COVID response of State Universities and Colleges in spotlight at Digital Summit

COVID response Digital Summit
PASUC members held its first Digital Summit this August.

The COVID pandemic response of State Universities and Colleges (SUCs) was in the spotlight at the 2020 Philippine Association of State Universities and Colleges (PASUC) Digital Summit.

Comprised of 112 member institutions nationwide, the PASUC is the umbrella organization of state Higher Educational Institutions in the country.

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First among its annual gatherings slated for the year, the PASUC Digital Summit was held this August 26, 2020, themed “Making Research and Extension Work for COVID-19 Response: Innovation Initiatives by Philippine State Universities and Colleges.”

Headlining the event was the launch of a compendium on SUC Research and Extension entitled “Innovating As We Heal As One.”

Also featured were talks on research and extension work on a global perspective by U.S. university experts Prof. Michael Purugganan of NYU and the President of the Philippine-American Academy of Science and Engineering (PAASE) Dr. Gisela Concepcion. Sharing on-the-ground experiences in driving research and innovation to combat the pandemic were Mariano Marcos State University Pres. Shirley Agrupis, Cebu Technological University Pres. Rosein Ancheta Jr., and Caraga State University Pres. Anthony Penaso.

USAID Office of Education Director Thomas LeBlanc gave his congratulatory message and appreciation for the longstanding partnership between USAID and PASUC.

“We at USAID are proud to learn that several of these universities have been or are partners of our Science, Technology, Research and Innovation for Development program or STRIDE. Through the visionary leadership of Dr. Tirso Ronquillo, we worked together on PASUC’s own innovation roadmap as well as the Innovation Diagnostics that would help you become more attuned to what your institutions need and to become more competitive.”

Working with government, academic institutions, and industries since 2013, the STRIDE Program is a higher education project of USAID/Philippines to support the Philippines’ path towards innovation-led inclusive growth.

A virtual gathering of 310 academic leaders and stakeholders, the Summit served as a platform “for relevant discussions that underscore the mandate of higher education in the country, especially in making research and extension initiatives of SUCs relevant to the needs of the industry and the communities in order to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals,” said PASUC President Tirso Ronquillo.

USAID STRIDE had earlier recognized the Technological Institute of the Philippines as a Model Career Center.

The University of the Philippines has been at the forefront of COVID-19 responses with innovations such as the first Philippine-made COVID-19 PCR test and having its campuses in UP Diliman and UP Los Banos serve as Testing Centers, among many other solutions.

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