The Philippines’ Commission on Higher Education (CHED) and Turkey’s Council of Higher Education (YÖK) on Wednesday, November 21 formally signed the Protocol for Cooperation in the Field of Higher Education, which aims to strengthen the academic cooperation between the two countries for the next three years.

CHED Chairman Dr. J. Prospero E. De Vera III and YÖK Deputy President Prof. Dr. Rahmi Er sign the Protocol for Cooperation
in the Field of Higher Education on November 21.

Representing the two countries are CHED Chairman J. Prospero E. De Vera III, DPA for the Philippines and YÖK Deputy President Professor Dr. Rahmi Er for Turkey.

The signing of the cooperation agreement will enable the following: 1) exchange of higher education officials, faculty and students; 2) offering of scholarship and training programs, research activities; and, 3) joint publications. It will also pave way to the the creation of a Joint Working Group to facilitate the implementation of the cooperative activities.

CHED Chairman Dr. J. Prospero E. De Vera III considers Turkey as an important partner in the development of Philippine Higher Education.

“We, in the Commission, have always placed great value on international cooperation programs in education, science, and research. Over the past years, the CHED has aggressively pushed for internationalization. The Commission considers Turkey as an important partner in the development of Philippine Higher Education. We also recognize the exceptional competence and the quality of higher education of Turkish universities that is why this agreement is important,” exclaims Dr. De Vera, his first bilateral agreement on Higher Education that he signed as CHED Chair.

Dr. De Vera also lauded the on-going academic partnership between the Mindanao State University (MSU) and Kastamonu University. “I hope Turkey and its higher education sector will continue to strengthen its partnership not just with MSU but with other universities in the Philippines, especially those located in Mindanao.”

The Protocol for Cooperation in the Field of Higher Education between Philippines and Turkey will remain valid for a period of three years.

Speaking on behalf of the Turkish delegation, Dr. Er emphasized that the Turkish government has been giving more importance on the internationalization of their higher education sector, which is comprised of 201 universities.

“The standard of Turkish higher education, especially in the fields of Medicine and Engineering, is above average among the Western European countries. I hope that many fields in the Philippine Higher Education system will benefit from us. We will encourage Philippine universities to enter partnership and collaboration with us,” Dr. Er said.

Officials from CHED, DFA, Embassy of Turkey in Manila, and YÖK witnessed the signing of the Protocol for Cooperation
in the Field of Higher Education between Philippines and Turkey.

Also present during the signing ceremony were Presidential Assistant for International Linkages Atty. Renato S. Pacaldo, CHED Officer-In-Charge / Executive Director IV Atty. Cinderella Filipina Benitez – Jaro, CHED International Affairs Staff Chief Ms. Joy Christine B. Gitau, Mindanao State University System President Dr. Habib W. Macaayong and his spouse Mrs. Pamela B. Macaayong, Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) Executive Director and Acting Head Elizabeth T. Te, and DFA Director Raul H. Dado.

Joining Dr. Er were Ambassador of the Republic of Turkey in Manila, Her Excellency Esra Cankorur, Turkish Embassy Counsellor Ms. M. Dilşen Seymenoğlu, Kastamonu University President Prof. Dr. Seyit Aydin, and Kastamonu University International Relations and Erasmus Coordinator Prof. Dr. Ahmet Sıvacıoğlu.

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