European Union Ambassador to the Philippines, H.E. Luc Veron visits SorSU — marks promising int’l academic collaboration & exchange

In another astounding milestone of Sorsogon State University as the premier institution of the province, the Ambassador of the European Union (EU) to the Philippines, His Excellency Luc Véron, alongside the esteemed EU delegation paid a historic visit to SorSU, where the EU Ambassador and his team were graciously received by SUC President III, Dr. Geraldine F. De Jesus, and SorSU top executives & officials on March 05, 2024.

Eagerly lined-up SorSUeños likewise warmly welcomed the EU Ambassador and his delegation as he was ushered by the SorSU officials to the SorSU teaching and non-teaching personnel that await him at the SorSU Audio-Visual Hall, Sorsogon City Campus.

Dr. Jhonner D. Ricafort (Vice President for Academic Affairs), in his welcome remarks, extended his immense pleasure and warmest greetings to His Excellency and the European Union delegates. Dr. Ricafort remarked, “𝘈𝘴 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘱𝘳𝘦𝘮𝘪𝘦𝘳 𝘩𝘪𝘨𝘩𝘦𝘳 𝘦𝘥𝘶𝘤𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯 𝘪𝘯𝘴𝘵𝘪𝘵𝘶𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯 𝘪𝘯 𝘵𝘩𝘪𝘴 𝘱𝘳𝘰𝘷𝘪𝘯𝘤𝘦, 𝘸𝘦 𝘤𝘰𝘯𝘴𝘪𝘥𝘦𝘳 𝘵𝘩𝘪𝘴 𝘦𝘷𝘦𝘯𝘵 𝘢𝘴 𝘢 𝘨𝘳𝘦𝘢𝘵 𝘰𝘱𝘱𝘰𝘳𝘵𝘶𝘯𝘪𝘵𝘺 𝘵𝘰 𝘭𝘦𝘢𝘳𝘯 𝘮𝘰𝘳𝘦 𝘢𝘣𝘰𝘶𝘵 𝘥𝘦𝘷𝘦𝘭𝘰𝘱𝘮𝘦𝘯𝘵 𝘤𝘰𝘰𝘱𝘦𝘳𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯 𝘪𝘯 𝘦𝘥𝘶𝘤𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯, 𝘴𝘤𝘪𝘦𝘯𝘤𝘦 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘵𝘦𝘤𝘩𝘯𝘰𝘭𝘰𝘨𝘺, 𝘪𝘯𝘧𝘰𝘳𝘮𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘤𝘰𝘮𝘮𝘶𝘯𝘪𝘤𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯 𝘵𝘦𝘤𝘩𝘯𝘰𝘭𝘰𝘨𝘺, 𝘳𝘦𝘴𝘦𝘢𝘳𝘤𝘩, 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘰𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘳 𝘢𝘳𝘦𝘢𝘴 𝘵𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘮𝘢𝘺 𝘴𝘦𝘳𝘷𝘦 𝘢𝘴 𝘢 𝘴𝘱𝘳𝘪𝘯𝘨𝘣𝘰𝘢𝘳𝘥 𝘧𝘰𝘳 𝘰𝘶𝘳 𝘶𝘯𝘪𝘷𝘦𝘳𝘴𝘪𝘵𝘺 𝘢𝘴 𝘸𝘦 𝘴𝘵𝘳𝘪𝘷𝘦 𝘵𝘰 𝘦𝘴𝘵𝘢𝘣𝘭𝘪𝘴𝘩 𝘢 𝘴𝘵𝘳𝘰𝘯𝘨 𝘪𝘯𝘵𝘦𝘳𝘯𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯𝘢𝘭 𝘱𝘳𝘰𝘧𝘪𝘭𝘦 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘢𝘵𝘵𝘢𝘪𝘯 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘨𝘭𝘰𝘣𝘢𝘭 𝘴𝘵𝘢𝘯𝘥𝘢𝘳𝘥𝘴 𝘰𝘧 𝘦𝘹𝘤𝘦𝘭𝘭𝘦𝘯𝘤𝘦.”

