Belgium: A delegation of academicians and department heads of Bicol University in Albay, headed by its President, Arnulfo M. Mascarinas, visited the VIVES University of Applied Sciences in Roeselare, West Flanders, Belgium recently and signed an Inter-Institutional Agreement for their first European Regional Action Scheme for the Mobility of University Students (Erasmus+) cooperation. Erasmus+ is a European Union Programme that supports education, training, youth and sports in Europe through exchanges of scholars and other types of collaborative educational programs.
Bicol University and VIVES University signed a Memorandum of Understanding for International Cooperation on 29 October 2018, and includes:
- Exchanges of scholars (professors, researchers, administrative staff and students).
- Development of dual and double degree programmes.
- Exchange of academic information, documentation, materials, research results, as well as publications.
- Development of joint research programmes.
- The creation of other joint initiatives such as conferences, symposia, and virtual exchanges.
This cooperation is in line with the Synergy Programme of the Province of West Flanders (the Wereldhuis in Roeselare, Belgium), a multi-stakeholder partnership that brings together some 30 partners from academia, local government, NGOs, cooperatives and people organisations, both in the Philippines and West Flanders.
The core theme of these partnerships is an adaptation to climate change through entrepreneurship in agriculture to build safe, sustainable and resilient communities and enterprises, with the Synergy Programme serving as a Cooperation Platform and Knowledge Centre.
On 23 November 2022, Governor Carl Decaluwe of the Province of West Flanders, who has been supporting the project, hosted a dinner for the delegation, the VIVES University team of academicians and officials of the Philippine Embassy in Brussels at the historic House of the Governor located in the centre of Brugge.
Consul General Pablito A. Mendoza, Charge d’ Affaires, a.i., of the Philippine Embassy in Brussels, thanked the Governor and the academicians of VIVES University for the valuable support and warm hospitality they extended to the Bicol University delegation during their stay in Belgium.