Private, state, and local HEI heads endorse historic ‘Manila Declaration on Higher Education’

Close to 500 presidents and administrators of private, state, and local higher education institutions (HEIs) have recently expressed their commitment to sustain meaningful and productive discussions leading to the improvement of higher education in the Philippines. 

The Manila Declaration on Higher Education, presented during the 2014 Philippine Higher Education Presidents’ Summit on August 15 at the SMX Taguig Convention Center, recognized the role of higher education in “shaping well-rounded Filipinos who are able to take part in meaningful human, social, cultural, and economic development.” To this end, the document first outlined a set of principles to which all HEIs are hoped to adhere.  These included, among others, the need to produce innovative research, the sharing of information among HEIs to help address the lack of resources, and the need for HEIs to work together with other sectors of society.

The declaration is the product of close to one year’s worth of intense discussions among various HEI heads representing the whole gamut of the country’s higher education sector.  Six agenda items were identified as critical for addressing the various problems faced by the higher education sector in the Philippines and for each item, the college and university leaders proposed specific discussion or action points.  The identified issues were:

1. Creating higher quality programs and improving faculty development;
2. Building linkages between the academe and industry;
3. Rationalizing and developing research;
4. Funding post-secondary education,
5. Governing Philippine education; and
6. Supporting the K-12 reform.

The Presidents’ Summit was the first-ever gathering of private, state, and local HEI heads. It featured speeches by Anant Agarwal, a serial entrepreneur and Chief Executive Officer of edX, an online learning platform developed by Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Sir Richard Gerver, an education innovator and the United Kingdom’s 2011 Business Speaker of the Year; and H.E. Philip Goldberg, the United States Ambassador to the Philippines.

Philippine Business for Education organized the summit in close partnership with the United States Agency for International Development mission in the Philippines.

Videos of the 2014 Philippine Higher Education Presidents’ Summit have been uploaded to PBEd's Official YouTube account. You may access the videos through the following link: