New ASU-led fellowship focused on reimagining higher education in the Philippines

ASU 1 of 3 US universities selected to participate in the UPSKILL program

There are more than 2,000 higher education institutions in the Philippines, and a rapidly growing number of university-aged students. However, problems related to access and degree attainment put the country at a critical juncture needing to adapt its higher education strategy for a rapidly changing global economic landscape.

To help address that need, the University Design Institute at Arizona State University launched a new fellowship program last month as part of a multiyear, multimillion-dollar effort to transform higher education on a nationwide scale in the Philippines.

The Higher Education Innovation Leaders Fellowship Program is one of the initial phases of the $30 million United States-Philippines Partnership for Skills, Innovation, and Life-long Learning, or UPSKILL, initiative.

The fellowship program will bring together 16 senior academic officials from across 12 institutions and the Commission on Higher Education in the Philippines — the federal government agency for higher education in the Philippines — to gain new skills enabling them to become leaders as designers within their institutions and serve as ambassadors for change within their respective institutions. ASU’s University Design Institute will lead the fellows through a series of facilitated sessions, both virtually and in person in the Philippines and Arizona.

“These fellows will be bringing contributions and cultivating advocacies of transformation through the fellowship program. I look forward to seeing (them) working collectively toward a goal of a strengthened higher education system leading to inclusive growth in the Philippines,” Commission on Higher Education Chairman J. Prospero De Vera III said in a statement.

Throughout the eight-month fellowship, which culminates in a weeklong visit to ASU in the fall, the 16 fellows will study global trends in higher education, gain tools and techniques for higher education design, and learn how to transform higher education on a local scale. Sessions will be led by University Design Institute leaders, and experts and will include other global and local experts.

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