Being one of the oldest institutions in the Philippines, St Paul University Philippines (SPUP) prides itself on its mission of providing quality Catholic education in an environment conducive to serious learning, character formation and skills development. The university became the First Private University in the Philippines to be granted an ISO 9001 Certification by TUV Rheinland in 2000 and one of the Universities in the Philippines accredited by the Asian Association of Schools of Business International (AASBI) since 2014. Established in 1907 by the Sisters of St. Paul of Chartres (SPC) in Tuguegarao City upon the invitation of Bishop Dennis Joseph Dougherty of the Diocese of Nueva Segovia, SPUP has undergone various developments and improvements over the years.
SPUP was selected as one of only 16 Universities in the Philippines by World Bank as a Knowledge for Development Center (KDC). For its exemplary achievement as an innovative private school, SPUP was honoured as a Netizen’s Choice Awardee in the 2021 Philippine Social Media Awards in recognition of its strong online presence, positive ratings and reviews, and responsible use of social media platforms as its marketing tools. SPUP was among the Top 101-200 Innovative Universities in the world in 2021 and 2022 by the World’s Universities with Real Impact (WURI) with significant 2022 rank positions in Fourth Industrial Revolution (20th), Ethical Value (33rd in 2022 and 38th in 2021), Crisis Management (38th Place), and Student Mobility (49th). SPUP was also ranked in the 2022 Times Higher Education Impact Rankings.
With a mission to foster sustainable development through quality education, the UNESCO Associated Schools Project Network (ASPNet) has recognised SPUP as its affiliate school in the country. Additionally, for its integrated undertakings toward environmental stewardship and care for creation, the university was conferred the Most Environment-Friendly and Sustainable School in Region II by the Environmental Management Bureau (EMB). Along with community development and service learning, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) awarded SPUP Community Development Center as the Best Non-Government Organization in Luzon in 2019 for its contribution to improving the lives as well as providing better opportunities for the poor, vulnerable and marginalised sectors of the community. In 2020, SPUP won the Prince Talal International Prize for Human Development from Arab Gulf Programme for Development (AGFUND) in recognition of its efforts to realise the Sustainable Development Goal of Zero Hunger.
In evangelising faith and promoting arts and culture, SPUP instituted a proactive approach towards intercultural and interfaith differences due to the increasing population of international students. The creative approach “to where faith and culture meet” responds to the challenges of internationalisation where the academic community is firmly rooted in Catholic beliefs and respectful of others’ creeds and cultures. “In 2012, the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) identified SPUP as a Catholic Center for Culture for its collaborative undertaking to conserve the patrimony of the Church and to promote greater awareness of the Church’s heritage through education, worship, and the Sacraments,” shares Sister Merceditas Ang, SPC, PhD, University President at SPUP. Moreover, in 2014, the National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP) bestowed the university a Historical Marker in recognition of its contribution to the historical development of Cagayan Valley in education and public service. And in 2018, the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) designated SPUP as a Regional Arts Center for its efforts in promoting arts and culture, showcasing artistic excellence, and fostering public participation in the arts.
Today, SPUP is recognised as an Autonomous Institution by the Commission on Higher Education (CHED); Center of Excellence in Nursing; Center of Excellence in Teacher Education; Center of Development in Information Technology; Center of Teacher Training Institution; the first PAASCU-accredited Integrated Basic Education Unit in Cagayan Valley; a deputised institution for the Expanded Tertiary Education Equivalency Accreditation Program (ETEAAP); Most Outstanding Student Services in the Philippines; Outstanding Research/Academic Library in the Philippines; an associate member of the Asian Association of Open Universities; an accredited school by the Philippine Association of Colleges and Universities Commission on Accreditation (PACUCOA) for its Graduate School; a delivering Higher Education Institution for Graduate Studies for the K-12 Transition Program; and its School of Medicine is listed in the World Health Organization’s (WHO) World Directory of Medical Schools.
Fully Equipped To Fully Equip
St. Paul University Philippines offers an array of facilities helpful for the holistic development of students. One is the St. Paul Home and Students Center, or International Students Residence. The St. Paul Home-Student Center (SPHSC) provides a “closest to home away from home” ambience in a clean, well-maintained, safe and comfortable environment while cultivating a community that stimulates holistic student development. SPUP, through the SPHSC management, shares the responsibility in forming student residents by ensuring quality services promotive of harmonious, cordial, and filial relationships in a spirit of authentic dialogue and inter-relatedness of the students’ communities and cultural values. The SPHSC comprises St. Therese, St. Francis, St. Claire, St. John Paul II and Le Berceau buildings. They are all equipped with air conditioners, individual lockers, toilets and baths with cold and hot showers for the residents. “The University offers a prayerful ambience and a peaceful environment where students can show their reverence to the Divine having a university chapel as a convergence of Catholic faith. The university also has prayer rooms for students of various religious affiliations,” shares Jeremy Godofredo C Morales, PhD, the Director of Internationalization at the university.
