The Holy Cross of Davao College continues to build strong relationships and linkages with academic institutions locally and internationally, highlighting the newly-established partnership with Lithuanian Maritime Academy (LMA).

On March 2, 2022, HCDC, led by its president Br. Noelvic H. Deloria, S.C. and the Head of Center for Linkages, Internationalization and Language Studies (LINK-IN & LS) Sheryl J. Urdaneta, signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with the Lithuanian Maritime Academy (LMA), as a mutual alliance for the student and staff mobility in the context of the Erasmus+ programme.

This academic partnership is looking for the possibilities of student and faculty exchange, exclusive for HCDC’s Maritime program. Through the European Union (EU) funded program called Erasmus+ Programme, the institution has the potential of receiving a grant from the EU once the application is deemed successful. LMA has included HCDC in the 2022-2025 application for Erasmus+ and European Solidarity Corps. Programme.

According to Urdaneta, Erasmus+ Programme is specifically funded by the EU, specially intended for international partnerships especially for developing countries, including the Philippines, as one of the identified partners under it. Erasmus+ is very much concerned with the promotion of equality, social rights, democratization, and inclusivity of students who have less access to opportunities.

Aside from the exciting and interesting student and faculty mobility, the students and teachers from the Maritime Education could anticipate soft skills upgrades and technological advancements, particularly in the HCDC Maritime Training Center. Students will have an international education experience as they spend a portion of their education in Europe for 6 months, and the units that they will earn will be accredited in the EU education system.

“That’s very attractive. That will increase their marketability later on, that will boost the possibilities of jobs for them not only locally but more so internationally. That will open doors of opportunities for our graduates,” Urdaneta emphasized.

Maritime teachers could also anticipate receiving EU accredited training and the certificates that they will acquire will be accredited in the EU system. The program will also boost HCDC’s credibility and morale.

“We are no longer limited to our local connections. We are in fact registered with the EU. We now have an identification number. If you try to Google Holy Cross of Davao College under the Erasmus+ Programme, you will actually find us there. We are already on the map internationally and that I guess is something that we should be proud of,” Urdaneta said.

Erasmus+ Programme contains a particular set of qualification criteria in selecting those deserving students, faculty and staff who will be able to take advantage of this partnership. It primarily looks into the economic, social, and cultural statuses of the aforementioned groups. Special consideration will also be given to those who are part of the indigenous community.

“Opportunities will be open for those who don’t have access to it,” she added.

The LINK-IN & LS  is currently in the process of applying and enrolling for the Erasmus+ Programme and waiting for the results to be announced this May. Once granted, they will begin with the proper screening process to be conducted by the formed and assigned committee.

The institution aims for the program to start running from August to December this year. The initial and tentative proposal is to deliberately select 200 HCDC maritime students to participate.

However, due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the state of normalcy is still uncertain, the program will probably commence in a virtual student and faculty mobility.