By Samantha L. Colinco
Silliman University will recruit more international students and faculty to strengthen its academic ties with universities in and outside Asia.
Office of Information and Publication Director Mark Garcia said the university is currently targeting specific countries such as Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia and Myanmar and have already made contact with their embassies in the Philippines.
Garcia added that the said countries were identified as priority based on their proximity to the Philippines and their perceived need for better education.
“Our goal is not just to be a top Philippine university but also a top Asian university. And I think proof positive of our reputation and strength in the international community is the number of international students we have,” he said.
Silliman currently has 300 international students from 30 different countries.
Last year, international independent research institution Quacquarelli Symonds ranked Silliman as the top two school in the Philippines under its International Students category and as the top sixth school overall in the country Silliman is also within the 301-325 bracket of the top Asian universities.
Garcia added that the recruitment plan is also part of the university’s preparation for the ASEAN 2015, which will start open trade among the organization’s 10 member-states allowing free flow of goods and services including education services.
According to Garcia, among the university’s preparation for these major changes is the creation of a development division, which is headed by Vice-president for Development Jane Annette Belarmino.
“Basically, the desire is to provide better opportunities for students and faculty,” said Garcia.
Some of the more concrete steps for the recruitment plans are the creation of a new promotional video to be done with the help of renowned animation filmmaker Ramon del Prado and the “tweaking” of the university website to “tailor it fit to the preferences of international students.”