Dr. Ricafort also expressed his hope that the exchange will pave the way for future collaborations and initiatives that will eventually benefit the SorSU students, the Sorsogon community, and the broader relationship between the EU and the Philippines.

“We are confident that your insights will significantly contribute to our ongoing efforts to strengthen our programs on internationalization and further enhance the quality of education and research for the sustainable development of our region.”

Similarly, SUC President III, Dr. Geraldine F. De Jesus, during her message, conveyed her great pride and delight in welcoming His Excellency and the entire EU delegation to the 𝘗𝘢𝘮𝘢𝘯𝘵𝘢𝘴𝘢𝘯𝘨 𝘔𝘢𝘺 𝘗𝘶𝘴𝘰, emphasizing that the SorSU community never expected the visit by guests with such distinguished credentials as the institution is far from the capital city of Manila.

“We used to be an obscure college in a developing province but due to the efforts of previous and the present administration, we have achieved many things and reached our current institutional level. Not much, but the important thing is that we are consistently on the way up.”

Additionally, President De Jesus also shared her excitement in engaging in meaningful discussions with the EU delegation to explore matters of mutual interest — asserting her hope that these in the future may flourish and produce beneficial results for the EU organization and SorSU.

With all these that I have expressed now, I hope that you already have some notions of what we aspire for. We have recently reached out and formed with organizations in the Asia-Pacific region to further the interests of our university. With your benevolent assistance, we also wish to expand towards Europe. As I mentioned before I am sure that we can always find ways that are of mutual interest and will benefit both our peoples and which may establish a stable foundation for an advantageous and sustainable partnership in years to come.”

“Thank you very much, and we hope that this first meeting will lead to more productive encounters and dialogues in the future.”

Following the message of the SorSU President, Dr. Vivien L. Chua (Director, SorSU International Relations Office) presented the distinguished delegation from the European Union Embassy to the Philippines, which included — alongside H.E. Luc Véron (EU Ambassador to the Philippines) — His Excellency’s wife, Madame Nicole Weissman Veron; Ms. Lucile Martin (Programme Manager of EU Gender, Civil Society and Youth Focal point); Ms. Michelin Alvarez (Finance Manager); Ms Elaine Ramirez (Executive Assistant, Cooperation section).

Meanwhile, the EU Ambassador to the Philippines, His Excellency Luc Véron detailed in his message that visiting the provinces is the only way he can truly understand the country he has had the honor to serve.

“As I have always said to the students when I send them off to the scholarships to the European Union, there is a fine balance to be found between being comfortable and getting out of your comfort zone — and this is a rule that I apply to myself. I could remain in my office, shuffle papers, and pretend that I understand the country. But there is an extra set, we have to get out of our [comfort zone] to encounter the small discomfort of traveling around to understand the reality.”

“The kind of reception that you gave me today is in itself a good reason to visit a university. This is a great privilege to receive such a warm welcome at Sorsogon State University.”European Union (EU) to the Philippines, His Excellency Luc Véron

H.E. Véron also added that besides education, the European Union aims to take a lead role in supporting international research and innovation partnerships and to deliver innovative solutions to make the society greener, digital, and else here, underscoring that he is pleased that the Sorsogon State University is focused on research.

“The European Union is definitely with you in fostering further internationalization to support mobilization of talents, knowledge transfer, and acquisition & enhancement of curriculum development, among other things. I believe that academic cooperation and linkages can ultimately contribute to addressing regional and other challenges that are common to us.”

“I hope, Madam President, and dear & esteemed colleagues, faculty members, staff, and students that my visit today can provide you with an opportunity to explore ways on how we can collaborate with our European higher education institutions and research institutions so that together we can discover on how we can further contribute to the human, scientific, and economic challenges that we need to address.”

“Maraming-maraming salamat po, at mabuhay ang Sorsogon State University!”

Afterward, the Awarding of Plaque of Appreciation to His Excellency Luc Véron transpired, which was awarded by SorSU President De Jesus as well as SorSU Vice Presidents: Mr. Gerald E. Fulay, JD (Vice President for Administration and Finance), Mr. Jhonner D. Ricafort (Vice President for Academic Affairs), and Dr. Ryan V. Dio (Vice President for Research, Extension and Training).

