MSEUF joins nat'l summit for int'l students in PH higher education institutions

OVP External Relations

The spirit of diversity and inclusion permeated the atmosphere at the First National Summit for International Students and Advisers of Philippine Higher Education Institutions, held at Silliman University Hall from April 10-13, 2024.

Themed “Embracing Differences, Driving Succes,” the summit brought together 22 colleges and universities from across the nation, including Manuel S. Enverga University (MSEUF) represented by the Vice President for External Relations Celso D. Jaballa, along with 27 international students including Arvin Ronquillo, a freshman Italian student of MSEUF College of Architecture and Fine Arts (CAFA)and advisers from the participating schools.

Keynote Speaker Dr. Edna Imelda F. Legazpi, Director IV- Commission on Higher Education, Office of Student Development and Services, set the tone for the summit, emphasizing the importance of embracing diversity in the academe.

For three days, participants engaged in a series of sessions aimed at promoting understanding and collaboration. Session topics ranged from “International Study with an Edge: The University Town Experience” to “Cultural Diversity Awareness” and “Building Cross-Cultural Bridges through Leadership.”

Notable speakers included Ms. Desiree Maxino, a former International Student at Johns Hopkins University, Sharon Rose Dadang-Rafols, an artist and former Education Peace Officer of Silliman University’s Justice and Peace Center, and Mr. Daryl Robinson, former Silliman University Student Government President.

One of the highlights of the summit was the Community Immersion facilitated by Mr. Novee E. Maestrecampo, Jr., where international students interacted with the local community, engaging in activities and games.

Advisers were also provided with valuable insights and tools during workshops on “Cultural Diversity and Inclusion in Campuses,” led by Mr. Rolando JR. Villamero, inclusive Education Advisor for the Middle East.

The summit concluded with a session on “International Student Organizations,” where participants shared their programs and projects, showcasing the rich tapestry of initiatives across Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao.

During the opening program, Dr. Betty C. McCann, president of Silliman University, and Ms. Alma G. Tirona, president of the Philippine International Friendship and Understanding (PIFUA), extended warm welcomes to all participants, setting the stage for an enriching and inclusive summit experience.

As the summit ended, participants left with a renewed commitment to diversity and inclusion, recognizing that embracing differences is not only a moral imperative but also a catalyst for driving success in higher education.

  • Quality Education (SDG 4). The summit focuses on enhancing the quality of education by promoting cultural diversity awareness, cross-cultural communication, and leadership development among international students and advisers.
  • Decent Work and Economic Growth (SDG 8). By fostering collaboration and community engagement, the summit contributes to creating opportunities for economic growth and decent work, particularly through the exchange of ideas and initiatives among participants.
  • Reduced Inequalities (SDG 10). The theme of embracing differences and driving success underscores the importance of reducing inequalities by promoting inclusivity and diversity in higher education institutions.
  • Partnerships for the Goals (SDG 17). The summit brings together colleges, universities, international students, and advisers from different regions, emphasizing the importance of partnerships and collaboration in achieving common goals related to diversity, inclusion, and quality education.