Teaching-learning strategies of Mapua recognized in first Times Higher Education (THE) Awards Asia

Mapúa University has been shortlisted in the Times Higher Education (THE) Awards Asia 2019’s Teaching and Learning Strategy of the Year category. The University is the only higher education institution (HEI) from the Philippines that made it to the list of the said category for its teaching and learning strategies known as Digital Day and Digital Rush.

The Times Higher Education Awards celebrate the achievements of universities in the UK and have become widely recognized as the “Oscars of higher education”. This 2019, it aims to recognize the best efforts for academic excellence of Asian universities by launching its first THE Awards Asia, with nearly 80 participating universities from 21 countries. More than 30 universities from 13 territories are nominated in THE Awards Asia’s five categories, namely, the Leadership and Management Team of the Year, International Strategy of the Year, Teaching and Learning Strategy of the Year, Outstanding Support for Students, and Technological Innovation of the Year.

“We are absolutely delighted to be launching the inaugural THE Awards Asia with such a strong set of shortlists, highlighting the exceptional achievements of universities from across the Asian continent. Universities operate in a wide range of contexts and environments, with varied goals and missions, but whatever their situation, the institutions nominated for these awards are proving what extraordinary, transformational roles universities play,” said John Gill, editor of THE, in his statement published in the Times Higher Education website.

The Teaching and Learning Strategy of the Year category recognizes the technology-driven teaching-learning methods of various institutions in Asia. It determines the innovative efforts of HEIs to advance its academics, contributing greatly to the development of both their students and faculty.

Mapúa University, the Philippines premier engineering and technological university, has been implementing significant efforts to impart knowledge to its students through its established and growing digital platforms and resources for education.

In 2017, Mapúa implemented Digital Days to deliver synchronous online lectures to about 2,300 students in about 100 classes. It then launched the Mapúa Digital Academics, its online academic platform with the University offering the Master of Engineering in Industrial Engineering (MEP-IE), the Philippines’ first fully online engineering graduate program. Mapúa also implemented Digital Rush, a set of online courses offered to undergraduate students scheduled during the morning and afternoon rush hours to help students avoid traffic.

Winners will be announced in the 2019 THE Asia Universities Summit at Khalifa University, Abu Dhabi from April 30 to May 2.

Mapua University enters 2019 QS Asia University Rankings

Mapúa University is now a top-ranking Asian university. It has earned a spot in Rank 401 – 450 of the 2019 Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) Asia University Rankings. Mapúa is one of the eight Philippine universities who made it to the list.

“Mapúa’s inclusion in the QS Asian University Rankings is a very big milestone for the University. It gives us a measure of our quality education in relation to other universities of the region based on the various criteria of QS,” said Dr. Bonifacio T. Doma, executive vice president for academic affairs of Mapúa.

The QS Asia University Rankings capture university performance using the following criteria: academic reputation, employer reputation, faculty and student ratio, international research network, citations per paper, papers per faculty, staff with PhD, proportion of international faculty, proportion of international students, proportion of inbound exchange students, and proportion of outbound exchange students. It helps students identify leading universities in Asia through its annual publication of University rankings.

In 2017, Mapúa received an overall 3-star rating for excellence from QS. The University received a 5-star rating for three major categories: employability, social responsibility, and facilities. It also earned four stars in inclusiveness and teaching categories.

Mapúa is the first school in East Asia to receive accreditation from the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET (ABET-EAC) for its electrical engineering, electronics engineering, and computer engineering programs.

The University now holds the most number of ABET-accredited programs for any single campus in the country with 11 ABET-EAC-accredited engineering programs and three computing programs accredited by ABET’s Computing Accreditation Commission (ABET-CAC).

Seven of the University’s engineering programs were also granted by the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) the Center of Excellence status, giving the school the distinction of having the most number of engineering programs that are Centers of Excellence in the country.

Mapua RDI expands with sustainability, environmental, and safety efforts

Driven by the calls of the community it serves, Mapúa University has been directing efforts to research by creating breakthroughs and innovations through its engineering, computing, and other programs.

Since the establishment of its Yuchengco Innovation Center (YIC) in 2015, Mapúa has been actively participating in the global conduct of research alongside its international and local counterparts.

“Matured RDI (research, development, and innovation) system in a university brings in a pool of international experts, networks for academics and research, and funds for future projects. This enables faculty members and students to become more globally competitive. Mapúa’s high-quality RDI outputs gives it high visibility in the international community,” said Dr. Delia B. Senoro, director of Mapúa’s Office of International Linkages for Research and Development.

Outstanding researches

One outstanding research collaboration conducted in 2018 was the Water Quality Detection and Monitoring research in Laguna Lake with Taiwan’s National Cheng Kung University. It led to the establishment of the Taiwan-Philippines Joint Water Quality Research and Innovation Center (TP-WRIC), in YIC co-funded by the University and Taiwan’s Ministry of Science and Technology (T-MOST).

