International Relations Office


 
   The Benguet State University with the vision to be “a premiere university providing world-class education....” implies expanding partnerships with higher education institutions and research development organization overseas. Thus, the existence of the International Relations Office.
     The International Relations Office (IRO) of Benguet State University is the lead office in facilitating and coordinating international partnerships for the university. The IRO aims to mainstream the university in the global arena, to benefit from mutual partnerships with known universities of the world, as well as with developing universities with excellent niche programs and projects.
 
HISTORY
     Cooperation with foreign partners were evident even in the mid and late 70’s where research projects were funded by groups like the OXFAM and the German Technological Cooperation Agency (GTZ). In the mid 80’s, an international relations office was already established to address issues pertaining to dealing with and looking for international partners. During this time, the nature of partnerships were largely in the form of developmental cooperation through research, and human resource capacity building such as scholarship grants and trainings abroad. The mode was reactive, or passive acceptance of explicitly extended foreign cooperation intentions. Notable partners were the Australian and Japanese embassies, for providing scholarship grants to faculty, and research agencies like the International Potato Center (CIP) in Peru, the Vlaamse Inter Universitaire Raad or VLIR-UOS in Belguim, some universities and research agencies among others.
 
     The major turn for internationalization at BSU took place in the late 90’s. The Vlaamse Inter Universitaire Raad or VLIR-UOS provided a ten-year educational grant to the university in partnership with the Saint Louis University, and three major Flemish universities in Belguim. These were the Katholiek Universiteit Leuven (as the coordinating university), the Universiteit Gent and the Universiteit Antwerpen. This program enabled library and ICT infrastructure development, faculty development through scholarships in Belgium and local and foreign trainings, as well as research capacity building. The impact was growth of the university not only in physical aspects but in the nurture of a critical mass of human resources who helped propel and sustain this growth. The Philippine Institutional University Cooperation (PIUC) program also bore international collaborations with partner VLIR-OUS universities in Vietnam and Tanzania, as well as links with the VLIR-OUS worldwide network.
 
     In time, the proactive nature of internationalization caught on as the various sectors expanded the effort to seek out good partners. With the advances in information technology and the expanding globalization, the thrust of internationalization at BSU shifted to becoming deliberate and purposeful. The BSU Strategic Internationalization Plan 2018-2028 is the future that the university wants to becomes in the global arena. It tells that internationalization will not depend on what comes by, but on what the university desires to happen that should happen.

FUNCTIONS

° Oversees the International activities of the University
° Coordinates and facilitates the signing and/or renewal of various Memorandum of Agreements (MOA)/ Memorandum of Understanding (MOU)
   with different foreign universities and organizations.
° Sustains partnerships and relationships locally and internationally
° Provides advice and extends support to faculty, staff and international students during their stay in the university.
° Manages international mobility programmes of students, faculties and staff
° Prepares and organizes activities of international visitors of the university