Educating leaders among the youth

Educating leaders among the youth

by UA&P News Desk on September 6, 2011 - 6:14 pm

“Business and Society” – Dr. Bernardo Villegas’ column for Manila Bulletin

July 11, 2011

MANILA, Philippines — In a recent lecture visit to the University of Macau, I heard some university officials talk proudly of their imminent move to a campus ten times their present one. As a university professor myself, my mouths watered when they told me that the Chinese Government will be building a whole new campus in a nearby island to help them expand their enrollment.

More importantly, the move will help them carry out an ambitious program of replicating the centuries-old educational system of Cambridge and Oxford in the UK where the future leaders of society receive a whole-person formation while living in what are known as residential colleges.

In this system, the students live in residences where they are in close contact with tutors who become their mentors, friends, foster parents, and role models as they acquire both intellectual and moral virtues.

It is in the residential colleges that a great deal of the intellectual and moral development of the individual student happens, outside the classroom. I listened intently to the enthusiastic description of their plans which has been refined as a result of a recent trip some of the officials made to universities in the UK and the United States.

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Like the University of Macau, my own university, the University of Asia and the Pacific, is committed to strengthening the whole-person education we are now giving to our undergraduate students by establishing residential colleges where our students, especially those who come from out of town or from foreign countries, can reside, together with tutors with whom they can interact on a daily basis and who will act as their mentors, friends, and role models.

In our Ortigas campus, we hope to have a residential college that can accommodate some 75 students. We are now approaching generous individuals and corporations to help us in this endeavor of establishing our own “incubator” of the future leaders of Philippine society.

Featured image by spork500 on Flickr
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