OLFU launches SPARKS International Learning Conference » Manila Bulletin Technology



(From left) OLFU VP for Academic Affairs, Dr. Heracleo Lagrada; OLFU EVP & CFO Don August Santos; OLFU VP for Student Affairs, Dr. Mylene Abad Santos; FUMC President, Dr. Vicente Santos, Jr.; Amb. Laura Quiambao-del Rosario; OLFU President, Dr. Carol Marian Enriquez; Erin Watson-Lynn; Professor Datuk Dr. Noor Azlan Ghazali; and OLFU Dean of the College of Hospitality and Institutional Management, Dr. Ignacio Cordova, Jr.

Our Lady of Fatima University (OLFU) hosted an international learning conference entitled, “Synergizing Partnerships in Advancing Research, Knowledge and Service (SPARKS),” at Novotel Hotel, Quezon City.

OLFU’s milestone two-day event was conceptualized to be a capacity-building conference and the first-ever venue for local and international leading experts to convene, interact and share ideas on the internationalization of higher education.

Delegates from seven countries, China, Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, Australia, United States and the Philippines, attended the conference with talks that centered on the theme of academic diplomacy featuring four international speakers plus a host of local speakers, all notable experts in their fields. Also in attendance were approximately 34 organizations from government, business and education sectors.

The Welcome Address was given by Dr. Caroline Marian S. Enriquez, President of OLFU who spoke about the need for establishing and understanding academic diplomacy in this revolutionary age of innovation and technology. She said, “Our goal with SPARKS is to open up the mindset of students to the importance of internationalization in the context of other cultures and the differences between regions so that they can apply it with deference to how it should be done, in ways that are culturally and politically correct.  The SPARKS International Conference is the first step in OLFU’s aim to achieve “a global and borderless meeting of the minds.”

Keynote Speaker was Prof. Datuk Dr. Noor Azlan Ghazali, Chairperson of the University Mobility in Asia and the Pacific (UMAP) and Vice Chancellor of the National University of Malaysia who shared his valuable insights on the importance of fusing strengths in bridging academic diplomacy in higher education in Asia.

Foreign invited speakers were Erin Watson-Lynn, Director for Asialink, University of Melbourne, Australia and Chair of the Advisory Board of the National Centre for Student Equity in Higher Education , Ooi Ching Ya, Assistant Vice-President, Culture Education & New Growth Apple Education Chair, Asia Pacific, Singapore, shared her thoughts on reshaping education to nurture our future generations as digital-savvy and culturally-connected global citizens. Dr. Yasmin Y. Ortiga from the School of Humanities and Social Sciences in Nanyang Technological University, Singapore discussed how migrant academics engage with fellow scholars.

The SPARKS International Conference was mounted in celebration of OLFU’s 50th Founding Anniversary. From a 25-bed hospital in then-underdeveloped Valenzuela in 1967, OLFU has expanded into five campuses; Valenzuela, Quezon City, Antipolo, Pampanga and Nueva Ecija and has consistently produced topnotchers over the years.

Remaining true to its vision of “improving man as man,” OLFU is gearing up for the comeback of College in SY 2018-2019.  OLFU is now accepting applicants to College with affordable downpayments and easy installments in its continuing mission to make good education attainable to anyone.

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