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Oct 07, 2019

Officials from the 10 higher education institution (HEI) members of ANTENA, an Erasmus+ co-funded program of the European Union on the internationalization of Philippine higher education, attended the observation sessions hosted by the University of Montpellier (UM) in France from September 30 to October 4, 2019. The officials were also introduced to new group learning tools to enhance their capacity to share internationalization knowledge and best practices.

The ANTENA project aims to increase the quality of academics and research of universities in the Philippines through the development of internationalization capacities. The project specifically aims to build human capacities in the internationalization of HEIs through targeted training programs, strengthen the institutional capacity of HEIs, and enhance international networking employing strategic actions in critical areas.

On the first day of the observation sessions held at the Institut de Botanique of UM, the Philippine delegates were introduced to two other ongoing internationalization projects of Erasmus+: the YEBO internationalization of Ph.D. in Africa and the CHARM-EU, a challenge-driven accessible research-based mobile European University project.

"The activity was an excellent opportunity for Universities from the Philippines, Africa, and Europe to learn more about the various dimensions of HEI internationalization. It was heartwarming to find out from the YEBO team of Africa that they considered the Philippine internationalization model for their own program," said Gil Jacinto, Director of UP Office of International Linkages. 

The next day, October 1, was focused on learning from the current internationalization practices and programs of UM, the 6th largest University in France and third French university in the 2019 University Impact ranking of Times Higher Education. Each year, the eight-century-old university hosts some 7,000 international students from all parts of the world.

The last three days of the observation sessions, from October 2 to 4, focused on new group learning tools such as "World Café", and "Codev", as well as an introduction of possible areas of international collaboration among the HEIs such as thesis co-supervision.

The World Café is a powerful method of connecting people from different backgrounds and multiple perspectives by engaging them in several rounds of small group conversations. The technique is particularly useful when the goal is to explore a topic from multiple perspectives, to ensure that everyone contributes to the conversation, and when one wants to encourage participants to make new connections. It can also be useful for gathering information from grantees and beneficiaries at the community level (

Co-development is a method “for those who believe that learning from one another can help them to improve the way they do things. Individual and collective thought and reflection are reinforced by a structured consultation exercise which focuses on topics which the participants are currently finding problematic" (

At the UM co-development workshop, the participants were divided into smaller groups (5-7)  to discuss internationalization issues.  Facilitators from UM helped ensure that the participants benefited from the experience of the others through feedback and insight.

The following officials from the 10 HEIs and CHED attended the meeting: Karen C. Sunico and Jumela F. Sarmiento (Ateneo de Manila University), Feliciano G. Calora Jr. and Roscinto Ian C. Lumbres (Benguet State University), Laurene Chua-Garcia and Lydia S. Roleda (De La Salle University), Gaudencio C. Petalcorin, Jr. and Jelli Grace C Luzano (Mindanao State University - Iligan Institute of Technology), Ruth Love V. Russell and Elisabeth Bron Enerio (Xavier University-Ateneo de Cagayan), Renato G. Reyes and Evaristo A. Abella (Central Luzon State University), Eleno P. Bucia and Irish Tejero-Dakay (University of San Carlos), Gil S. Jacinto and Teresa S. Congjuico (University of the Philippines), Felina P. Espique and Mary Grace Carrido-Baywong (Saint Louis University), Emanuel C. De Guzman, Adam V. Ramilo, Pascualito B. Gatan, and Ann Clarisse M. De Leon (Polytechnic University of the Philippines), and Joy Christine O. Bacwaden and Septon Dela Cruz (Commission on Higher Education).

The Philippine delegation was joined by the ANTENA Senior Project Manager,  Carolina Madeleine and Gabriela Castillo Bauste of the University of Alicante. Elodie Suttling facilitated the visit to the University of Montpellier.