Further, Dr. Telesforo D. Escoto (Campus Director, SorSU Sorsogon City Campus) provided the closing remark of the ceremonial visit, emphasizing that the visit has been truly an enriching experience for the Sorsogueños and Sorsueños as it marks a significant milestone in their journey toward reinforcing the bond between the European Union, Sorsogon Province, and the University on the possibilities of future collaborations, development, and progress that lie ahead and will foster stronger ties between the European Union, the Sorsogon province, and the University.

“𝘖𝘶𝘳 𝘱𝘳𝘰𝘷𝘪𝘯𝘤𝘦, 𝘸𝘪𝘵𝘩 𝘪𝘵𝘴 𝘳𝘪𝘤𝘩 𝘤𝘶𝘭𝘵𝘶𝘳𝘢𝘭 𝘩𝘦𝘳𝘪𝘵𝘢𝘨𝘦 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘢𝘣𝘶𝘯𝘥𝘢𝘯𝘵 𝘯𝘢𝘵𝘶𝘳𝘢𝘭 𝘳𝘦𝘴𝘰𝘶𝘳𝘤𝘦𝘴, 𝘴𝘵𝘢𝘯𝘥𝘴 𝘱𝘰𝘪𝘴𝘦𝘥 𝘵𝘰 𝘣𝘦𝘤𝘰𝘮𝘦 𝘢 𝘤𝘦𝘯𝘵𝘦𝘳 𝘰𝘧 𝘪𝘯𝘯𝘰𝘷𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯, 𝘴𝘶𝘴𝘵𝘢𝘪𝘯𝘢𝘣𝘭𝘦 𝘥𝘦𝘷𝘦𝘭𝘰𝘱𝘮𝘦𝘯𝘵, 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘦𝘤𝘰𝘯𝘰𝘮𝘪𝘤 𝘨𝘳𝘰𝘸𝘵𝘩. 𝘛𝘩𝘦 𝘌𝘜’𝘴 𝘦𝘹𝘵𝘦𝘯𝘴𝘪𝘷𝘦 𝘴𝘶𝘱𝘱𝘰𝘳𝘵 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘦𝘹𝘱𝘦𝘳𝘵𝘪𝘴𝘦 𝘸𝘪𝘭𝘭 𝘶𝘯𝘥𝘰𝘶𝘣𝘵𝘦𝘥𝘭𝘺 𝘱𝘭𝘢𝘺 𝘢 𝘱𝘪𝘷𝘰𝘵𝘢𝘭 𝘳𝘰𝘭𝘦 𝘪𝘯 𝘩𝘢𝘳𝘯𝘦𝘴𝘴𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘶𝘯𝘵𝘢𝘱𝘱𝘦𝘥 𝘱𝘰𝘵𝘦𝘯𝘵𝘪𝘢𝘭 𝘰𝘧 𝘰𝘶𝘳 𝘳𝘦𝘨𝘪𝘰𝘯, 𝘢𝘭𝘪𝘨𝘯𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘰𝘶𝘳 𝘨𝘰𝘢𝘭𝘴 𝘸𝘪𝘵𝘩 𝘨𝘭𝘰𝘣𝘢𝘭 𝘴𝘶𝘴𝘵𝘢𝘪𝘯𝘢𝘣𝘪𝘭𝘪𝘵𝘺 𝘢𝘨𝘦𝘯𝘥𝘢𝘴.”

With the EU as a steadfast ally, we eagerly anticipate the transformative impact that joint academic initiatives will have on our students and faculty alike… We pray that this visit will serve as a stepping stone towards a brighter future — a future having a partnership with the EU that will guide us towards a prosperous and inclusive tomorrow.”

The historic visit of the EU Ambassador, His Excellency Luc Véron, attests a significant stride in the institution’s strategic efforts toward academic excellence and engagement on a global scale. It symbolizes a testament to the power of global collaboration in not only advancing knowledge but also championing cross-cultural understanding and strengthening ties between nations. As SorSU, the premier University in the Province of Sorsogon, envisions the future, this momentous occasion has reawakened a sense of enthusiasm and commitment for lasting international cooperation and partnerships. (SorSU PIO)