The 1st Colleges and Universities Public Service Conference (CUPSCon) officially began yesterday, 26 November 2015, at the University of the Philippines Open University (UPOU). CUPSCon is supported by the Office of the President of the University of the Philippines, the Office of the Vice President for Public Affairs of UP, the Office of the Chancellor of UP Los Baños (UPLB), the Office of the Chancellor of the UP Open University and organized through the cooperation of UPLB Ugnayan ng Pahinungod, UPLB Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research and Extension, UP Manila Ugnayan ng Pahinungod, UP Diliman Office of Extension Coordination, and UP Baguio Office of Public Affairs and the University of the Philippines Padayon Public Service Office.
With the theme “From the Ivory Tower to the Communities: Engaging Society with Commitment and Expertise,” CUPSCon is a two-day conference featuring sessions on HEI’s policies, programs, and projects that benefit sectors outside the university community especially in both local and national government; private sectors especially the micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs); civil society including non-government and people’s organizations; marginalized and underserved communities; and of course, the general public.
During the opening program, UPOU Chancellor Grace J. Alfonso gave the welcome remarks followed by a video of UP President Alfredo E. Pascual’s message. Dr. Grace H. Aguiling-Dalisay, Dean of the College of Social Sciences and Philosophy of UP Diliman, delivered the keynote speech entitled “Public Service in Higher Education: Why It Matters.” She emphasized the importance of engagement in the context of public service, and what matters is that we constantly think of how we can contribute as a university.
Three batches of parallel sessions followed, with each session focused on a particular theme. For the first batch of parallel sessions, the individual themes were: 1) Sector-Based Service-Learning; 2) Education, Literacy, and Training; and 3) Public Service Through Forensics and Genetics.
The second batch of parallel sessions focused on: 1) Community Engagement and Service-Learning; 2) Climate Change and Environmental Protection; and 3) Service-Learning through the National Service Training Program.
Finally, the third batch of parallel sessions had the following themes: 1) Developing the University Service Area: The Experiences of the Cagayan State University; 2) Community Nutrition; and 3) Higher Education Public Service.
A dinner was held at the Seniors Social Garden to formally welcome the delegates.
Day 2 (27 November 2015) will also be held at UPOU.