US allots P1.6B to boost Philippines higher education

2024 February 21

MANILA – The United States has launched a PHP1.6 billion project that will help boost the Philippines’ higher education through training and curriculum improvements.

The US-Philippines Partnership for Skills, Innovation, and Lifelong Learning (UPSKILL) program, launched on Feb. 20, will be implemented through a consortium of US universities and Philippine partners for the next five years.

“The challenges and opportunities that young people face today in the workplace make college training and education critical for their future success,” said visiting US Agency for International Development (USAID) Deputy Assistant Administrator for East Asia and the Pacific Sara Borodin during the UPSKILL launch at the University of Santo Tomas in Manila.

“Through this new USAID program, the United States government reaffirms its commitment to working with our Filipino partners in transforming the higher education sector.”

The US Embassy in Manila on Wednesday said the program aimed to bring together US universities, Philippine government agencies, and private sector partners to promote innovation and entrepreneurship in higher education institutions.

Initiatives under the program include faculty and staff training, curriculum improvements, and increasing community outreach and technology transfer, among others.

These efforts, the embassy said, will improve the qualifications and career prospects of Filipino graduates.

The UPSKILL program is implemented by RTI International through Arizona State University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and North Carolina Agricultural & Technical State University, and Philippine partners such as and the Philippine Business for Education.

The Commission on Higher Education is optimistic this initiative will provide unique opportunities for Filipino colleges and universities “to continuously innovate in response to the aspirations of the Philippines”.

“Together, we will demonstrate the compelling value of internationally recognized training, cooperative research, and lifelong learning modalities being offered by Philippine higher education,” CHED Executive Director Cinderella Filipina Benitez-Jaro said.

Officials from CHED, the Second Congressional Commission on Education, the Department of Science and Technology, the Department of Trade and Industry, the National Economic and Development Authority, and the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines, as well as representatives from several Philippine universities attended the program launch.

Joyce Ann L. Rocamora (PNA)