MMSU, Japan university sign student exchange program

MMSU and the Shizuoka University (SU) of Japan formally signed last November 26 a joint international exchange program for their graduate and undergraduate students in areas of education, engineering, and scientific researches in material science.


Two memoranda of understanding (MOU) were signed at MMSU's Teatro Ilocandia between MMSU president Dr. Shirley C. Agrupis and Shigehiko Suzuki, SU Vice President for International Strategy. Under the MOUs, the two institutions agreed to accommodate at least three of their students to pursue advance education and training to further expand their expertise in areas related to academics and scientific research.


Dr. Agrupis said the partnership between the two universities was the result of her working visit to Japan last March, saying that her desire for such a tie-up was immediately reciprocated by the presence of seven SU professors led by Prof. Suzuki.


"One purpose of these MOUs is to build a person-to-person relationship between the faculty and students of the two universities so that we can nurture in them a full bloom and long lasting partnership," she said, adding that for a start, two MMSU professors are scheduled to fly to Japan next year to register to SU to conduct research.


Dr. Agrupis said the SU professors, who arrived at MMSU to sign the agreement represented SU's academic, administrative, research, and support services program, assuring that MMSU will further make its international partnership strengthened.


Under the agreement, both universities shall offer academic programs suited to the academic ability of exchange students.


"For a partnership to be attainable and sustainable, it must be of mutual interest between the two institutions to benefit the students. That's why we are trying to partner with the experts from SU by immediately sending two MMSU faculty members to Japan so that, through them, we can better set our directions in the university in the near future," Dr. Agrupis said.


Also, Suzuki said "this new framework of collaboration between MMSU and SU is very important and special, not only because it is part of SU's international collaboration with a Philippine university, but because this was proposed by Dr. Agrupis who is SUs' former graduate student and is now the president of MMSU."


"I promise that we shall do our responsibilities in this partnership," Suzuki said, asking MMSU to "help us in sharing the burden of this exchange program knowing that we, too, shall enjoy the fruit of this collaboration."


SU is situated near Mt. Fuji, the highest peak in Japan. It looks breathtaking from afar and is a fascinating experience of climbers.


While it is well-loved and well-visited by locals, about one-third of the mountain climbers are foreigners, thus, it has become a vibrant point of convergence and birth place of friendship of people from around the world.


Recounting her experience in climbing that mountain, Dr. Agrupis said that while reaching the summit, which is the goal of every climber, the cross cultural experience makes the mountain climbing even more worthwhile.


"Today, I am happy to see everyone putting on the proverbial hiking boots here at MMSU and take this pivotal step towards that highest peak of cooperation and friendship between the MMSU and SU," Dr. Agrupis said.