On October 27, 2016 at its 1321st meeting, the University of the Philippines Board of Regents (UP BOR) officially approved the elevation of UP Cebu to the status of 8th constituent university (CU) of the UP System.
One of the requirements for the elevation of a college to a constituent university of the UP System, which the BOR certified in a previous meeting on May 2003, is that the proposed CU be necessary to UP, the region where it is located and the country as a whole. It must also have the faculty and infrastructure to offer programs that comply with accepted standards of quality.
Located in the economic and cultural hub of Cebu City, UP Cebu will specialize in information and communications technology (ICT), as well as creative and product design. These niches will complement the presence in Cebu of strong business process outsourcing (BPOs), basic and high technology manufacturing, tourism, transportation and creative design sectors.
According to acting UP Cebu Chancellor Liza D. Corro, UP Cebu is prepared to help provide “focus, direction and strength” to the character of the region by producing excellent graduates by conducting pioneering, quality research by its faculty and students that will contribute to Cebu’s ICT and creative industries; as well as through extension and public service that the CU will be extending to the community.
“All these,” Corro said, “will surely benefit not just the Central Visayas region but the whole country as well. At the same time, it galvanizes the strong presence of the University of the Philippines as the national university, in the bustling and progressive region of Central Visayas.”
In response to its elevation to CU status, Corro also gave a comprehensive list of short- to medium-term plans for UP Cebu to help the CU fulfil UP’s mandate of leadership in higher education and governance under Republic Act No. 9500.
Among them are: promoting and strengthening of UP Cebu’s Fabrication Laboratory (FabLab), a technical prototyping platform for innovation and invention; hosting the Master of Arts in Applied Art and Design of Taiwan’s Shu Te University; increasing the number of faculty members with Masters and PhD degrees; strengthening the operations of all component offices of UP Cebu’s Technology Transfer and Business Development Office; and, subsequently producing technopreneurs/providing assistance to small- and medium-sized entrepreneurs through the first academe-base Go Negosyo Center in partnership with the Department of Trade and Industry.
There are also plans to establish a Center for Molecular Diagnostics and Research, and to convert the UP Cebu Office on Light Intensive Detection and Ranging (LIDAR) projects into a Center.
UP Cebu intends to increase enrolment and publications in ISI/Scopus listed journals through the hosting of a PhD Psychology program; and the institution of a PhD in Environmental Science, a PhD in Management, a Master in Business Economics, and an MS in Global Studies degrees, in addition to more IT-enabled courses. Within the same timeframe, it also plans to establish more international linkages with ASEAN and global universities for faculty and student development.
Corro said the elevation augured well for UP Cebu, as it arrived eight months before the CU’s centennial celebration, which will be on May 3, 2018. She also noted the importance of UP Cebu’s motto, Nurtured to Create. Inspired to Innovate. Destined to Serve, as a reflection of what the CU stands for as it celebrates a century of service and scholarship.