Mapúa Institute of Technology at 87: Converging towards Relevance and Excellence
Mapúa celebrates its 87th Founding Anniversary with the theme, “Core: Converging towards Relevance and Excellence”
For nearly nine decades, Mapúa Institute of Technology has firmly established itself as the premier technological school in the Philippines. Its numerous accomplishments, which include pioneering technical course offerings in the country, an enviable number of topnotchers in local licensure examinations, illustrious alumni who are technological, business, and public leaders in various fields in various parts of the world, and the recent international accreditation for its academic programs, have put it far ahead of its local counterparts and raised the quality of education in the country to international standards.
On its 87th year of providing world-class education to the Filipino, the Institute would like to celebrate these accomplishments as it continues to move forward to higher academic excellence and social relevance towards the full attainment of its vision.
“[For this year’s Foundation Week], we would like the celebration to focus on the accomplishments of Mapúa, our various initiatives towards excellence, [including] the achievements of our alumni over time,” said Dr. Jonathan W.L. Salvacion, Dean of the School of Graduate Studies and this year’s chair of the committee in charge of organizing the event.
Converging towards Relevance and Excellence
Mapúa’s 87th Foundation Week, which will be from January 24 to 28, has the theme “CORE: Converging towards Relevance and Excellence.” With all of its achievements so far, this year’s theme speaks of how far the Institute has come and what it intends to do next.
With its reputation as the biggest engineering school in the Philippines, Mapúa has been taking the necessary steps to transcend its present state towards becoming a global center of excellence in education.
“The path that Mapúa is taking is towards becoming bigger than an engineering-centric educational institution as well as becoming more of a generator of new knowledge,” asserted Dr. Salvacion.
With this vision, the Institute took the initial step of offering diverse academic programs.
“Coming from a school offering purely architecture, engineering, and science programs, we have evolved in such a way that we are offering more diverse courses such as IT, business, multimedia arts and sciences, and psychology. This coming academic year, we will be offering Bachelor of Science in Technical Communication,” said Dr. Bonifacio T. Doma Jr., Mapúa’s Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs.
Another and even more significant step that the Institute has taken is the internationalization of its programs through international accreditation.
Mapúa is the first and only school in the country and the entire East Asia to offer engineering (Chemical Engineering, Civil Engineering, Computer Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Electronics Engineering, Environmental and Sanitary Engineering, Industrial Engineering, and Mechanical Engineering) and computing (Computer Science and IT) programs that are accredited by ABET. ABET is the world-leading accrediting body for academic programs in applied science, computing, engineering, and technology.
“[As] our vision is to become a global center of excellence in education, the ABET accreditation only signifies that we are at par, in terms of standards, with the set of similarly accredited engineering and computing schools, which includes the world’s best schools,” enthused Dr. Reynaldo B. Vea, President and Chief Executive Officer of Mapúa. “It is fitting that we celebrate with a theme of relevance and excellence: relevance because ABET accreditation makes our graduates and the school globally competitive in a real and measurable way; and excellence because the accreditation shows our commitment to and attainment, to a degree, of that ideal. But, of course, we also manifest relevance and excellence in a host of other involvements of the Institute, as in research and community service, for example.”
Dr. Doma added: “We have come a long way. Such accreditation is part of the institution’s move to internationalize itself, together with getting more foreign students. This is one of the core strategic initiatives that we have to achieve by 2020. So somehow we would like to change the nature of Mapúa so that it will be one of the global players in quality tertiary education.”
Although the ABET accreditation is a big achievement for Mapúa, its administration and educators know that it will take a lot more than that to be finally ranked among the best schools in the world. To Dr. Vea, there are two things the Institute must focus on: research and continuous quality improvement system.
“We need to beef up our research activities. We need to contribute to mankind’s store of knowledge –knowledge that ultimately becomes useful to people. For this to happen we need to work at the envelope of knowledge in various fields. If we are able to do that, then it will further enrich the educational experience of our students, as we bring newfangled technology into the classroom direct from our own laboratories.
“We also need to firmly institutionalize our continuous quality improvement system in tandem with our outcomes-based approach to education. This way, we can break out and sprint ahead of the pack globally.”
One of the biggest moves of Mapúa in strengthening its research capability was the launch of the Fund for Engineering Development and Institutional Linkages (FEDIL). Initially funded by the AY Foundation, FEDIL supports Mapúa’s engineering researches and activities considered as engineering excellence, trainings, national and international linkages, and networking in the context of environment and sustainable development.
On the other hand, to prove Mapúa’s seriousness about the continuous improvement of the quality of its education, one of the main highlights of this year’s Foundation Week will be a two-day seminar by a world-renowned guru on outcomes assessment for outcomes-based education, Dr. Gloria Rogers, Associate Executive Director at ABET Foundation.
“We are inviting Dr. Rogers to tell us how we can further improve our assessment process. We already have a good assessment system, but we still want to go further by making our system great. We adhere to the principle that we can always continuously improve ourselves,” said Engr. Conrado Navalta, Director of Continuous Quality Improvement Office.
With all that Mapúa has accomplished and planned to embark on in the future, Dr. Salvacion points out the most positive accomplishment so far of the Institute.
“I think the important thing now is there is a new mind-set, that everybody recognizes what we need to become in the future and what we should do now. For the upcoming Foundation Week, we don’t just want to have booths selling things, blaring music, etc. We want to send the message that we have recognized that Mapúa has attained a certain level of excellence and we are headed towards even more of that. That’s what we want. That’s the way of thinking.”
“We want this year’s Foundation Week to be bigger. Apart from inviting important people to our celebration, we have organized a number of events that the whole Mapúan community will enjoy,” said Rex Aurelius C. Robielos, Dean of the School of Industrial Engineering and Engineering Management (IE-EMG) and co-chair of the committee for the Foundation Week.
Together with the student leaders, the Foundation Week committee has packed the celebration full of new and exciting activities to be participated in by the students, administration, faculty, and alumni.
Some of the major highlights in this year’s event begin with Run the Wall: Intramuros Heritage Run on January 22. This is a fun run sponsored by the Philippine Institute of Industrial Engineers and the School of IE-EMG for the benefit of the pediatric cancer patients at the Philippine General Hospital.
On January 24, the different schools of Mapúa will celebrate some of their best achievements in the last 87 years with colorful floats in the Parade of Excellence.
The parade will be immediately followed by Core-nerstone: The Rock on Which We Build, an exhibit featuring Mapúans who have become great achievers in the fields of engineering, sciences, and the arts.
The beauty, talent, and wit of every Mapúan will be witnessed as candidates from different schools battle it out for the titles of Mr. and Ms. Cardinals 2012 on January 27.
The mechanical engineers will showcase their expertise in automotive setup as they exhibit grandiose cars during the Auto Prinsipi II car show.
“We want to leave everyone after the Foundation Week wanting for more and proud to be part of the celebration because of their new experiences,” Dean Robielos added.
Beyond the excitement, Joylyn M. dela Cruz, a fourth year Civil Engineering student and president of the Central Student Council, believes that the students are aware of the meaning of and their role in the celebration.
“I really believe that the students are the key players in the school. In this celebration, we must lead in commemorating and to cherish everything that has happened in the last 87 years. As a Mapúan, I’m so proud to become one of the representations of what our school has achieved.”