To provide greater solidarity, collaboration and participation among neighboring countries in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and European Union (EU), the Holy Cross of Davao College (HCDC), with the European Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines (ECCP)-Southern Mindanao Chapter, has launched the Institute of ASEAN-European Studies (IAES), an academic, research, and information hub, last August 18.

HCDC President Br. Noelvic H. Deloria, S.C. said that the institution is beefing up its academic programs and partnerships in the Southeast Asian and European regions.

This IAES could be our gateway to expand our horizon, deepen our understanding of realities and challenge our current mindsets and perspectives while strengthening our faith and intensifying our pursuit for truth,” Br. Deloria said during his opening remarks at the Sedes Sapientiae Auditorium.

Meanwhile, the Center for Linkages, Internationalization and Language Studies Head Shery J. Urdaneta said the institute aimed at offering more opportunities and creating a culture of excellence even without leaving Davao or Mindanao.

We are launching [IAES] with a vision of becoming an established, and recognized institute for learning, research and international reference to the ASEAN and EU,” she said.

Urdanta added that they are also looking into developing and crafting professional certificate courses for masters studies about the EU and regional integration studies.

For the next three to five years, we will start offering academic programs, full scholarships with international internship and mobilities, research and conferences, and collaborations with the ASEAN and EU,” she said.

HCDC also invited notable speakers to talk about the ongoing partnership between the ASEAN and the EU.

Deputy Head of Delegation, and Head of Political, Press and Information Section, Delegation of the European Union to the Philippines Ana Isabel Sánchez Ruiz said the institute has a very important role in generating and disseminating knowledge to guide policy makers and government agencies in its development and implementation.

As you know well, knowledge has no borders. Academic exchanges are not only important to share, deepen and disseminate knowledge, they are also essential to promote friendship and mutual understanding among people, especially the youth,” Ruiz emphasized.

Assistant Secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) in Mindanao Renato Pedro O. Villa also highlighted the shared responsibilities and regional cooperation between the ASEAN and EU and the relevance of academic institutions in the synergy.

We anticipate that the courses and lectures to be offered under the institute will provide the students with a deeper understanding of matters of mutual concerns of the ASEAN and the EU, and encourage them to participate further in the available ASEAN-EU educational programs,” Villa said during his onsite presentation.

Earlier this month, the Philippines chaired the ASEAN-EU Post Ministerial Conference to plan for the ASEAN-EU partnership for 2023 to 2027, which has also welcomed the EU’s support to higher education in the region by providing opportunities for student and teaching personnel exchanges.

The launching also introduced the first ever Ambassador’s Lecture Series, which is aimed at exploring significant topics related to EU and ASEAN studies.

Charge d’affaires of the German Embassy in Manila Laura Oexle, during her recorded presentation, discussed the importance of regional stability, cooperation and dialogue in the continued relationship between the ASEAN and the EU.

The establishment of IAES is one way forward as it provides avenues for dialogue and conversations, critical thinking and mutual understanding. It is a promising institution that would enhance EU-ASEAN relations, raise awareness, strengthens regional cooperation and integration, empower national leaders and the youth, and promote global action as responsible global citizens,” she said while stressing that Germany will support the future cooperation and partnership with the institute – its stakeholders and future scholars and professionals.

The launching of the IAES, which was conducted onsite and online, was also attended by the members of the diplomatic corps, the ECCP, key people from the DFA, Commission on Higher Education (CHED), Department of Education (DepEd), city government, international and local partners, and members of the HCDC community.

The IAES is an institution established under the LINK-IN & LS. The said institute has the support of the European Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines (ECCP) – Southern Mindanao Chapter,  a partner institution of the HCDC. 

In 2016, the Commission on Higher Education issued a Memorandum Order No. 55 series of 2016 that will strengthen the internationalization of higher education institutions (HEIs) in the Philippines. (Mark Kinlee Ocay)

The IAES launching can be viewed through this link: