International exposure, real-world industry experience, and digital expertise.
These are the three key differentiators that the Mapúa University promises to equip its graduates with to ensure that their skills are future-ready, especially in a world that is constantly adapting to new ways of working, fast-paced technological developments and massively disruptive events—thanks to a new partnership with Arizona State University (ASU) under the global network of prestigious universities, the Cintana Alliance.
“From the point of view of the employability of our graduates, this partnership will be good because we can get closer to the ground to really see what’s happening in the workplace, [gain] knowledge about the new job roles that will emerge in the coming years, and what will better qualify Mapua graduates for the evolving world of work,” says Reynaldo Vea, Mapua University president.
For students, one major advantage of the Mapua-ASU partnership under Cintana is the access they have to Global Signature Courses, which are based around an ASU program with an ASU curriculum that is customized for this alliance, explains Chris Hill, Cintana chief strategy officer and head of Asia. These courses are taken in “global classrooms” that are designed to enable learning and collaboration among students across different time zones—much like how most companies are run today—and allow them to work on projects that are linked to real industry scenarios.
“You have this global connection, enabled by technology, you have the chance to learn a program from Arizona State University, and you have the chance to interact with students from all these different cultures,” says Hill. “Increasingly, students are going to find themselves in digital settings, interacting and working across borders. And I think that will be a great experience for them.”
Under the Cintana Alliance, Mapua is part of a group of top universities across 12 countries in four continents—and is the only institution representing the Philippines. Its partnership with ASU will allow the university, primarily known for its specialty in engineering and architecture, to further diversify its offerings, particularly in the fields of business and health sciences, says Vea. These would cover basic business school offerings, such as business administration, entrepreneurship, and finance, and expand to MBA and master’s degree programs. These ASU programs will be made available across all three campuses under the Mapua group: Mapua University in Manila; Malayan Colleges Laguna in Cabuyao, Laguna; and Malayan Colleges Mindanao in Davao City.
“The opportunities to connect with Mapua’s strength in engineering and technology is not dissimilar from what you might see at MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) with Sloan School of Management, and all sorts of great connections and venture capital ideas that start to come around this intersection between business and technology,” says Hill.
Under health sciences, Hill adds that a medical school is in the horizon for Mapua.
“The university will have a premier facility and medical school, and then around that, a comprehensive health sciences portfolio that includes allied health, nursing, dentistry, psychology, physical therapy, veterinary—all aspects. We think there’s huge need, and it will become a leading provider of health sciences programs to the Philippines,” says Hill.
Beyond technology, business and health, however, one more thing binds Mapua and ASU: their common commitment to environmental sustainability while embracing digital technology. It is this kinship, says Vea, that will allow them to not just become a more innovative university, but one that is more accessible to more Filipinos looking to create a better future for themselves through education.
“At its core, ASU is built around this idea that the role of a university should not just be to become an elite institution serving a small number of students, but it should be to be a great university, reaching as many students as possible—and we see a similar philosophy in Mapua, which has grown to be very successful. We share this DNA,” Hill says.