The SPUP ‘s library is one of a kind. Known as the Knowledge and Information Resource Network (KIRN), the university’s Library is provided to support the knowledge and information needs of all members of the university and the community it serves. The SPUP World Bank Knowledge for Development Center, which is a significant component of the KIRN, is a proactive and dynamic resource centre committed to creating, sharing, and applying knowledge for development with an array of print and electronic materials on good governance, economic development and environmental sustainability among others.
A new facility of the university is the Entrepreneurship Education and Business Incubation Center. This is dedicated to honing students’ entrepreneurial skills across academic programs, preparing them for better employability by properly handling business incubation, ideation and innovation. The major equipment in this facility has been donated by the European Commission (Erasmus+) concerning SPUP’s participation in promoting the employability and entrepreneurship of higher education graduates through the innovative WAYS in the Philippines (PATHWAY) Project.
The Intercultural Institute for Languages is an international resource centre for students, faculty, scholars, government and non-government organisations, global executives and other interested individuals. The institute provides a holistic approach to language learning, teaching and research. This Center develops the language abilities and interests of its clientele and offers a wide choice of short-term courses, developmental training and special projects, aiming to enhance the understanding of other cultures through an intercultural exchange of cultural identities, customs, traditions, values and interests while learning other languages. Furthermore, the institute assists with academic research in languages. In addition, it also organises training for students, teachers, government and non-government officials, employees, and other private individuals who need special language training. Other functional facilities available for students include the Holistic Spa and Wellness Center (with fitness gym) for body care and physical fitness activities, the University Health Services Unit for health and dental needs, the Guidance and Counselling Center for various personality, academic and career guidance needs of students.
St. Paul University Philippines signed memoranda of agreements and understanding with various foreign universities sending their faculty members to graduate studies at SPUP under scholarship. SPUP recognises this financial assistance given by its partners. Moreover, SPUP also helps prepare documents needed by international students when they apply for scholarship grants or financial aid in their own countries.
Unparalleled International Reach
SPUP welcomes international students from various nations with its commitment to providing quality education and holistic development. Allan Peejay M Lappay, PhD, the Director of the Center for Alumni, External Relations and Advocaciesat the university, says, “SPUP has created a strategic roadmap to engage its members (faculty, staff, and learners) to survive and thrive in a highly globalised and technology-driven era of the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR). Guided by its vision-mission and Paulinian spirituality, the teaching and learning in the 4IR are anchored on the 21st-century global competencies enriched with character and service learning.”
Moreover, a wise approach and scheme for resource mobilisation and sustainable development have been endeavoured. Propelled by quality teaching and learning, research and innovation, and service learning, SPUP advances to re-invent and re-tool the 4IR and leverage quality and sustainability based on the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations. Considering learners’ diversity and cultural differences, the approach towards evangelisation needs to be creative. Students will be more engaged in learning by integrating technology into curriculum and instruction. Coding Education, Courses on Artificial Intelligence and Robotics, use of Augmented Reality books and equipment, offering of Foreign language and ASEAN studies, Global Citizenship Education, enhancement of e-learning modules and platform of delivery, the conduct of national and international conferences and symposia, research publication, partnership and network in the academe and industry sectors, and, international immersions and exposures endeavour towards SPUP’s holistic and transformative education.
Moreover, creativity and innovation are advanced through technology-based, research-driven, value-laden, and student-centred learning. Students are provided with opportunities and experiences of showcasing their ingenuity through their projects, creative outputs, and performance-based tasks. The University is equipped with laboratories, incubation, and simulation centres where students can display or demonstrate their creative works. SPUP provides an authentic learning experience towards the development of learners who are computational and creative thinkers, innovative designers, communicators, knowledge constructors and global collaborators. SPUP is also listed as a recognised University by the National Medical Council of India, the Chinese Ministry of Education, the Indonesian Higher Education Commission, and other education ministries in different countries.
