The International Relations Office (IRO) is the home of internationalization at Sorsogon State University.
It supports university-wide internationalization including collaboration with the Centers, Colleges and Departments to promote and highlight all international efforts and initiatives across the campuses. In addition, it serves as a facilitating hub in support to the processing of collaborations/ engagements, internal and external partnerships(including alumni abroad), development of sustainable global programs/projects, and upholding international policies and procedures which minimize risks of global university activities.
The International Relations Office works to strengthen the Sorsogon State University’s (SSU) vision and commitment to excellence in developing globally competitive and values-oriented leaders and professionals. SSU being the lone public institution of higher learning in the province of Sorsogon aspires to deliver world class services to its internal and external stakeholders and utmost clientele. By year 2027, its trajectory delivers quality international education as it aspires to become globally competitive yet locally responsive institution by setting up an Organizational Learning and Supportive Culture, Enhancing our Global Reputation, Expanding and Enhancing a Globally-Focused Research and Engagement, and Providing Global Learning Opportunities for All.
Having these end-goals in mind, we are expected to establish sustainable partnerships with international academic institutions for instruction, research and extension community development undertakings, apprenticeship programs with multinational corporations / industries and alumni organization/s abroad. We will also continuously provide local support for faculty researches and extension output presentations abroad, scholarships, students mobility and faculty exchange program. The university needs to capitalize on its foreign linkages starting of with our ASEAN neighbors and then beyond. It has opened its gateway towards collaborative partnerships that would pursue student mobility programs, academic and cultural exchanges, in agreement towards absorbing globally competitive graduates to become productive global workforce. As its international recognition starts to unfold, the University’s quest for academic excellence will lead to the enhancement of its curricular programs that would leverage its plans of becoming part of the QS Univerity Ranking, while address the common issues of the world it has its on unique and innovative strategy on how to answer the most pressing needs and concerns of the Sorsoguenos in the locality and beyond.
HISTORY OF THE INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS OFFICE
The international initiatives of the Philippine higher education have been driven by the need of various academic institutions to collaborate among themselves to the generation of advance knowledge, share learning insights and expertise, innovation and information dissemination through technology integration. The Philippine Higher Education landscape is continually changing as emphasized in Section 4 of the Republic Act 8292 otherwise known as the Higher Education Modernization Act of 1997.
Further, in the year 2008, Dr. Jenet Fuentes started her Post-Doctoral Fellowship in Microbial Genomics under the DOST PCAARRD and Rural Development Administration (RDA) in South Korea Collaborative Program. After which, another successful internationalization story under the CHED Sandwich Program under a host academic institution, Yokohama University in Japan was successfully enjoyed with meaningful learning experiences by our professor, Dr. Eric Fuentes. It was in September 2011 when Dr. Fuentes had been a recipient of the joint CHED -Yokohama University scholarship agreement for faculty with the Research Institute for Humanity and Nature (RIHN) as the host institution.
During the term of SSC President Antonio E. Fuentes, the College forged an agreement to instigate the Kokusai Kotoba Gakuin Language Training Center, thus the SSC-KKG LTC was born. The Center had been producing completers through the years and it has been instrumental in establishing linkages between the College and international universities and companies in Japan.
The instigation of Dr Modesto Detera- SSC President III’s had rendered his recommendation of pursuing further the institution’s internationalization initiatives. In the year 2014, the SSC established the International Relations Office and through its Quality Assurance Office, the College passed the ISO certification. On that same year, a Memorandum of Agreement was signed between SSC and United Nations World Food Programme through the Extension and Community Development undertaking spearheaded by the faculty researcher- extensionist, Dr. Vivien L. Chua and her team from Sorsogon City campus with the incumbent President, Dr. Geraldine De Jesus as part of the proponent. Her proposal with the team on Moringa Production as a mitigating strategy amidst climate change was approved by the the World Food Programme (WFP), in partnership with the United States Agency for International Development’s Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (USAID/OFDA) and the Philippine Government, aligned with the Disaster Preparedness and Response/Climate Change Adaptation (DPR/CCA) Project. This strategic partnership has resulted to a variety of accomplishments, and to highlight these successes of former Sorsogon State College , the DPR/CCA Project Completion Ceremony was held last April 25-26, 2018 in Century Park Hotel Manila where the Sorsogon State College (SSC) was chosen to present and showcase some of their best practices highlighting the key achievements for three(3) years of international linkage.
Moving forward, during President Helen Lara’s term, sometime in the year 2020, Foreign Workers Department of Fukujuen Home Nursing, Ms. Yamamoto Hisae facilitated the employment of the four(4) Level 4 Japanese Language Proficiency Test (JLPT) passers of the Center. To date, the Research and Extension linkages of the University have dramatically expanded to the academe and Non-governmental organizations. It as four (4) international collaborations with Japan International Human Capital Development Organization (JIHDO), Good Neighbors International, Wufeng University, Taiwan and University Malaysia Sabah (UMS).
With the new administration of Sorsogon State University under the headship of a very dynamic and robust leadership of President, Dr. Geraldine De Jesus, the Internationalization of SORSU becomes one of her agenda. It is through her efforts that the newly established International Relations Office started to become accepted in the mainstream and academic as well as administrative plans of the University. Through the collaborative efforts and result of series of consultative brainstorming activities, and reflective insights of the SORSU Administrative and Academic Heads and staff , its strategic priorities aligned with the CMO 55, s.2016 has been crafted.
Its ways forward stirs the trajectory of the University in the first five years (2023-2027) within her term, and thus a five -year Strategic Internationalization Plan in is developed along the following areas:
Goal I– Provide Organizational Learning and Supportive Culture
Goal II – Enhance our Global Reputation
Goal III – Expand and Enhance Globally-Focused Research and Engagement
Goal IV – Provide Global Learning Opportunities for All