At 93, Miriam College has decades of successes and learning in the history of providing good education to young women in the Philippines. The challenges and opportunities persist not only at the home front but are also being recognized worldwide. In a forum in Nanjing, China leaders of Asian women’s colleges and universities gathered to participate in a discussion on the various challenges and opportunities for women’s colleges and universities in Asia. It was held on April 10-14, 2019 and organized by the United Board and the Ginling Women’s College of Nanjing Normal University.
The forum served as a platform to facilitate cross-regional collaboration among women’s colleges and universities in Asia for renewed vision and development.
As one of the invited resource speakers for a panel discussion entitled “Changing Role of Women's Colleges in Asia,” Miriam College President Rosario O. Lapus, PhD shared her rich experiences in higher education leadership and management. Dr. Lapus enthused that in Miriam College “we create an environment where girls’ and young women’s voices are heard, their ideas pursued, and their successes celebrated.” She illustrated that these all came about by beginning with a vision: Girls at the Center. From there, the vision was communicated, first, to the key people of the institution, then, to the students, faculty, and parents. It was also crucial to strategize. For every venture and activity, goals such as the QRS (Q-quality, R-relevance, S-sustainability) and the 3Is (Impact, Innovation and Institutional) are always taken into consideration. Lastly, the plans are implemented. The goals set are achievable and products are reaped throughout the years.
Dr. Lapus continued to cite concrete programs and projects that were implemented to support the school’s vision of putting Girls at the Center. Among these were the creation of the “makerspace” to create a community of innovators across Miriam College; the annual President’s Challenge that gives life to bold ideas that lead to innovation and social impact; the raising of well-rounded students in Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics (S .T.E.A.M.); and the partnerships with organizations and institutions locally and abroad primarily for the e-learning and globalization programs of the school.
The forum was attended by presidents and principals of women’s colleges and universities from six countries in Asia, including Bangladesh, China, India, Japan, Korea, and the Philippines. Women presidents of co-educational universities among United Board’s network institutions were also invited.