The University of Science and Technology of Southern Philippines (USTP) was honored and privileged to host the annual AIT visitation in the Philippines which usually takes place in capital cities of different countries all over the world. Hundreds of participants composed of the SUC Presidents, heads and representatives of public and private higher education institutions, students and other stakeholders gathered at the Performing Arts Theater of the University of Science and Technology of Southern Philippines (USTP) to participate in the Forum on Sustainable Development Goals and AIT Day Philippines on May 27, 2017.
Asian Institute of Technology (AIT) of Thailand is a world-class premiere institution of higher learning. Their visitation in the Philippines aims to share knowledge on global issues and concerns, strengthen partnership with ASEAN countries and universities particularly in the Philippines for possible collaboration and increase recruitment for graduate degree program scholarships, and introduce and enhance visibility of AIT to the country. It continues to maintain its leading position among world’s top international universities. Only eight universities in the world, including AIT, have a perfect score in international orientation, and AIT is the lone entrant in this august list from Asia reinforcing its position at the top among world’s best international universities institution of higher learning.
Dr. Ricardo E. Rotoras, USTP System and Philippine Association of State Universities and Colleges (PASUC) president, welcomed everyone in the gathering. Incidentally, Dr. Rotoras is also recognized and awarded as one of the outstanding alumni of AIT. AIT’s Vice President for Development, Mr. Surendra Man Shrestha; Associate Professor of the Department of Energy, Environment and Climate Change – School of Environment, Resources and Development, Dr. P. Abdul Salam; and Associate Professor of Industrial Systems Engineering – School of Engineering and Technology, Dr. Pisut Koomsap, presidents of the different state universities and colleges from all over the country, and all the participants were also acknowledged in the event.
AIT alumni were also present during the said forum. Leading the pack were USTP System President Dr. Ricardo E. Rotoras, USTP Cagayan de Oro’s Chancellor Dr. Ruth G. Cabahug, USTP’s Head of Infrastructure Planning and Facilities Development Dr. Ruel R. Cabahug, and USTP CDO’s Director for Innovation and Technology Solutions Atty. Dionel O. Albina.
Ms. Love Joy Raboy, faculty of USTP and AIT’s current student; Ms. Clara Elizaga, currently taking up MBA at AIT; and Dr. Sergio C. Capareda, AIT alumnus and currently the Professor of Biological and Agricultural Engineering at Texas A&M University, College Station Texas, likewise shared their significant, fun and fulfilling experiences.
In the morning, the following topics were tackled during the forum: Renewable Energy Solutions for Sustainable Development by Dr. P. Abdul Salam, Industry 4.0 (The Fourth Industrial Revolution): Its Implication to Higher Education by Dr. Pisut Koomsap, and the Sustainable Development Goals by Mr. Surendra Man Shrestha.
During his welcome message, Mr. Shrestha pointed out that the world is going through an enormous change. He stressed out three opportunities in the enormous change: 1) the embarkation of the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda by the Philippines along with other 193 countries which requires a holistic approach to education; 2) the Industrial Revolution 4.0 requiring graduates to have tremendous complexity organization and collaboration across different fields; and 3) the development of world-class universities where patents are created and where new knowledge is both incubated and disseminated.
“At AIT, we are trying to transform our institute to provide service for capacity building in the region, capacity building with education. We are focused on post graduate, masters, applied research as opposed to basic research and extension,” Mr. Shrestha said. “We hope to build a strong partnership with USTP and all other SUCs to post-effectively support work-ready graduates. We do it together in partnership with you.”