To promote inventiveness among students, the university conducts various competitions and festivals for students to get their creative juices flowing, encouraging them to think outside the box to solve problems. The student activities that bring out the creative talents of the students are conducted throughout the year, culminating during the University Festival in December. In celebration of the 115th founding anniversary of SPUP, an original songwriting contest was carried out in which students from various programs of study participated. The ASEAN Ambassadors competition is another competition where each team (or each school/department) picks a country to represent, and the students create their costumes depicting the country. They are only to use recycled or recyclable, biodegradable, hazard-free and environment-friendly materials. The costumes are showcased, together with the advocacy statements of the representatives. The Annual Business Expo conducted by the School of Business, Accountancy and Hospitality Management is an opportunity for students to create new products through a business plan; showcase their talents through skills competition in culinary, flare-tending, table setting, napkin folding, and tour guiding, among others. Annual Cyber Summit is staged by the School of Information Technology and Engineering, where students showcase their newly developed systems in consonance with new trends in IT and Engineering, such as the use and management of AI, Robotics and computer-aided practical and functional programs and systems.
There are different competitions for all courses at SPUP. The university’s Business and Accountancy students secured the 2nd spot for the nationwide search for the 15th Business Idea and Development Awards (BIDA) 2021 for their winning entry, “RabbEATS Processing”. The Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) organised the nationwide search and was sponsored by PhilExport. It highlighted the innovative business ideas of Filipino students from different Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) and is geared towards conceptualising products, services and technology, concretising sustainability, and product/service innovations in the country. All submitted entries were subjected to rigorous screening, deliberations, and final presentation. SPUP hones students’ research and business incubation skills by guiding them to properly look into the needs of the community and offering solutions using the community resources available. Skills training and technology transfer is part of the process for better utilisation of findings.
A student from the School of Information Technology and Engineering (SITE) was named Google Developer Student Club (DSC) Lead 2022, joining the ranks of only 30 students in the Philippines selected by Google. The Club Lead joins a community of students in creating professional and personal networks, access to Google developer resources, and working together to build solutions for local problems in a peer-to-peer learning environment. SPUP has been a home to some Google Developer Student Club Leads since 2019.
In 1992, SPUP started a social enterprise when the Community Development Center (CDC) formed women’s groups and community groups towards social entrepreneurship and independence in a local village, while blacksmithing was also enhanced through microfinancing among the men’s group and is now the common product of the area. The main support that the University provides for spin-off activities is in terms of research capability, where students are assisted and mentored in terms of business plan preparation. To date, the most successful spin-off projects of SPUP, which were spearheaded by its students with the assistance of their professors, include Peanut Brittle Making, Banana Chips making, Soap-making and Dishwashing Liquid Production, Soap-making and Dishwashing Liquid Production, processed rabbit meat preparation.
“A new facility of the university is the Entrepreneurship Education and Business Incubation Center, which is dedicated to honing the entrepreneurial skills of students across academic programs, preparing them towards better employability by properly handling business incubation, ideation and innovation,” Sister Merceditas says. This centre will help guide the students in the ideation, innovation and incubation process towards sustainability.
SPUP has instituted the Center for Publication, Research, Innovations and New Technologies (CPRINT), which promotes and enhances the development of strong research culture in the university. CPRINT further enriches the knowledge, skills, and attitudes of faculty, staff and students in research. The centre offers services in line with research consultations, data treatment analysis assistance, journal publication refereeing and research proposal preparation.
The International Interdisciplinary Research Conference (IIRC) is a biennial activity of the university where it brings together researchers, research enthusiasts, professors, students, entrepreneurs, innovators and practitioners for research presentations and discussions of the pressing issues of society, as well as research optimisation and utilisation to solve real-life problems. SPUP has already held 4 conferences, and this year is the 5th. Research presentations of the previous conferences are printed in the IIRC Journal.
The Light Explorer and The Glow are university research journals where students, faculty members and IIRC 5 presenters can publish their research articles. These are refereed journals and are indexed internationally. The university also endeavours commissioned research undertakings with various government agencies such as the Department of Science and Technology – Philippine Council for Health Research and Development, Department of Social Welfare and Development, Commission on Population, and Cagayan Valley Heath Research Development Center, to name a few.
The post-pandemic world may pose challenges, especially for re-integration, but St. Paul University Philippines remains constant in its mission and dedication to forming a resilient, purpose-driven, future-ready workforce. SPUP undertakes initiatives to integrate 4IR, global education, and service learning into the various curricula of studies and design activities to instil in the students the very essence of these concepts, which may contribute to the holistic formation of the students, making them 21st-century-ready graduates.
SPUP wants to blaze new trails of creativity, innovation, and sustainability post-pandemic and beyond. Its strategic directions are vision-mission driven and anchored on Quality teaching-learning and student services, creative evangelisation, research and development, internationalisation, community outreach and advocacies, resource mobilisation and sustainability. Likewise, SPUP will engage its key stakeholders in undertaking digital transformation, value innovations, and global expansion. Thus, transition and transform into a smart university in a green campus, providing world-ranked quality of education and truly making a difference globally.
For More Info: https://spup.edu.ph/