Tuesday, February 6, 2024

In its commitment to strengthen collaboration and partnership between local and international higher education institutions (HEIs), the Isabela State University (ISU) sends five (5) of its students to the Intensive Programme (IP) Belgium 2024 which will take place from January 29 – February 9, 2024 at the Bruges and Kortrijk Campus of the VIVES University of Applied Sciences, West Flanders, Belgium.

The ISU delegation consists of Jervic B. Macapallag (4th year, BS Psychology and Student Regent from Cabagan Campus), Lex Cedric N. Aquino (3rd year, BS Psychology from Echague Campus), Ellen Joy D. Blas (4th year, BS Fisheries from Echague Campus), Jord Denzel Gante (2nd year, BS Entertainment and Multimedia Computing from Cauayan Campus), and John Mark S. Agustin (3rd year, BS Secondary Education Major in Mathematics from San Mateo Campus). They are joined by Dr. Isagani P. Angeles, Jr. (University Director for Public Affairs and External Linkages) as their coach.

The first IP took place in the Philippines last 2019 with ISU as one its organizers. The event allowed students and teachers from the Philippine and Belgian institutions to collaborate with each other on development-relevant topics which is a stepping stone towards more in-depth forms of sustainable cooperation with a wide range of academic topics.

This year, forty-eight (48) students, equally divided between both Philippines and Belgium will participate in the IP. To encourage interdisciplinarity, the students come from various fields of study such as Agriculture and Biotechnology, Business Studies and Marketing, Technology, Applied Informatics, Network Economy, and Industrial Product Design.

Joining ISU as the Philippines’ representatives at this year’s IP are delegates from Central Bicol State University of Agriculture (CBSUA), Saint Mary’s University (SMU), and Nueva Vizcaya State University (NVSU).

Looking back, the IP is part of the Province of West Flanders’ Synergy Programme, a multi-stakeholder partnership that brought together thirty (30) partners from the academia, local government, non-government organization (NGOs), cooperatives, and people organizations both in the Philippines and West Flanders which started last 2018.

The central aim of the program is ‘Adaptation to climate change through entrepreneurship in sustainable agriculture seeking mitigation benefits’, with sustainable agriculture, climate change, and entrepreneurship as its main themes.

By sending University delegates to the said IP, its participants will be able to attend master classes and workshops on the aforementioned main themes, as well as on data collection and analysis, interview techniques and data visualization. The end goal is to support them to find solutions to 21st century problems and challenges rooted in the local communities the University belongs to.

At the end of the IP, the participants are to present to a jury – consisting of professors, partner organizations, fellow students and other interested parties to prepare results that can be shared with partners of the Synergy Programme and the general public.