With the COVID-19 cases in the country continuing to decline and the restrictions relaxing, University of the Philippines Open University (UPOU) Chancellor Melinda dela Peña Bandalaria and team paid a courtesy call to the newly appointed Benguet State University (BSU) President, Dr. Felipe S. Comila, on 15 June 2022 at La Trinidad, Benguet.
The revival of the discussion on forming the Consortium of Open Universities in the Philippines was discussed, as well as the challenges encountered by BSU during the height of the pandemic. President Comila expressed his strongest support to the forming of the said consortium as a member of the Technical Working Group that will forward academic collaborations and partnerships in research and extension among its members. Dr. Bandalaria also introduced BSU’s possible involvement in the Global Advocacy Campaign on Open, Flexible, and Distance Learning (OFDL) of the International Council for Open and Distance Education (ICDE).
The group from BSU who were present in the meeting are Dr. Esper L. Feliciano, OU Director; Dr. Imelda O. Degay, Vice President for Academic Affairs; Dr. Gretchen C. Ablaza, Director, University Public Affairs Office; Dr. Leonard T. Apilis, OU Assistant Director; and Dr, Imelda B. Galinato, Executive Dean of La Trinidad Campus.
As part of the efforts to continue reviving the forming of the consortium of ODeL Providers in the country, the other members of the Technical Working Group from Don Mariano Marcos Memorial State University (DMMMSU), Ifugao State University (IFSU), and Mariano Marcos State University (MMSU) are scheduled to meet virtually on 20 June 2022. John B. Lacson Foundation Maritime University (JBLFMU) Arevalo, Inc., and Cavite State University also signified their participation in the said undertaking and will also be present during the virtual meeting.
The consortium’s Technical Working Group is established in a number of areas of shared interests and cooperation. Among these are academic collaboration— program development and offering, cross-enrollment, open educational resources sharing, and research collaborations; capacity building through faculty and student exchange; international collaboration; and international accreditation.