Irish university, SEARCA up for collaboration

A PROFESSOR from the Northern Ireland-based Ulster University visited the Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA) to discuss potential areas of collaboration on education and training.

Professor Sven Schottmann who visited SEARCA on April 24, 2023 met with Dr. Maria Cristeta Cuaresma, SEARCA's Education and Collective Learning Department (ECLD) senior program head; and Dr. Nova Ramos, ECLD-Training for Development Unit head.

A civic university known for its world-class teaching, Ulster University aims to enhance its learners' social experiences and promote interactive classroom setups and immersed pedagogical innovations.

According to SEARCA Director Dr. Glenn Gregorio, Schottmann visited the Philippines to benchmark potential universities and institutions to aid in an immersion program for undergraduate students taking up social work studies that will take place in 2024.

During his visit, Schotttmann emphasized the importance of community development and the exposure that their students will get in Southeast Asia, which is a diverse region rich in lifestyles, traditions and cultural heritage.

Receiving Schottman at SEARCA, Cuaresma provided a brief overview of the center's core programs.

She also emphasized the SEARCA-established Southeast Asian University Consortium for Graduate Education in Agriculture and Natural Resources (UC) and its collaboration with Agrinatura, a consortium of European universities.

Schottmann expressed his interest in networking his university with UC-member institutions.

Cuaresma also discussed that SEARCA is one of the 26 specialist institutions of the Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organization (SEAMEO) of which the United Kingdom has been an associate member country since 2013.

Ramos accompanied Schottmann in a meeting with the University of the Philippines Los Baños College of Human Ecology Executive Committee led by Dr. Ricardo Sandalo, dean of UPLB CHE, for more discussions on student mobility for social work students.