USJ participated in the Webinar-Workshop "Beyond the Pandemic: Best Practices towards Sustainable Development"





USJ participated in a two-day webinar and workshop on Sustainable Development of Catholic Institutions, organised by The Association of Southeast and East Asian Catholic Colleges and Universities (ASEACCU).

The Vice-Rector for Internationalisation and Strategic Development, Professor Álvaro Barbosa and members of the USJ International Relations participated in the Webinar-Workshop “Beyond the Pandemic: Best Practices towards Sustainable Development” on October 14 and 15, 2021. The webinar featured speakers from the different ASEACCU member institutions, showcasing the best practices in sustainable development as higher education thrives over the challenges brought by the pandemic. The event was hosted online by the University of Santo Tomas, Manila, Philippines.

The event was dedicated to exploring how Catholic Higher Education Institutions (CHEIs) should face the impact brought by the pandemic and the urgent call for ASEACCU member institutions to share their best practices on “Teaching and Learning, Wellness and Financial Sustainability” and “Research and Internationalisation Strategies.”

In the first plenary, the Keynote Speaker, President of the International Federation of Catholic Universities (IFCU), Professor Isabel Gil, in her address on “Challenges and Opportunities to Catholic Higher Educational Institutions in the Time of the Pandemic”, recognised the efforts of CHEIs to rise above challenges and shared her insights on what the future holds for the university landscapes beyond the pandemic.

The first plenary session covered the “Best Practices among ASEACCU Member-Institutions” and talks on “Teaching and Learning, Wellness and Financial Sustainability and Research”, open to everyone. A breakout meeting opened to researchers and scholars to discuss the challenges and affordable opportunities for “Research Collaboration between/among ASEACCU members Institutions”.

The second plenary session covered the Internationalisation Strategy among the ASEACCU Member-Institutions in the New Reality, and talks on the “Internationalisation in the New Reality” by the representative of the University of Santo Tomas de Manila, Developing a Framework to Support Internationalisation for Catholic University”, by the representative of the Australian Catholic University and the “Sustainable Internationalisation in Young Developing Institutions by USJ Vice-Rector, Professor Barbosa.

During the second session, Professor Barbosa shared the opportunities younger Catholic Universities should consider as part of their internationalisation strategy, including being part of the dynamics of the Associations of Higher Education Institutions such as the IFCU and ASEACCU.

Furthermore, Professor Barbosa also suggested the appeal for the University Rankings. “In the case of USJ, we consider THE Impact Ranking, as per the requirements of the model of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and its flexibility to academic life, which would be the ranking that could fit us, basically due to the development of several sustainable projects done by our university with a positive impact into our communities by promoting diversity, leadership, and social responsibility”.

In his conclusion, Professor Barbosa said that “we need to be sure future ‘blended activities’ can be sustainable over time and not only experiments to prove we can do it.”

The event concluded with a breakout meeting session on “Sustainability of Internationalisation in ASEACCU member institutions” facilitated by Mr Glen Chatelier, Chairperson of the Internationalisation Working Group of ASEACCU, with the participation of academic staff, managers and officers of the International Affairs Office of the ASEACCU member institutions.

The result of this breakout session will be published as the framework for the Internationalisation Strategy of ASEACCU for its members’ reference.