URC 2018 highlights business-academe interface

Business leaders and Fr. President Dionisio M. Miranda, SVD spoke about the importance of Cebu’s business and academia working together earlier today, March 15, 2018, at the opening of USC’s 3rd University Research Conference (URC) at the Michael Richartz Center in Talamban Campus.

Fr. Dionisio Miranda, SVD gave the keynote speech at the 3rd URC (photo courtesy: Francis Arnibal).

Fr. Miranda (above) strongly emphasized the need for academia to adjust to the demands of Industry 4.0 and not keep on producing (non-relevant) graduates and then complain about the situation without doing anything about it.

Left to right: Rene Almendras, Danilo Largo (USC Office of Research Director), Bunny Pages, Fr. Miranda, Atty. Muntuerto, Tony Chiu, Virgilio Espeleta, and Fr. Aleks Gaut (USC Vice President for Academic Affairs) (photo courtesy: JJ Masna).

A virtual who’s who of business leaders spoke in a panel discussion about what industry needs from universities like USC. Speaking earlier today at the URC were Jose Rene Gregory D. Almendras (Managing Director, Ayala Corporation), Manuel “Bunny” D. Pages Jr. (Chairman and CEO, Pages Holdings, Inc.), Antonio N. Chiu (President, Nutrivalue Technologies, Inc. and current President, Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry), Virgilio G. Espeleta (President and CEO, Famcor Franchise Mgt. and Executive Development Corp.), and Atty. Anastacio T. Muntuerto Jr. (Independent Director, Cebu Property Ventures and Development Corp.).

Ayala Corporation Managing Director Rene Almendras talked about the future of employment (photo courtesy: JJ Masna).

Almendras (above) discussed the imminent future of Industry 4.0, many features of which are reality today. “We have disrupted the content of education. We need to disrupt the context of education,” he said, referring to the emphasis on soft skills in industry citing Google’s Project Aristotle.

Pages, for his part, endorsed the University’s vision of preparing lifelong learners, saying that he is continuing to learn. He enumerated six traits industry expects academia to produce in its graduates, namely: (1) character, not reputation, (2) a growth mindset, (3) people who know how to think, (4) effective communication, (5) people who act and make things happen, and (6) people who know how to relate with others.

From left: Office of Research Director Dr. Danilo B. Largo, Fr. Miranda, and Bunny Pages opened the poster exhibits (photo courtesy: JJ Masna).

Chiu noted that efficiency is the key to a successful manufacturing industry, and asked academia to produce graduates who are useful and relevant to industry needs.

Espelata offered concrete steps, including project-based consultation carried out by faculty members, opening of OJT slots and developing realistic outcomes. In the end, he urged the University to keep its core function, i.e., to mold mission-driven graduates.

Muntuerto, for his part, spoke to the students, challenging them to work for a noble purpose, and have the heart and mind to serve humanity.

The two-day conference continues tomorrow, with 30 oral papers presented in two parallel sessions at the Michael Richartz Center and the School of Architecture, Fine Arts and Design theater. There are also 60 poster presentations at the lobby of the Richartz Center.

Tags: Research, Events

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