USTP, USAID: Key drivers for economic growth
By Kristine Pearl A. Hortilano and Anne Lorraine R. Sitoy
Higher education institutions (HEI) such as the University of Science and Technology of Southern Philippines (USTP) are critical partners in the work of USAID and serve as key drivers for economic growth, Mr. Brian Levey said in his speech during the University’s grand launching program at Cagayan de Oro.
“Economic mobility and social stability depend largely on a well-trained workforce (who will) contribute to their country’s development,” Levy said.
Education Director Brian Levy and Senior Education Advisor Mirsharif C. Tillah of the USAID Philippines were among the distinguished guests during USTP’s grand launching activities in Cagayan de Oro City. The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) is the principle arm of the United States government which provides technical and financial assistance to partner countries such as the Philippines and their citizens.
Mr. Mirsharif C. Tillah shared during the Academe-Industry-Government forum the crucial role of the university in spurring inclusive growth. He said that the World Bank did a study on Southeast Asia in 2012. It found out that the reason why higher education is not an effective contributor to economic growth is the massive disconnect and the high level of distrust between the industry and the academe.
“Distrust is the one holding us back from utilizing the expertise present in the academe. Universities can spur excellence to address community problems. It is difficult to bring down those barriers but once those barriers are broken, the creativity, partnerships, resources can flow and can make many things possible. There is no developed economy in the world that did not use innovation in universities,” he said.
During the grand launching program, Levy also acknowledged USTP as a valued partner of USAID being the first university in Mindanao to offer the Professional Science Masters (PSM) degree program focused on power engineering and management which will enhance support to the emerging power industry in Mindanao.
PSM Launching at USTP
USAID, through the Science, Technology, Research and Innovation for Development (STRIDE) Program, has worked with the former Mindanao University of Science and Technology (MUST), in strengthening its Career Center resulting to improved linkages between the academe and industry and increasing the employability of USTP graduates.