University of Alberta officials visit SEARCA

  • By Nathan P. Felix
  • 1 March 2023

Dr. Stanford Blade, P.Ag., Dean, Faculty of Agricultural, Life, and Environmental Sciences, and Mr. Jinjia Xu, Regional Manager for Asia, Office of Global Engagement, both of the University of Alberta, visited the Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA) on 28 February 2023.

Dr. Glenn Gregorio, SEARCA Director, welcomed and briefed the visitors on SEARCA’s strategic directions from 2020 to 2025, focused on Accelerating Transformation Through Agricultural Innovation (ATTAIN).

After the audiovisual presentation, Dr. Blade expressed his keen interest in the Education and Collective Learning Department (ECLD) of SEARCA and inquired about the Center's scholarship management and recruitment process.

Dr. Maria Cristeta Cuaresma, Senior Program Head, ECLD, explained the schemes of the SEARCA graduate education and training programs and said that SEARCA also has joint scholarships with several institutions wherein the SEARCA scholars are enrolled in.

“An example would be the Agropolis Fondation-SEARCA Joint Scholarship Program, where we enable scholars to spend 18 months in France and 18 months in one of the Southeast Asian University Consortium for Graduate Education in Agriculture and Natural Resources (UC) member institutions,” said Dr. Cuaresma.

Dr. Gregorio reiterated that SEARCA’s scholarship programs aim to develop a new breed of agricultural leaders and professionals that embody mindset transitions. He also added that most SEARCA scholarship alumni now serve as university officials or hold key positions in their respective local or national governments.

The University of Alberta in Edmonton is one of Canada's top teaching and research universities with an international reputation for excellence across the humanities, agricultural sciences, creative arts, business, and engineering.

With Dr. Gregorio and Dr. Cuaresma during the meeting were Dr. Nur Azura Adam, SEARCA Deputy Director for Programs; Dr. Gerlie Tatlonghari, Program Head, Research and Thought Leadership Department; and Ms. Sharon Malaiba, Head, Partnerships Unit.