferrer, External Linkages and International Affairs (ELIA) Director, emphasized the importance of integrating the UN 2030 Agenda and ASEAN Blueprint to the university roadmap. “As we inch closer to achieving our institutional goals, we also need to contribute to the development of our local communities and the entire nation. There are no better ways to do this than to promote greater interconnectedness via ASEAN integration and advocate for high-level discussions on and grassroot adaptation of sustainable policies and systems especially on education, agriculture, food, and technology,” Dr. Ferrer continued.
The ELIA Director also said that the awards are offered to all TAU stakeholders and academic partners. “The cooperation among different offices at the university and the genuine passion for innovation of TAU leadership led us to this milestone,” Dr. Ferrer stressed.
Dr. Noel J. Petero, Vice President for Finance and Administration, and Dr. Arlene V. Tomas, Officer-In-Charge for the Office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs, also attended the awarding ceremony.