by Marilou Dela Peña & Genevieve Balance Kupang

Remaining relevant and competitive in the rapidly evolving educational landscape is a top priority. Universities actively participate in diverse rating assessments to gain a comprehensive understanding of their strengths and areas for improvement across instruction, research, and community extension services programs. To meet this challenge, BCU continually adapts and aligns with international standards.

Under the leadership of the Research and Development Office headed by Dr. Marilou Dela Peña, and the Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. Elma D. Donaal, BCU invited Dr. Jimmy Catanes, a distinguished CHED Supervisor Specialist, to train and guide the participants. He provided guidance and valuable insights into one facet of internationalization, emphasizing world rankings and capacity building through research digital toolkits. The session took place on October 25, 2023, at the BCU Function Hall.

Dr. Elma Donaal, Vice President for Academic Affairs, passionately underscores the significance of research and internationalization in higher education. Madam President Margarita Cecilda B. Rillera wholeheartedly lends her support to the ongoing capability-building efforts. Dr. Marilou Dela Peña, brimming with enthusiasm, introduces our esteemed resource speaker, Dr. Jimmy Catanes.

Participating in university rankings is one component of a university’s internationalization strategy. However, it’s important to note that rankings are not the sole focus of internationalization efforts. Higher education internationalization encompasses a broader spectrum, involving the integration of global perspectives, experiences, and partnerships into the very fabric and operations of the educational institution. This approach includes the cultivation of international research collaborations, the formation of global partnerships and alliances, facilitating student and faculty exchanges, and nurturing a diverse international community

Dr. Jimmy Catanes delivers an insightful briefing, shedding light on the World University Rankings for Innovation categories and outlining the three areas where BCU has the opportunity to submit its application. Credit: Michael Rodriguez.

The Project AGSHAN Team discussing how BCU has carried out its social responsibility through its CES program. The team members are Ma’am Amalia F. Ancheta, Dr. Michael T. Sebullen, Dr. Samuel K. Neyney, Ma’am Clarence K. Fagyan, Ma’am Jamaica Luisa D. Simon, Ma’am Arlene A. Mintas, Ma’am Gemma C. Castro and Dr. Manion K. Alcantara (not in the picture).

Understanding World Rankings like WURI

 Dr. Catanes provided an orientation on world rankings especially the World University Rankings on Innovation (WURI), shedding light on the significance of aligning institutions with international standards. Understanding and utilizing world rankings is a crucial aspect of positioning higher education institutions on the global stage. It influences academic collaboration, partnerships, global reputation, and leadership strategies.

Project MARGARITA (Managing And Responding Generously Amidst Recurrence of Pandemic In Time of Adversity) Team recalls BCU’s initiatives and generous response to Baguio City during the COVID-19 crisis. Members are Madam Margarita Criselda B. Rillera, MBA, Gina Casi, PhD, Perfecto Lopez, EdD, Engr. Onofre Rillera, MSCE, Engr. Criselda Felix, MAM, Jocelyn Ang, MBA,  Ramon Kindipan, Ph.D., Judith R. Adina, RGC, RPm, Aurelia C. Abansi, RN, Ph.D., and Beca May P. Palitayan, BSCRIM.

WURI prioritizes distinctiveness, innovation, and long-term impacts on the industry and society. For Baguio Central University (BCU), being relatively new to university rankings, the (WURI) assessment is a promising starting point for several reasons: 1) Emphasis on Real Impact; 2) Inclusivity; 3) Focus on Innovation; 4) Diverse Metrics; 5) Encouragement for Growth; and 6) Learning Opportunity.

Project EAGLE team members take a pose for posterity: Mr. Oscar D. Rillera, Karl Matthieu B. Rillera, Dr. Janice D. Alejandrino, Ms. Aiza Bheal M. Kitani, Engr. Lorelie S. Malit, Ms. Sheenah Pearl L. Pangda, and Dr. Genevieve B. Kupang.

 The Research Capability Building, focused on the utilization of digital toolkits, was designed to enhance our team’s research skills and amplify the quality of our research outputs. The exercise equipped us with the tools to streamline their research production processes. The insights shared during this event, particularly with regard to the ever-evolving landscape of higher education and research, were immensely valuable to all participants.

CES Coordinator Arlene Mintas, MAF, & Michael T. Sebullen, PhD present their Program, the “Achieving Literacy Goals through Service, Help, and Awareness in the Neighborhood” (A.G.S.H.A.N.). It means “ladder,” a community-driven initiative designed to address the critical issue of literacies within BCU neighborhoods. Mr. Steven Jan Belgica elucidates the approach to completing the WURI application template and elaborates on the technical support and assistance available through CHED.

The Deans, Dr. Ramon Kindipan, Dr. Gina Casi, and Dr. Genevieve Kupang, interact with the resource speaker and fellow participants, offering queries and sharing their insights during the leveling-off session.

Throughout the leveling-off session, several key realizations came to light. Participants recognized that a deep understanding of global university rankings could empower institutions to foster academic collaborations, strengthen their international reputation, and establish themselves as leaders in the field of education. It became clear that maintaining high standards, fostering academic collaborations and partnerships, celebrating institutional achievements, and enhancing international reputations were vital aspects. Furthermore, participants acknowledged the strategic value of using rankings as a management tool. One of the standout moments was when Dr. Perfecto Lopez, the Vice President of Administration, aptly remarked, “Kung kaya nila, kaya din natin,” eliciting unanimous agreement, applause, and a boost in the academic community’s morale.

During a heartwarming recognition ceremony, President and Chairman of the Board of Trustees, Ma’am Margarita Cecilda B. Rillera, MBA presents certificates and tokens to our esteemed resource persons: Dr. Jimmy Catanes, Dr. Bernadette Pal-ec, and Sir Steven Jan Belgica.

Perfecto M. Lopez, EdD delivers his closing remarks, extending his heartfelt congratulations to everyone for the incredibly productive day we are all experiencing.

The entire body expressed its sincere gratitude to the indomitable efforts of Dr. Marilou Dela Peña and the invaluable contributions of Student Assistant Jonathan Ramos, who worked tirelessly to orchestrate this event. Their unwavering dedication was complemented by the wholehearted support of Dr. Elma Donaal, the Vice President for Academic Affairs, Ma’am Amalia Ancheta, Vice President for Finance, Dr. Perfecto Lopez, Vice President for Administration, and Madam President Margarita Cecilda B. Rillera, MBA who all played a significant role in making this event a success.

In a spirit of gratitude and humility, we extended our praise and thanks to the Almighty God for gracing us with a day filled with profound learning and invaluable insights.

  Marilou Dela Peña serves both as the Director of the Research and Development Office and as a professor at the Graduate School of Baguio Central University.



Genevieve Balance Kupang is a Leadership Team Member for the Exceptional Woman of Peace Award at Pathways to Peace, a UN Peace Messenger Organization. She is the Dean of the Graduate School at Baguio Central University, Philippines. She Chairs the Special Interest Groups while concurrently serving as the Peace Education Coordinator of the World Council for Curriculum and Instruction.