Apr 29, 2020

Republic Act No. 11448, also known as Transnational Higher Education Act, will address the noted lack of internationalization policies and strategies of Philippines higher education institutions while expanding access to education through transnational higher education opportunities.

“Through the landmark legislation, stakeholders from the higher education sector may soon fully enjoy the advantages offered by internationalization and transnational higher education,” said Atty. Lily Freida M. Milla, Officer-in-Charge of the Office of the Deputy Executive Director and Director for International Affairs of the Commission on Higher Education. 

RA 11448, signed into law by President Rodrigo R. Duterte into law on August 28, 2019, will strengthen the government’s efforts to modernize the Philippine higher education sector and make use of international quality standards and expertise for the purpose of promoting global competitiveness, attracting talents, and further developing the country’s human resource, Atty. Milla said.

The law will provide CHED national policy directions on the internationalization of Philippine higher education by providing a platform for accelerating partnerships between Philippine and foreign universities to achieve the goals of access, quality, equity, and inclusivity in higher education.

TNHE, as defined by the law, covers as “all types and modes of delivery of higher education study programs, sets of courses of 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 where the learners are located in a country different from the one where the awarding institution is based.”

By allowing the entry and operation of foreign higher education institutions in the Philippine higher education sector, transnational education and global competitiveness of Philippine HEIs will eventually improve, Atty. Milla said.

The law will open up more opportunities for TNE collaboration, will improve coordination among national and local government agencies, and create a conducive legal and academic climate for transnational higher education such as, granting of tax incentives for HEIs with TNE arrangements, and expediting the processing of administrative requirements for foreign faculty and students.

Transnational education has a range of benefits for countries that engage with foreign HEIs. It helps meet skill gaps and enables competent local HEIs to offer a wider range of courses and improve the quality of their programs.

In a research conducted by internationalization experts Jane Knight and John McNamera on behalf of the British Council, the capacity building brought about by transnational partnerships helps add new and higher quality courses. The research further suggests that new quality assurance processes, teaching methods, program management techniques, and distance education give host institutions a range of benefits.

CHED is a member of the Internationalization of the Higher Education in the Philippines Network (ANTENA) Project led by the University of Alicante in Spain with the support of the University of Montpellier in France and the European Foundation for Management Development. Other members are 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, and University of San Carlos and Xavier University – Ateneo de Cagayan.