TOWARDS A FUTURE-PROOF AND RESET OF HIGHER EDUCATION: UNIVERSITY OF MAKATI’S UNIVERSITY RESEARCH CENTER HOLDS ITS 4TH RESEARCH CONGRESS
Together with 400+ attendees from different academic and government institutions, the University of Makati successfully held its 4th University Research Congress with the theme Future-Ready and Reset of Higher Education last October 20-21, 2021, via Zoom. Organized by the University Research Center, the call for paper presentations was released last January 15, 2021. Through a double-blind review and careful evaluation of the full papers, 14 papers were chosen for concurrent session presentations out of the 40 abstracts that were initially submitted. The roster of speakers and paper presenters for the 4th Research Congress shared different insights and perspectives on achieving a more sustainable, just, and resilient higher education.
The two-day congress kicked off with the opening remarks of our OIC President and Concurrent VPAA, Dr. Elyxzur Ramos, who challenged the attendees to help build UMak into a research-oriented institution and encouraged everyone to advocate for research in their own academic institutions. Starting the morning session was a refreshing take on research through Prof. Jose Eos R. Trinidad from the University of Chicago’s discussion on “Knowing Self, Field, Network” shared the proper mindset for a researcher, actions to take towards their own fields and networks, and practical tips on doing their research that is helpful for both amateur and seasoned researchers alike. This was followed by Dr. Mark Angelo O. Balendres from the University of the Philippines Los Baños who demystified the craft of publishing one’s research through his discussion on “Preparing the Research Article: Guide to Scientific Publishing”. He explained the best practices for scientific publishing and identified certain expectations from the publishing industry on accepting submissions of research articles. Wrapping up the morning session is a detailed discussion of an important aspect of conducting research which is institutional support. Engr. Merlina G. Panganiban of the City’s Planning Unit, the Urban Development Department explained the ” Research Directions of the City Government of Makati”. She shared how the city supports and welcomes research initiatives that are aligned with the city’s thrusts.
The afternoon session of the 1st day of the Congress continued with enlightening discussions on how research can be used as opportunities for growth for every institution, scholar, and educator. The afternoon session started with Asst. Prof. Florante E. Delos Santos, the Director of the University Research Center. He shared a comprehensive situational discussion of the research landscape in UMak, highlighted common errors in research writing today, and shared actions & resources that may help researchers to improve their work. Ending the 1st day was an interesting discussion on how far our research can take us, both geographically speaking and discipline-wise. Through his experiences as a local and foreign graduate student researcher, Prof. Carlo Delfin S. Estadilla imparted with the participants his research endeavors and adventures which led him to his current studies in Bilbao, Spain. Prof. Estadilla also encouraged everyone to see beyond their current research initiatives and look into how they as researchers may contribute to the bigger picture of their discipline.\
Amped up with the discourse from the 1st day of the Congress, Dr. Ederson DT Tapia, UMak’s Vice President for Planning and Research, examined how institutions situate themselves within the research community through his session on “Navigating the Terrain of Academic Publication: Contributions to the Development of a Culture of Research in Universities”. He discussed different university environments locally and internationally that reveal how imperative a research culture within a community is to be both competitive and to continuously strive for growth. This is followed by one of the most essential components of research which is dealing with data. Closing the main congress session, Engr. Luke Ivan B. Moro, the University Secretary of UMak, discussed “Embedding Quality and Integrity in the Research Process”. He pointed out how validating the data is not a mere part of the research process but should always be placed as a key element when planning to do research. He explained the technicalities of sorting and verifying data through demonstrating how to validate data efficiently and effectively through different platforms, theories, and methods.
Following through the expertise of our main research congress speakers, the afternoon session of the 2nd day of the UMak’s 4th Research Congress simultaneously conducted the concurrent session presentations of participants with topics that range from evaluation of learning: the evolving nature of education, the essence of partnership, collaboration, connectivity, and engagement, stewardship of place, finance, and community, mental health, trauma-informed pedagogy, and health governance and services. The presentations were clustered into four break-out rooms and other participants were encouraged to join the clusters that they found interest in. Concluding the congress was the awarding of certificates to the speakers and paper presenters and some parting words from our Vice-President for Administration, Atty. Jewel D. Bulos.
Through the efforts of the University Research Center led by Asst. Prof. Florante E. Delos Santos, RGC, together with Mr. Mark Vincent Valerio and Mr. Carl Joseph Gading, the 4th Research Congress which was originally a one-day event became a two-day Congress which was truly a successful testament to the University’s commitment to face and urgently uphold/build the foundations of educations. This research congress is also a symbol of gratitude to the partner institutions, assistance from UMak offices and colleges, and researchers who support the vision of achieving the University of Makati’s goal to be one of the leading research-oriented local universities in the country.