Wednesday, January 13, 2016

BU expects higher level accreditation of Education programs
By Danny O. Calleja

LEGAZPI CITY, Jan. 12 (PNA) -- Bicol University (BU), the region's premiere government-run higher education institution with main campuses in the city, is expecting to pass the recent assessment that will elevate its Education programs to a higher level of accreditation.

The assessment was conducted by the Accrediting Agency of Chartered Colleges and Universities (AACCUP) for Level IV-Phase accreditation of the university’s College of Education (BUCE).

Headed by Dr. Manuel Corpuz, AACCUP executive director, the assessment team evaluated both the Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education and the Bachelor of Science in Secondary Education programs of BUCE, university president Dr. Arnulfo Macariñas said Tuesday.

“We are confident to pass the assessment for the Level IV-Phase 2 accreditation as our academic programs have excellent outcomes in five areas such as instruction, research, extension service, international linkages and consortia and planning processes, he said.

Among the documents that the AACCUP team examined as part of the assessment, according to Macariñas, were those pertaining to whether the program objectives are consistent with the visions, missions, goals and objectives.

Also looked at were the extent of researches in refereed journals, studies on the impact of extension service programs and the planning processes that sustain quality in the academic programs.

Programs that pass AACCUP standards and are awarded accreditation status lend prestige to member-institutions since it is evidence of quality standards and help parents know to which program they may send their children for quality education, he explained.

BUCE first underwent the formal survey visit in 2001 and passed Level II accreditation in 2006, Level III in 2013 and Level IV-Phase 1 in 2014.

With this, higher accreditation expected, Macariñas said that indeed, the BUCE is going a long way from its humble beginning as Albay Normal School way back in the 1950s, then Bicol Teachers College in the early ‘60s and later as the teacher training college of the university in 1969.

Another audit which BU passed late last year was for the certificate of excellence at par with international standards from the Organization for Standardization (ISO).

“We passed the audit made last November by one of the leading international certifying bodies and satisfactorily complied with the requirements of ISO 9001:2008 in our campaign to retain the certification we first obtained five years ago,” Macariñas said.

The audit was conducted through campus visitations by a team from TÜV SÜD PSB Philippines, an internationally recognized certification body with accreditations by Joint Accreditation System of Australia and New Zealand (JAS-ANZ) and Philippines Accreditation Office (PAO).

Visited for the audit were the BU main campuses here, in Tabaco City hosting the College of Fisheries (BUCF) and in the Albay municipalities of Guinobatan and Polangui which are home to the College of Agriculture and Forestry (BUCAF) and the annex campus, respectively.

The ISO 9001:2008 certificate was awarded to BU in 2011 to become its first recipient among state universities in the Philippines.

It is a global symbol affirming the university’s processes and standards are at par with international management systems.

Its first recertification was received in 2013 and the second is expected to come soon as the TÜV SÜD PSB Philippines has recommended to TÜV SÜD International, with headquarters in Munich, Germany, that the ISO certificate of BU be maintained.

The scope of the audit leading to the possible renewed certification includes the provision and development of tertiary and graduate education degrees and non-degree courses as well as research and extension services.

The survey visit evaluated not only the conformity of the management system with the audit criteria but also the effectiveness of the management system to ensure that the organization is capable of meeting applicable statutory, regulatory and contractual requirements.

It also determined the effectiveness of the management system in ensuring that the organization is able to meet its specified objectives.

The ISO International Standards ensure that products and services are safe, reliable and of good quality.

For business, they are strategic tools that reduce costs by minimizing waste and errors and increasing productivity.

Educational institutions are increasingly recognizing these benefits and international standardization features in many curricula being recognized as the vital contribution educational institutions bring to raising awareness of standardization and its benefits.

The ISO Award for Higher Education was started in 2007 to promote and support higher education institutions running successful programs that raise awareness of the benefits of international standards.

Every two years, a selection panel -- including representatives from academia, economics and the media -- choose a higher education institution that is leading the way in education about standards.

The ISO audit system, Macariñas said, is just one of the quality assurance mechanisms utilized by BU to ensure the efficient performance of the university in meeting its goals such as commitment to quality and client satisfaction.

BU’s commitment to implement quality assurance methods in both the academic and support services and its zeal to build procedures for its maintenance is anchored on the BU vision to be a world-class university, he said.

The university is the oldest state-owned higher education institution in Bicol which has been on the lead in producing globally competitive graduates imbued with the highly held values of scholarship, leadership, character and service toward generating and disseminating new knowledge and technologies beneficial to all stakeholders and to improve the well-being of the community. (PNA) BNB/FGS/DOC/CBD