LAOAG CITY–The government-run Mariano Marcos State University (MMSU) in Ilocos Norte province continues to expand its international linkages around the globe with its latest partners, China’s Dezhou University (DZU) and Shandong Academy of Agricultural Sciences (SAAS).
Coming off a five-day business trip to China last week, MMSU president Shirley C. Agrupis reported Monday that they will embark on collaborative activities following the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to promote educational and cultural exchanges.
Agrupis, DZU president Zhao Changlin, and SAAS vice president Liu Kaichang signed the MOU in China, according to a news release.
Governor Matthew Marcos Manotoc, who also traveled to China along with his team from the tourism, investment, and agriculture departments to promote Ilocos Norte's business and tourism potentials to the Chinese market, witnessed the signing.
For the next five years, MMSU and DZU will facilitate the exchange of faculty, researchers, and students; conduct international cooperation projects; and enhance cultural exchanges.
Through the creation of the Shandong-Ilocos Norte Humanistic Education Exchange, they will also offer scholarship grants and establish a Philippine Research Institute; build Philippine Youth Exchange Base; and set up a joint laboratory for smart agriculture.
MMSU and SAAS will likewise establish a joint research and development center for corn; conduct germplasm exchange and corn variety experiments; carry out various collaborative research; and strengthen cultural exchanges and cooperation.
"I strongly believe that the synergistic collaboration between our universities will pave the way for a promising future, marked by our strong commitment and initiatives," Agrupis said in a statement.
Following the visit to China, several Chinese delegates from Ilocos Norte’s sister province of Shandong will travel to Ilocos Norte for a 10-day cultural exchange for students and professionals.
The Ilocos Norte government will also offer an English enrichment scholarship for interested English language learners, including beginners, to study at MMSU.
Two years ago, MMSU and the Shandong Academy also signed MOU for the implementation of agricultural science and technology programs.
The MMSU library in Batac City campus currently hosts a Chinese Learning Center. (PNA)