SOURCE: Press and Public Affairs Bureau
The House committee on higher and technical education chaired by Rep. Ann Hofer (2nd District, Zamboanga Sibugay) approved House Bill 4565 which seeks to establish the legal framework for the creation, operation, administration, and coordination of transnational higher education in the country.
The bill defines Transnational Higher Education (TNHE) as “all types and modes of delivery of higher education study programs, sets of courses study, or educational services, including distance education and study-abroad programs, which involve education systems of a State different from the State where a TNHE provider operates, or programs which may operate independently of any national education system.”
The bill also provides measures to address the barriers in the country’s legislative and regulatory framework to facilitate the operation of transnational education institutions and the enrolment of foreign students in the country.
House Bill 4565 or the proposed “Transnational Higher Education Act of 2016” is authored by Hofer and Rep. Ron Salo (Party-list, KABAYAN).
During the hearing, Rep. Ben Evardone (Lone District, Eastern Samar) expressed full support for the bill, describing it as a very timely and laudable measure.
Rep. Evelina Escudero (1st District, Sorsogon) moved for the approval of the bill, which was unanimously carried.
The Commission on Higher Education (CHED) and the Information Technology and Business Process Association of the Philippines (IBPAP) likewise backed the approval of the bill.
Hofer said one better way to learn the best practices of developed countries, especially in economic modernization and social development, is to expose the Filipinos to the methods and techniques of the said countries’ educational system, which may be adopted and integrated into our country’s educational system.
Salo said that by forging partnerships and collaborative arrangements with reputable universities from other countries around the world, the Philippines will be able to attract more international students and excellent faculty, which will help enable the country to develop greater teaching and research capacity.
The bill declares it is the policy of the Sate:
1. To provide quality education that is relevant to the changing needs of the people and society;
2. To recognize that rapid developments brought about by globalization, including liberalization of trade in good and services and expanding use of information and communication technologies, have created a climate for borderless teaching and learning;
3. To actively encourage, promote, and accelerate the establishment of transnational education institutions in the country, and to take an active part in developing the Transnational Higher Education sector; and
4. To strengthen educational, cultural, social, economic, and political bonds between Philippine and foreign institutions of higher learning; and develop collaborative arrangements between and among Philippine universities and training institutes, on one hand, and foreign universities, on the other.
Moreover, the bill provides the following principles for the establishment, ownership and administration of transnational higher education institutions:
a. All educational institutions shall be owned solely by citizens of the Philippines or corporations or associations at least 60 per centum of the capital of which is owned by such citizens; except in the instances provided in the succeeding sub-paragraph (b);
b. The above sub-paragraph does not apply to educational institutions established by religious groups and mission boards;
c. No educational institution shall be established exclusively for aliens and no group of aliens shall comprise more than one-third of the enrolment in any school, except in the instances provided in sub-paragraph (e);
d. The control and administration of educational institutions shall be vested in citizens of the Philippines; and
e. The provisions of sub-paragraph (a), (c), and (d) of this Section do not apply to schools established for foreign diplomatic personnel and their dependents, and for other foreign temporary residents.
The bill also provides the following modes of Transnational Higher Education Programs:
a. Academic Franchising, whereby a higher education institution (franchiser) from a certain country grants another institution (franchisee) in another country the right to provide the franchiser’s programmes/qualifications in the franchisee’s host country, regardless of the students’ origin;
b. Articulation, whereby those studying for a sub-degree in one country are guaranteed advanced entry into a degree programme in another country if they achieve an agreed level of performance in their studies;
c. Branch campus, which refers to a campus of a higher education institution (HEI) from one country established in another country (host country) to offer its own educational programs/qualification, regardless of the students’ origin;
d. Joint and double degrees – Joint degrees refer to a partnership provision which leads to a single degree awarded by two or more institutions. The program is jointly developed, jointly delivered, and jointly assessed. Double degrees refer to a partnership provision which leads to two degrees awarded by two institutions;
e. Online, blended, and distance learning, which refer to a program delivered across an international border. The delivery medium is usually online, but distance education may be delivered by post or mobile phone. Provision which is partly online and face-to-face is blended;
f. The Offshore Institution, which is an autonomous institution established in a host country, which in terms of its organization and education contents, belong to the education system of another country;
g. Twinning arrangements, where students study for a degree in two countries, starting in their own and finishing in another, which typically is the country of a partner institutions; and
h. Validation, where an HEI agrees to award its own degree to students who complete a program from an HEI in another country. / ABR