Onward and beyond: Internationalizing PSU curriculum
PSU forges ahead the borderless world as Phase 2 of the 2021 Curriculum Review and Enhancement commenced on May 4 via video conferencing.
Vice President for Academic Affairs and Support Services, Dr. Manolito Manuel defined the road map for the weeklong review and enhancement of course syllabi per discipline from May 4-7, piloted by a virtual plenary session entitled “Internationalizing the Curriculum in Higher Education” with Dr. Greg T. Pawilen of University of the Philippines-Los Baños – Professor, Curriculum Studies & Human and Family Development Studies; Director, Office for Institutional Development in Higher Education.
Dr. Manuel contended on the magnitude of internationalization in higher institutions of learning, primarily in PSU’s pursuit for quality and excellence, saying, “Internationalization incorporates international, intercultural, and global dimensions into the learning outcomes, teaching methods, and assessment; it is a dynamic and challenging engagement into the broader global setting.”
Sharing his expertise in curriculum development, Dr. Pawilen identified the following as drivers and game players in the Philippine education context: K+12 curriculum; internationalization and ASEAN integration; contextualization and indigenization; educational system’s requirements and quality assurance; market needs (Industry & Society 4IR); evolution of disciplines and academic fields; learner-centered instruction in higher education; changing nature of higher education institutions; nature and needs of learners.
Despite the interplay of elements confronting the country’s education system, its curricula structure remains disciplinary in nature which no longer corresponds to the demands of the new world shaped by unprecedented, transdisciplinary forces.
“Curriculum is the soul of the university, it is who we are and what we are as an institution. And so, it must be redesigned and redeveloped,” Dr. Pawilen said.
Curricula redesigning builds the architecture for education institutions’ relevant and adaptive response to the needs of learners in a fast-paced world highly characterized by ‘unprecedented stresses’ brought by the economic and technological revolution. This is where internationalization comes in, as it neutralizes these unprecedented stresses with ‘unprecedented opportunities’—assimilation of transverse principles, intellectual, international, intercultural dimensions that spark innovation, creativity, and values formation among 21st-century learners.
Dr. Pawilen gauged PSU’s curriculum model and deduced each facet for internationalization based on the following elements: intent (guiding philosophy, vision, mission); content (program offerings); learning experiences (pedagogy, instructional and academic support); evaluation (internal and external quality assurance).
“The trend among ASEAN HEIs, presses too much emphasis on ‘ASEAN competitiveness’, industry-driven causes and programs,” said Dr. Pawilen.
He also encouraged PSU to apply for the ASEAN University Network-Quality Assurance (AUN-QA) membership and undergo institutional certification. “You are already accustomed to the rigors of quality assurance, and I am sure that you can pass the standards,” he added.
Beyond everything—the planned changes and mechanisms to infuse in the framework of internationalizing the curriculum—Dr. Pawilen reminded PSU, “Internationalization starts with yourself, when you recognize your major contribution to society. As stewards of knowledge, we must not aim to beat the world, but to serve the people.”
In addition, parallel sessions were successively conducted on “Integrating Intellectual Property in Research Studies” by Dr. Catalina C. Platon – Director, Innovation Support & TSO; Review of Course Syllabi with Dr. Manolito C. Manuel (VPAASS) and Dr. Raseale G. Resultay-Director, Curriculum and Instruction.
Towards a more progressive and globally competitive Philippines, PSU has solidified its ground as the newest recipient of the most coveted Philippine Quality Assurance Award (Level III) in recognition for Mastery in Quality Management during the 23rd Philippine Quality Assurance Award.
In his opening message to the participants of the plenary session, University President, Dr. Dexter R. Buted happily broke the news and lauded the entire PSU community for its collaborative effort and painstaking initiative in pursuing unparalleled greatness amid the adversities. /ksg