24 May 2023

Philippine Higher Education Institutions Tackled Student Mobility and Internationalisation Challenges in the 5th CALOHEA National Meeting at the University of San Agustin

Ninnart Ratanasukhon
AUN Programme Officer;

The Fifth CALOHEA National Meeting took place from 18-19 May 2023 at the University of San Agustin, Iloilo City, the Philippines. The meeting saw the attendance of distinguished representatives from Philippine higher education institutions, including Dr. Efren S. Sucaldito,  Education Supervisor of the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) of the Philippines Region VI.

Together with academic staff, students, employers, and stakeholders; they tackle the challenges that have stood in the way of student mobility and internationalisation for Philippine higher education institutions and discuss the way forward and what the three Recognition Mechanisms could bring for Philippine higher education.

Participants were warmly welcomed to the meeting by Rev. Fr. Frederick C. Comendador, OSA, President of the University of San Agustin, and Dr. Robert Wagenaar, Director of International Tuning Academy, University of Groningen, on the first day of the event.


Rev. Fr. Frederick C. Comendador, OSA, President of the University of San Agustin, receiving token from Mr. Korn Ratanagosoom, First Officer and Chief of Strategy of the AUN Secretariat 

Following the opening remarks, participants proceeded to engage in fruitful knowledge-sharing sessions, where European and ASEAN experts provided insights into the CALOHEA project and the three Recognition Mechanisms within the three subject area groups in ASEAN, highlighting the overview and progress achieved. 

The three Recognition Mechanisms of the CALOHEA Project included:

  1. Regional Subject-Specific Qualifications & Assessment Reference Framework
  2. Student Workload Measurement
  3. Authentic Assessment of Programme Learning Outcome

Participants were also in for packed discussion sessions with our distinguished speakers in the afternoon policy dialogue, where the challenges to student mobility in the Philippines were discussed.

The Commission on Higher Education of the Philippines highlighted insufficiency in foreign language literacy, the incompatibility of the program structure and students’ field of study, the alignment of the programmes' curriculum to international standards, and the integration of international teaching and learning materials as obstacles to student mobility and internationalisation for Philippine higher education.

President Dr. Joselito F. Villaruz from West Visayas State University pointed out how policy restriction and the utilisation of government institutional resources have posed a challenge, especially to state institutions, in completely committing to internationalisation and student mobility.

President Br. Joaquin Severino S. Martinez, FSC from the University of La Salle - Bacolod also echoed how degree recognition, program/course equivalency, and financial barriers proved to be the challenges to internationalisation and student mobility in the Philippines.


Participants engaged with panellists in knowledge-sharing sessions

On the 2nd day of the event, academic staff, students, and employers came to join leaders and members of the CALOHEA Project in extensive workshops where the three Recognition Mechanisms of CALOHEA were discussed and contextualised to the nation.

Participants discussed what kind of challenges could be standing in the way of the Recognition Mechanisms and how higher education institutions can successfully implement the three mechanisms.





The meeting concluded with a roundtable meeting where feedback was reflected for the progress and the developments of the three Recognition Mechanisms in three subject area groups. Way forward for the implementation of CALOHEA in the Philippines was also formulated.

The meeting was well-received by all parties, and for anyone who wished to catch up with the full details of the event, the full coverage of Day 1 is available here

1. USA - Comendador Fr. Frederick --min.jpg“The CALOHEA Project is a transformative and revolutionary undertaking that will make the playing field level for Higher Education Institutions in the South East Asia region, paving the way for better student mobility and equal opportunities for employment. Kudos to the proponents and organizers!”Rev. Fr. Frederick C. Comendador, O.S.A., President of University of San Agustin

2. Far Eastern University-Myrna P. Quinto, Executive Director,-min.jpg
"The 5th National Meeting of the Erasmus+ Capacity Building entitled 'Measuring and Comparing Achievements of Learning Outcomes in Higher Education in Asia' (CALOHEA) held on May 18, 2023, hosted by the University of San Agustin, Iloilo, Philippines gave hope that sustaining internationalisation is possible. CALOHEA was organised with the hope of addressing the challenges of sustaining internationalisation in HEIs.” —
Myrna P. Quinto, Executive Director, Far Eastern University (Please visit here for full statement)

3. University of Immaculate Conception - Mr. Rene Babiera II, -min.jpg
“The collaboration between Tuning Academy, the University of Groningen, and the ASEAN University Network to intensify collaboration among Higher Educational Institutions in the ASEAN Region through the CALOHEA National Meeting is truly commendable. This project truly responds to AUN’s mandate of utilising capabilities, expertise, and resources in promoting the sense of ASEANness as well as narrowing development gaps, and enhancing human resources in realising the objective of one ASEAN community.” —
Mr. Rene Babiera II, Coordinator of International Linkages and Affairs Office, University of Immaculate Conception

4. Rosella M Torrecampo, EdD, University of the Philippines Diliman -min.JPG“Participating in the 5th CALOHEA National Meeting at the University of San Agustin, Iloilo, Philippines gave a firmer ground on which to understand the Regional Reference Framework, its alignment with the region, and the greater global paradigm of what education is and what it ideally could be tuned to. This improves quality delivery, assessment criteria, and education delivery towards education internationalisation and mobility. The emphasis on 1) education responsibilities from the supply side of education as based on stakeholders' needs, 2) the need to be aware of student workload as key to successful output production and outcomes realisation, and 3) the importance of framing outputs and outcomes on forms of authentic assessment based on the 3 reference mechanisms ensures that education functions in a responsive, learner-centred and relevant way throughout the nation, region and internationally.” — Rosella M Torrecampo, EdD, Professor, Department of English and Comparative Literature, College of Arts and Letters, University of the Philippines Diliman

The CALOHEA Project is still on its quest to disseminate the implementation of the three Recognition Mechanisms to elevate internationalisation and student mobility in ASEAN to the next level. Stay tuned to the AUN e-newsletter or the AUN Facebook and Instagram page for the next CALOHEA National Meeting in the Philippines at Ateneo de Manila University in September 2023.