Oct 01, 2020

Current initiatives to harmonize the credit transfer systems of higher education institutions in the ASEAN region and beyond will address the needs of today’s learners and promote international academic mobility.  

According to lawyer Lily Freida M. Milla, Commission on Higher Education officer-in-charge of the Office of the Deputy Executive Director IV and director for International Affairs Staff, “a harmonized credit transfer system will allow international students to pursue horizontal mobility and vertical progression.”

CHED is currently engaged in two major initiatives aimed at harmonizing credit transfer system among higher education institutions in the ASEAN region. The two initiatives, spearheaded by the EU SHARE Programme and the Working Group on Student Mobility and Quality Assurance of Higher Education among ASEAN Plus Three  countries, aim to make way for an environment that allows students to participate in exchanges and pursue their desired educational pathways without having to worry about credit transfer.

“We hope that current efforts to improve mechanisms for credit recognition and harmonize academic credit schemes in the region and beyond will provide our learners unlimited opportunities for growth, especially with the rising possibilities for lifelong and lifewide learning,” Milla said.

Credit transfer systems help avoid duplications in workload and achievements, allowing students to save time and money. They provide support for students’ entry and transfer into their program of choice and provide them with information on degree workload and costs. They are integral in promoting student exchanges and strengthening cooperation between and among universities in the region.

Several credit transfer schemes are currently in use worldwide depending on the exchange platform and/or the regions involved. The ASEAN University Network uses the ASEAN Credit Transfer System; the University Mobility in Asia and the Pacific and the Asian International Mobility for Students (AIMS) use the UMAP Credit Transfer Scheme; and the European Higher Education Area uses the European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System.

The ASEAN-EU Credit Transfer System is a process compatible with the ECTS and other credit transfer systems used in ASEAN. It embodies SHARE’s goal of contributing to the harmonization of higher education in the region through facilitating comparability and compatibility of studies. Researches, capacity-building workshops, and dissemination efforts have been conducted throughout the years in support of this initiative, which was first implemented in the SHARE Student Mobility Scheme.

The APT Guidelines on Transcript and Supplemental Documents for Academic Record of Exchange Students aims to promote transparency and mutual understanding, encourage institutional accountability and mutual trust, ensure safe mobility for our students, and contribute to the larger goal of creating a harmonized higher education area. It was adopted at the APT Education Ministers Meeting in November 2018.

CHED conducted a capacity-building workshop on the guidelines in June 2019 and widely disseminated them in July 2020 along with a survey aimed at monitoring Philippine higher education institutions’ use of the same. The Commission also plans to host several capacity-building projects with the hope of institutionalizing the use of the guidelines.

CHED is a partner of ANTENA, a capacity building cooperation project co-funded by the Erasmus + program of the European Commission. Other partners are the Ateneo de Manila University, Benguet State University, Central Luzon State University, De La Salle University, Mindanao State University-Iligan Institute of Technology, Polytechnic University of the Philippines, Saint Louis University, University of the Philippines, the University of San Carlos and Xavier University – Ateneo de Cagayan.