Symbiosis between Academe and Industry

Manila Bulletin, November 8, 2009 | Go to article overview

Symbiosis between Academe and Industry


The next President of the Philippines is expected to be an Education President. The Philippine educational system is in great need of overhaul and quality improvement at all levels. At the tertiary level, one of the ways to improve the effectiveness of the educational process is to strike a closer symbiotic relationship between academe and industry. There is much waste in post-secondary education because of a terrible mismatch between what is being produced by our schools and what is needed by industry.The University of Asia and the Pacific is doing its share in fostering a close relationship between the academe and industry. Thanks to its tracing its roots to the Center for Research and Communication (CRC), UA&P is a pacesetter in linking the academic curriculum to the needs of industry. CRC was literally born in the bosom of Philippine industry when in 1967, Dr. Jesus Estanislao and a small group of graduates from Harvard, Cambridge University and other leading international universities decided to establish a think tank to service the needs of the private sector for reliable economic information and analysis. In the late 60, there was a paucity of analyzed data that could be used by both large and small firms for their necessary strategic and corporate planning activities. CRC was established to meet that need.Thanks to the willingness of then Secretary of Education Onofre Corpuz to encourage innovative educational programs, CRC was allowed from the very beginning to offer a graduate program leading to a Master of Science in Industrial Economics. About a dozen highly intelligent college graduates from different parts of the Philippines were the pioneers in this masteral program. They were no ordinary graduate students. As they were receiving classes on economic theory, economic history, econometrics, economic policy and social economics, they were simultaneously fielded to different industries to undertake research whose results would be used as inputs by industry associations (like the Philippine Automotive Manufacturers Association, the Sugar Millers Association or the Pharmaceutical Association of the Philippines) or individual companies (like Meralco, Unilab, Victorias Milling, Smith Bell, etc.) in their respective strategical planning and budgeting activities. Of course, the graduate students were closely supervised by the professors who were either full-time or part-time. The full-time professors were themselves doing a great deal of industry research and consulting. The part-time professors were deeply involved in corporate life as CEOs or senior executives in such areas as finance, marketing or personnel management.Thanks to the industry-oriented research of the graduate students as supervised by their professors, CRC was able to come out with regular publications on the most varied issues in the fields of macroeconomics and microeconomics. These publications were then offered on a subscription basis to some 400 companies, both national and multinational. The revenues obtained from the subscription fees, as well as the consultancy fees of the professors, helped augment the incomes of the faculty, narrowing the usual gap that exists between the salaries of The next President of the Philippines is expected to be an Education President. The Philippine educational system is in great need of overhaul and quality improvement at all levels. At the tertiary level, one of the ways to improve the effectiveness of the educational process is to strike a closer symbiotic relationship between academe and industry. There is much waste in post-secondary education because of a terrible mismatch between what is being produced by our schools and what is needed by industry.Thanks to the industry-oriented research of the graduate students as supervised by their professors, CRC was able to come out with regular publications on the most varied issues in the fields of macroeconomics and microeconomics. These publications were then offered on a subscription basis to some 400 companies, both national and multinational. …

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