by Michelle Jeanne Caracut, OC
(Chancellor Sukarno D. Tanggol with President Cheong Hee Kiat and Vera Cui, Senior Manager for External Relations)
IN THIS global era, internationalization has become a key feature of higher education and the need to be more visible in the academic and industry circles necessitates MSU-Iligan Institute of Technology (IIT) to benchmark in other top universities.
To learn from world-renowned universities and to increase the number of international initiatives of the Institute, Chancellor Sukarno D. Tanggol traveled to Singapore on July 7-14, 2019 to visit Singapore Management University (SMU) and Singapore University of Social Sciences (SUSS).
SMU ranks 78th in the 2019 Quacquarelli Symonds University Rankings: Asia. SUSS is an autonomous Singaporean university that focuses on applied degree programs primarily in the social sciences.
“Apart from looking [at the] West (like US and Europe), North (like Japan), and South (like Australia), I think we have to look at our ASEAN neighbors too!,” said Chancellor Tanggol.
“There are many things we can learn from the HEIs in Singapore. We have to continue sending some of our faculty there,” he mused.
It can be recalled that MSU-IIT sent a faculty member to the Nanyang Technological University (NTU) and a staff member to the National University of Singapore (NUS) to pursue master degrees. Both recently completed their graduate studies.
Before the visit, the Chancellor had met and engaged with the presidents of both universities during his participation at the Asia-Pacific Association for International Education (APAIE) Conference and Exhibition 2019 held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia in March.
(Chancellor Tanggol being shown a typical classroom at the College of Law and School of Public Policy at NUS.)
While in Singapore, Chancellor Tanggol had the opportunity to tour the campuses of NTU and NUS.
When asked what learning experiences he gained during his visit, he said he learned more about online learning, experiential learning, and part-time learning.
(Chancellor Tanggol being given a tour by a student ambassador at one of the facilities in SMU.)
“They have excellent learning facilities and most of the students there are not full-timers,” he added.
SUSS has a learning management system that lets students attend online courses anywhere, supported by digital content, virtual forum discussions, videos, and webinars. Their MyMail email, which is similar to the Institute’s MyIIT email, facilitates seamless communication among SUSS teachers and students.
SUSS also offers modular courses and e-learning for part-time students.
At SMU, institutes, centers, and laboratories are established to support their research, education and extension activities. The said university offers programs that are designed to combine academic learning with experiential learning – students are given opportunities to apply what they have learned to tackle real-world issues through interdisciplinary approaches.
Considering the goal of the Institute to be the leading research university in Mindanao, Chancellor Tanggol hoped that the Institute can benchmark in more universities to strengthen its international strategic plan, including improving its internationalization efforts, as well as its academic and employer reputation through collaboration, research, and innovation.