In a testament to the enduring bonds between academic institutions across borders, the University of the Philippines (UP) embarked on a historic visit to Tokyo University of Foreign Studies (TUFS) on Monday, 25 March 2024. Led by Atty. Angelo A. Jimenez, UP President, and accompanied by distinguished officials from the University of the Philippines Open University (UPOU), Chancellor Dr. Melinda dela Peña Bandalaria, Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administration Dr. Jean A. Saludadez, University Registrar Prof. Luisa Gelisan, Office of Public Affairs Director Dr. Myra Almodiel, Immersive Open Pedagogies Program Director Dr. Roberto Figueroa, Jr., and Linkages Officer Margaret Jarmin-Suarez.  The delegation engaged in a fruitful exchange of ideas with TUFS President Kayoko Hayashi.

TUFS President Kayoko Hayashi and UP President Angelo A. Jimenez

The meeting, which saw the convergence of academic leaders from both institutions, marked a significant milestone in fostering deeper collaboration and understanding between the Philippines’ premier university system and one of Japan’s leading academic institutions. Vice President Nobuo Haruna, Professor Wataru Kusaka, Specially Appointed Lecturer PALMA GIL Florinda Amparo Adarayan, and Specially Appointed Lecturer Aya Fukuda were among the notable figures who graced the occasion, enriching the discourse with their diverse perspectives and expertise.

At the heart of the discussions, certain avenues for enhanced academic exchanges between UP and TUFS. Deliberations encompassed various dimensions of collaboration, spanning student exchanges, joint research initiatives, and faculty development programs. Both parties recognized the immense value of fostering cross-cultural learning experiences and leveraging each other’s strengths to address global challenges in the aspects of education, research, and innovation.

The visit also coincided with the “World Immersive Learning Labs Symposium 2024,” a prestigious research meeting and symposium co-sponsored by the TP-Bridge Program, an initiative spearheaded by TUFS to bolster universities’ global development capabilities. The convergence of academia and industry leaders at this symposium provided a conducive platform for sharing cutting-edge insights and best practices in immersive learning methodologies, further underscoring the significance of collaborative endeavors in advancing educational excellence on a global scale.

As the world becomes increasingly interconnected, initiatives such as these serve as beacons of hope, transcending geographical boundaries to foster a shared sense of intellectual curiosity and collaboration. Through synergistic partnerships and mutual exchange, universities can harness the collective wisdom of diverse perspectives to nurture the next generation of global citizens and thought leaders.

The visit signifies a milestone in bilateral academic relations and embodies a commitment to fostering inclusive and collaborative approaches to improving the quality of higher education. It is a testament to the transformative power of international cooperation in shaping the future of higher education and driving positive societal change.

Looking ahead, the seeds sown during this landmark visit are poised to blossom into a vibrant tapestry of academic collaboration, enriching the lives of students, faculty, and researchers alike. With unwavering dedication and a shared vision for a brighter tomorrow, the UP and TUFS stand ready to embark on a journey of mutual discovery and innovation, bound by a common pursuit of excellence and enlightenment.

Written by Nikhaela Valenciano ♦ Edited by Margaret Jarmin-Suarez and Yasele M. Yambao

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