Our Internationalization and Linkages Committee (ILC) is composed of International Relations Officers (IROs) and various Administrators for External Affairs from the Davao Colleges and Universities Network (DACUN).

Currently, the ILC is interested in finding new ways to bolster its collective efforts for academic internationalization. Hence, the DACUN ILC seizes this opportunity for a learning session where the members can share in a discussion that views internationalization in a way that is more relevant to the Mindanawon context, or more specifically, the context of internationalization in Davao City.

The learning session is a capacity-building exercise that meets its participants at their own levels, given the members’ unique set of resources, and different sets of institutional goals and priorities. The participants were made to understand the building blocks of internationalization, and from there, understand which steps they can take in order to better navigate their systems for international relations in their own universities and colleges. We insist that these building blocks be understood strategically, and viewed in lenses that are more specific to the HEI’s of Mindanao.

The learning session addressed the following questions:

  • What are the strategic foundations for internationalization, and how can these strategies be discussed in a way that’s more relevant to the Davao context during the time of a global pandemic?
  • How can officers for internationalization—including those who do not belong in formal offices of international relations, or those who are new to the position—begin to tackle the rules of engagement and partnership-building?

The goal was to discuss internationalization in a way that is relevant to all DACUN member institutions, even to those who are taking this on with minimal resources.

We believe that internationalization is not a topic that is exclusive for those who have long-standing international projects and mobility engagements. In fact, if more DACUN schools succeed in strategic internationalization, it will empower the region and collectively elevate our global standing as together, we champion the strengths of Mindanao to the rest of the world.

The program featured Atty. Lily Freida M. Milla, CESO IV, OIC Deputy Executive Director IV, Director III, International Affairs Staff of the Commission on Higher Education, as a main speaker, and her co-discussant was Dr. Reynaldo C. Castro of the University of Mindanao. Atty. Milla discussed the elements of “Strategic Internationalization for Mindanao,” and Dr. Castro shared on the “Best Practices of Internationalization and the Fundamentals of the IRO Position.” The event had 85 participants from HEIs all over Mindanao.

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