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Apr 14, 2024

The PATHWAY National Conference 2024, served as the culminating activity for “Promoting the employAbility and enTrepreneurship of Higher education graduates through innovative WAYs in the Philippines” program was held on April 2-4, 2024 in Pangasinan State University (Lingayen Campus). The said project is co-funded by Erasmus + programme of the European Union.

With the theme, PATHWAYs to Success: Expanding Opportunities for Higher Education Graduates through Entrepreneurship and Employability, the convergence intended to stimulate dialogue among Higher Education Institutions (HEIs), enterprises and policymakers to generate national strategies on graduate employment and entrepreneurship in the Philippines; to showcase PATHWAY project results through the sharing of initiatives and best practices to inspire other HEIs in the Philippines to adopt similar approaches; and, to present the “Entrepreneurship Competencies Framework” developed by PATHWAY partners to be implemented in Philippines HEIs.

The first part of the final conference featured the lectures of the following speakers: Dr. Gary Wood (Academic Director, New Model Institute for Technology and Engineering, United Kingdom) on “Establishing a Skills Ecosystem for Sustained Success,” Ms. Helen Grace Baisa (Vice President, European Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines) on “Skills and Competency Requirements of the Industry,” Ms. Grace Baluyan (Regional Director, Dept. Of Trade and Industry, Region-1) on “Innovation Act and Support for Entrepreneurship,” Ms. Cristina Beans (Senior Project Manager, University of Alicante, Spain) on “Pathways to Employability,” Mr. Eugenio Delfino (Coordinator, Erasmus+ Philippines) on “The Philippine Capacity Building in Higher Education,” Dr. Victor Climent (Adjunct Professor, University of Alicante, Spain) on “Observatories as Tools for the Analysis of Managerial Discourse on Competencies and Skills,” Dr. Susana Espinosa (Assistant Lecturer, University of Alicante, Spain) on “Promoting Entrepreneurship in the University,” and Dr. Cherrie Melanie Diego (Director, Programs and Standards, CHED) on “Integrating Entrepreneurship Competencies in Higher Education.”

The second day of the conference was dedicated to Panel Discussions on “Employment Trends and Entrepreneurship Opportunities” by Ms. Arlene Alipio (Director, Manpower Planning and Monitoring, Dept. of Tourism), Ms. Grace Baldoza (Chief, Labor Market Information, Dept. of Labor and Employment), and, Ms. Helen Grace Baisa (Vice President, European Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines), and “Entrepreneurship and Education” by Dr. Emmanuel Houze (Director, Institute of Business, University of Montpellier, France), Dr. Antonio Lopez (Co-Chair, Technical Committee for Business and Entrepreneurship), Dr. Gary Wood (Academic Director, New Model Institute for Technology and Engineering, United Kingdom) and representatives from Lyceum of Batangas University – Batangas, Polytechnic University of the Philippines, and Benguet State University. The sessions were moderated by Dr. John Lagdameo (Ateneo De Manila University) and Dr. Jeremy Godofredo Morales (St. Paul University Philippines), Moreover, best practices that emerged from the PATHWAY project were presented by the five partner-HEIs in the Philippines.

As one of partner-HEIs in the Philippines, SPUP took an active role in the realization of the said international collaborative undertaking as the lead taskforce on Quality Assurance. Dr. Jeremy Godofredo Morales (Director, Internationalization), Dr. Juan Rivera (Director, Human Resource), Dr. Teresita Lasam (Director, Student Affairs and Services), Dr. Allan Peejay Lappay (Director, Alumni, External Relations and Advocacies) and Mr. Ian Jaylord Beran (In-Charge, Career and Placement) composed the delegation of the University.

Representatives from the Commission on Higher Education (CHED), University of Alicante (Spain) and University of Montpellier (France), participants from other HEIs and PATHWAY taskforce members of partner- institutions (Ateneo de Manila University, Benguet State University, Lyceum of the Philippines University-Batangas, Polytechnic University of the Philippines and the European Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines) were also present in the conference.//Ian Jaylord Beran