Professor Achmad Arifin, affiliated with the Biomedical Engineering Department at the Institut Teknologi Sepuluh Nopember (ITS) of Indonesia, visited Cebu Normal University (CNU) last 06-07 November 2023 to meet with various offices to create a meaningful working partnership.

The collaboration between CNU and ITS began through the University Mobility in Asia and the Pacific (UMAP) Collaborative Online International Learning (COIL) Course Development Program where Prof. Arifin partnered with Dr. Janet Mananay, the CTE IZN Focal Person. This launched the “Assistive Technology to Improve Learning Performance of Students with Language and Communication Disabilities,” which will also be led by Dr. Venus Cortes, Program Chair for BSNEd.

Prof. Arifin’s visit was an auspicious occasion to discuss and explore ways forward with our academic cooperation with ITS. He was received by Dr. Mananay and Dr. Cortes and was introduced to Dr. Genara Pacaña, the Director of the Center for Internationalization, ODL, and CELL. The professor also sat down with the University President and the Vice President for Academic Affairs and Internationalization for a series of exploratory meetings and partnership deliberations.

During his visit, Prof. Arifin was toured in the SPED Center, which will play a significant role in this partnership. The COIL Project with ITS is focused in the understanding and assessment of assistive technology to help the learning process of students with language and communication disabilities. The BSNEd students in CNU will be learning together with the Biomedical Engineering students in ITS. A coordination meeting together with Prof. Arifin, Dr. Cortes, Ms. Marites Serenado and Ms. Fanny Mae Mobida was conducted at the CTE Dean’s Office.

Prof. Arifin’s second day in CNU started with a lecture session at the ACAS Building with Mr. Rhoniel Ryan Ymbong’s Biotechnology class. During this interaction, he gave a discussion on biomedical engineering and assistive technology with Third Year BS Biology students. In here, there was an exchange of ideas regarding science, technology, and engineering. The professor also showed video clips of the innovative projects done in ITS. He remarked about the enthusiasm and curiosity of the students after the class.

The professor also stood as a special guest during the “Training Workshop on the Development and Validation of Needs Assessment Instrument for Community Extension Projects” hosted by the Extension Services Office at the Summit Galleria Cebu, where he met the Vice President for Research, Publication, Innovation, Commercialization, and Extension and the Dean of the College of Teacher Education. Prof. Arifin also sat down with other faculty members from different colleges who were keen for exploratory discussions for ITS collaborations.

Finally, in the spirit of Filipino hospitality, Prof. Arifin was taken on a tour around the historical landmarks in Cebu City.

A strong dedication to strategic internationalization is demonstrated by the recent cooperative efforts between the Center for Internationalization, ODL, and CELL and our international partners. The openness of the academic units, which allows the University to forge meaningful links across international borders, further supports this commitment.