The Institute for ASEAN-European Studies (IAES) of the Holy Cross of Davao College (HCDC) together with Deputy Head of Mission, Embassy of Finland in Manila Laura Hassinen and Honorary Consul of Finland for Mindanao Tony S. Peralta, along with the European Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines (ECCP), discussed possible academic system improvements and potential partnerships, at the President’s Boardroom last January 17, 2023.

The IAES, headed by Sheryl J. Urdaneta, co-organized the gathering with EECP, which aimed at strengthening the ECCP Education Advocacy Committee Members. HCDC serves as the Secretariat for the said committee. 

According to Hassinen, Finland’s education system is the “best in the world.”

“We are doing well in this area so we are very happy to speak about our own experiences and find ways to collaborate and really discuss what we have been doing,” Hassinen said during the forum.

Among the aspects that were discussed include post-degree, research, cultural and student exchange programs.

Peralta said they are looking to further enhance the partnership with HCDC.

“Here in Davao, this is where real change happens and where transformation of institutions can result in a very good partnership between schools and also schools in Europe,” he added.

Meanwhile, HCDC President Br. Noelvic H. Deloria, S.C. emphasized the importance of forming relationships with the community.

“When I look at internationalization, it is about building relationships among ourselves and part of building relationships is the people,” he said.

Br. Deloria added the school is open for possible ‘convergence’ through partnerships.

Several higher education institutions (HEIs) and representatives from various organizations were also invited during the forum which include the Assumption College of Davao, Assumption College of Nabunturan, Central Mindanao Colleges (Region XII), University of the Immaculate Conception, Brokenshire College, Aviation Technical School of Cotabato (BARMM), Kolehiyo ng Pantukan, Philippine Women’s College, Commission on Higher Education (CHED) Region XI and Local Government Unit of Digos City.

HCDC is committed to providing students with relevant and high quality education through academic innovation which is at par with international standards.