Also adding to the University’s outstanding RDI projects in the past year is the Engineering of Natural and Environmental Resources research with Sweden’s KTH Royal Institute of Technology. It is focused on the optimization of natural resources in the Philippines, converting resources such as beema bamboo, seaweed, and abaca into high-valued products.

Another ongoing project that has created outstanding results for Mapúa’s RDI is the Building Entrepreneurial Ecosystems to Enhance Higher Education Value (BEEHIVE) with Bulgaria’s Varna University of Management. It is co-funded by EU Erasmus Plus Programme for capacity building in higher education. It resulted in new partnerships for RDI with two new partners from the industry and eight partners from the academe across Europe and Asia. It has also produced entrepreneurial university ecosystem benchmark data in the Philippines and has also brought the establishment of the BEEHIVE Business Accelerator in Mapúa.

The different schools of the University are also partnering with various higher educational institutions and companies from different industries in the Philippines, conducting RDI collaborations on drone developments, electric vehicles production, implementation of education frameworks, health assessments, and language and communication studies.

Increasing global partners and research publications

Mapúa’s strong global connections has also led to the increase of its international partners for RDI and research publications. In 2018, Mapúa’s linkages increased to 49 from the previous year’s 34, with 43 University partners, four industry partners, and two research institutes.

Mapúa has also increased its research publications indexed in Scopus, with studies in 2017 soaring to 146, increasing by up to 57.53% from 2016’s 62 research publications. Last year, Mapúa was able to publish 201 researches, increasing by up to 37.67%.

Starting the year 2019 with 6 publications already, the University now has a total of 601 publications indexed in Scopus.

Venue for research

Aside from establishing a facility catering to research in one of its campuses, Mapúa has also become a venue for research gatherings. In August 2018, the University hosted the International Conference on Sustainable Environmental Technologies (ICSET) in its Intramuros campus where researchers and educators from various countries came to participate. It was the second time that Mapúa hosted the international conference, with the first in 2013.

Local and international recognitions

Mapúa University also continuously receives local and international accolades for its RDI projects.

In November, Mapúa won the 2018 World Summit Award (WSA) for the Smart Settlements and Urbanization category for its Universal Structural Health Evaluation and Recording System (USHER), led by Dr. Francis Aldrine A. Uy, dean of Mapua’s School of Civil, Environmental and Geological Engineering.

USHER, a building structure health monitoring system composed of an accelerograph or sensor and web portal system, was among the 40 awardees selected from 430 nominations from 182 participating countries. It is the only Filipino project to receive the recognition for 2018 and the second to do so since the award’s establishment.

Last June 2018, Engr. Niño Jhim Andrew B. Dela Luna, a Mapúa University Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering graduate also won first prize for the Poster Award in the International Conference on Ocean Energy (ICOE) held in Normandy, France, for his thesis on tidal energy entitled, “Tidal Resource Assessment and Hydrodynamic Simulation of a SeaGen-Type Horizontal Axis Tidal Turbine in Verde Island Passage Philippines”. His research presented a theoretical application of a tidal turbine in the Verde Island passage, based on numerical modelling of tidal currents in the passage and a simulation of the tidal turbine representation during the peak month for tidal energy harvesting.

STEM students of the University’s Senior High School also showcased their research on fire detection and monitoring in the 2018 National Science and Technology Week forum last July at the World Trade Center.

The team developed Project FLAME or Project Fire Luminosity Alert and Multisensory Equipment, a fire-detecting equipment powered by the Internet of Things and the Artificial Neural Network technologies which uses heat signature mapping and multi-sensory system. It also uses video image analysis and creates an accurate early detection system that will send alerts to the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) for a faster fire incident response.

Future of Mapúa research

Increasing global partners for RDI and creating breakthroughs and innovations are only the initial steps of Mapúa in achieving its vision to become a learning institution driven by research.

“Our goals for Mapúa RDI are: (1) to be able to produce research translatable into products, systems, or processes useful to people and the planet; (2) to be able to produce enough publications to help the University improve its standing internationally; and (3) to create intellectual properties (IPs) that could result in the school having self-sustaining research programs,” said Mapúa University President Reynaldo B. Vea. This 2019, Mapúa University has partnered with the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) to develop its Technology Licensing Office (TLO). It is the second office developed in the University geared towards directing research to value, following the Innovation and Technology Support Office (ITSO) established in 2011.

The TLO will scan for IPs in the University, covering inventions and works of literature and arts of its faculty and students. The office will check the IPs’ commercialization potentials and will create road maps on how the approved IPs can be brought to the market for commercialization. This July, Mapúa’s USHER system will be launched to the public as the first ever commercialization project of the University.