October 9, 2023
SEARCA Umali Auditorium
University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB)
On October 9, 2023, four new students were welcomed to the Nagoya University (NU) "Transnational Doctoral Program for Leading Professionals in Asian Countries" in an entrance ceremony held on the NU Satellite Campus hosted by the University of Philippines Los Baños. The Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA) generously allowed Nagoya University to use its Umali Auditorium for this ceremony. Approximately 60 people attended.
The four students at the entrance ceremony were Ms. Karen Ardez, a university researcher at the National Crop Protection Center at UPLB; Mr. Jimmy Pogosa, an instructor at Visayas State University, Babay, Leyte; Mr. Mark Angelo Abinsay, assistant professor, Teaching Corps, Department of National Defense, Quezon City; and Mr. Merwin Salazar, executive director, Senate Economic Planning Office, Senate of the Republic of the Philippines, Manila.
Giving the welcome and opening messages were Nagoya University President, Dr. Naoshi Sugiyama; UPLB Chancellor, Dr. Jose V. Camacho, Jr.; and Mr. Shigehiro Matsuda, Director of the Japan International and Culture Center at the Japanese Embassy in Manila. All the speakers gave their best wishes to the new students.
Nagoya University President Naoshi Sugiyama gives opening remarks. Photo by the International Communications Office.
Inspirational messages for students followed the opening messages. The speakers were Dr. Nur Azura Binti Adam, Deputy Director for Programs, SEARCA; Dr. Josette Biyo, Director, Science Education Institute, Department of Science and Technology (DOST-SEI); and Dr. Neil Tan-Gana, Vice-President of the Nagoya University Alumni Association in the Philippines.These agencies have also been supporting this program of NU financially by offering scholarships to Nagoya University students in addition to UPLB, JICA and Mitsubishi Tokyo UFJ Bank.
Professor Akira Yamauchi shared updates about former and current students. He also discussed how this Ph.D. program contributes to Nagoya University's international strategy, emphasizing it allows students to complete their Ph.D. without having to leave their home country. Faculty members from Nagoya University and local advisors in the Philippines supervise students through online and in-person methods. Nagoya University sends academic advisors to supervise their students in the Philippines while the students also spend a few weeks studying in Nagoya.
Professor Akira Yamauchi updates attendees on ASCI graduates. Photo by the International Communications Office.
Then, Dr. Kim Naika Perdigera, a graduate of ASCI, shared her experiences during and after the program. This included a new collaborative research project and co-authoring several journal articles with her former academic supervisor after she completed her Ph.D. in the program.
The deans, Professor Mikio Nakazono of the Graduate School of Bioagricultural Sciences and Professor Aya Okada of the Graduate School of International Development (GSID), introduced the new students and their academic advisors.
Professor Yamauchi ended the event by reminding the students that they are now valued members of Nagoya University, even though they are studying in the Philippines.
When asked about the program, Ms. Ardez, who will enter the Graduate School of Bioagricultural Sciences, explained how it is suitable for students who do not meet the age requirement for Japanese government MEXT scholarships. She also emphasized how she can complete her degree while living and continuing to work in the Philippines. "This is very convenient because I am also a mother," she said. "So I can be a mother to my two children and also work at the National Crop Protection Center."
Mr. Salazar, who has joined the Graduate School of International Development, emphasized that the program is suitable for people who want to further their education working in the government and private sector.