Asean colleges should address curricular mismatch to help students: CHED

MANILA — Colleges and universities of member countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) should resolve individually the issue on the mismatch among their curricular programs to make studying easier for exchange students, Commission on Higher Education (CHED) spokesperson, Commissioner Prospero de Vera III, has said.

De Vera was commenting on a statement made recently by John Derick Ordonez, a 19-year-old second year Development Communication student of the University of the Philippines Los Banos (UPLB), who was elected as the first president of the newly formed ASEAN Student Council.

Ordonez said in an earlier interview that the mismatch among the curricular programs of ASEAN colleges and universities has caused a delay in the completion of studies of some exchange students whenever they study abroad and return to their country to finish their degrees.

Because some subjects are not credited, it takes the exchange students longer to graduate, Ordonez said, calling on the country’s education leaders to help resolve this concern of Filipino exchange students.

De Vera said that with the expected increase in student mobility due to efforts to intensify integration among ASEAN member states, including the Philippines, it should now be the colleges and universities of the member countries that should take the initiative to adjust their programs to address the problem.

“We cannot impose on the universities… for the government, the role of CHED is just to facilitate,” he said in a recent interview with the Philippine News Agency (PNA).

De Vera said that various schools and universities that have their own international linkages can agree on mutual recognition of degrees and quality standardization of system of subjects.

“Not all universities want internationalization,” he said.

Ordonez earlier observed a misalignment in social science subjects, compared to business and economic subjects, most of which are accredited by colleges and universities in the country and abroad.

This curricular mismatch was one of the problems identified by participants of the recent First ASEAN Student Mobility Forum held in Pasay City, which was organized by the ASEAN, the Philippines’ CHED, and the European Union (EU).

The forum aimed to capture and promote the benefits of student mobility in the ASEAN region, including enhancing the employability of students of member nations. MLMG/