University links | The Manila Times

LINKAGES such as partnerships and/or collaborations between two or more universities or with industry have proven beneficial not only for the constituents of the universities involved, nor for their recruiting communities, but also for the world.

Create links ; internet-based. Given the internet age, “travel has become much less expensive to fulfill agreed responsibilities”. The Internet gave birth to social networks. It sparked “unfettered communication” and in performing synchronous and virtual agreements or both. Forming links has never been easier in the internet age. Travel has never been so pointless. “Universities around the world are already looking to make the most of the opportunities this presents by forming global partnerships and fostering relationships with other institutions.” (https://ties-up.com)

Collaborations. “Connecting people, sharing knowledge and opportunities between companies, increasing internal skills, leveraging specialization, and identifying needs and effective advocates” are achieved through collaboration that can internally strengthen one’s institution. (Google, October 22, 2012) In academic research, “collaboration” generally refers to an equal partnership between two academics pursuing mutually interesting and beneficial research. With a scholarship, and using the Internet, they could work on research in a common field or in complementary disciplines. Together, these disciplines enrich the interpretation of acquired data. Students, too, are no less advantaged in their studies through collaboration. They too, especially at the higher level, can form teams with students from partner universities to execute collaborative projects. These projects, facilitated using appropriate communication technologies such as Microsoft Teams, can be learning in a specific discipline or are cross-disciplinary. As Google says, “Microsoft Teams provides a digital space that brings conversations, content, assignments, and apps together, allowing students to take full control of their own learning. Accessible from any device, Teams is easy to use and encourages collaboration. between teachers and students (Goggle, Jan 22, 2020) Teams is Microsoft’s cloud-based Unified Communications (UC) core that is part of the Microsoft 365 and Office 365 suite of apps. Key features of Microsoft Teams include business email, calls, video conferencing and file sharing.

Institutions and industrial collaborations. There are different ways to collaborate with other universities and/or with industry. Detail an academic or a staff member of a collaborating organization to gain new knowledge and skills useful for a university’s curriculum. Having a team of students at a partner university for an agreed period to acquire new knowledge that is solid at said partner university and render this assistance through mutually agreed collaboration agreements. Similarly, have senior business/accounting students experience industry research to learn new methods of collecting data in collaboration with business or industry experts. This collaboration could be attractive for graduates who have become industry experts and recognized by their alma mater to help future graduates. “The experience can be valuable in many career-wise ways, including the potential to make useful connections for future (similar) collaborations, business skills development and more.” (Google, February 18, 2021) “When strategically planned, consistent with a university’s vision, mission, and goals, “collaboration can provide a much-needed — and quick — boost to academic offerings and extracurriculars for schools that lack strengths in certain areas. By emphasizing collaboration, we can define this new era of higher education as one of growth through cooperation” (Google, December 18, 2020) rather than competition.

Academic partnerships. A partnership is a fusion of individual goals for mutual benefit. The creation of partnerships is motivated by “a variety of reasons … that motivate individuals and institutions to do so”. Lefever-Davis, Johnson and Pearman (2007) stress the need “to recognize that partners exist in distinct settings with different roles and expectations. Past relationships, shared goals, and forms of communication all contribute to the formation of partnerships. affect how the partnership is formed and create expectations for partners regarding their roles in the partnership. Ultimately, the success and sustainability of collaboration has its roots in the initial context in which partnerships were formed. (Partnerships and Collaborations in Higher Education (wm.edu)) Finding a suitable partner university or for-profit or non-profit organization requires knowing the partner well. If possible, make sure that members of your university feel positive about reaching out to said organization. Know the philosophy, vision, mission and objectives of the organization, whether similar or complementary to its organization, because partnerships “begin with the identification of shared objectives and policies”. Determine if the intended partner has a good reputation in the community. That he has no history of funding problems. Make sure both are willing to share resources as needed by the partnership. Also, that both are willing to share the administration and management of the partnership without either taking control of the partnership. Keep this in mind – does partnering with this university/organization bring no harm, but rather a better reputation for his university? The commitment of both parties to the intended partnership is vital to the success of the intended partnership. Its sustainability is important. The objectives of both should not deviate from the original objectives that inspired the creation of the partnership.

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Take away food. The pandemic has led to the closure of some establishments. Meaningful and innovative collaborations or partnerships could resuscitate some of them. By following the desired changes, these institutions can enter into alliances with other types of organizations. Industry Corporate Social Responsibility can be a resource for university partnerships consistent with the philosophy, vision, mission and goals of industry and university. Local governments can join such partnerships, for example for service-learning. These ties “provide the essential infrastructure to solve societal challenges in the best possible way, that is together”, rather than competition. (https://www.timeshighereducation.com/campus/how-universities-can-build-meaningful-collaborations-solve-societal-challenges)

Teresita Tanhueco-Tumapon, PhD, one of the Philippines’ most accomplished educators and experts in the management of higher education institutions, studied at top universities in the Philippines and in Germany, Britain and Japan. She has held senior academic positions at Xavier University, Ateneo de Cagayan; was appointed by the president after the 1986 EDSA to standardize campus operations at state institutions and served 17 years later as president of SUC. She is the director of the internationalization office and a lecturer at Liceo University in Cagayan. Awards include the CHEd Lifetime Professional Achievement Award, the British Council Valuable Services Recognition Award, the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany, and the Ministry of Education Award for his initiatives as a pioneer member of the Philippine Teacher Education Council.

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