MANILA – Professor Normalyn Longay, recipient of a Taiwanese scholarship grant, hopes to establish the country’s first doctorate program on agribusiness once she finishes her three-year postgraduate study in Taichung.
Longay, who is currently teaching at the Benguet State University, is pursuing her Doctor of Philosophy degree in Agriculture at the National Chung Hsing University next month after getting selected for Taiwan's scholarship program.
“I actually thought of pursuing my PhD in Taiwan because I appreciate the quality of education in Taiwan. Number two, because of the diverse culture there. (Once I finish there), I will come back to Benguet State University. I’ll be paying back, definitely,” she told reporters during the scholarship awards ceremony in Makati City.
Longay said no university in the Philippines currently offers a PhD in Agribusiness.
“That’s among my plans and that would be the first in the (country). It’s my dream,” she said.
“This is what our farmers should be trained of and I believe it will start with the young generation, with students while they are learning. It comes really with changing your mindset, that there is also money in agriculture,” she added.
Longay is one of the 70 Filipino students who will fly to Taiwan to pursue postgraduate studies this year.
Among them, 18 students were awarded with the Taiwan Ministry of Education (MOE) scholarship, seven received the International Cooperation and Development Fund (TaiwanICDF) scholarship, while 45 will study Mandarin under the Huayu Enrichment Scholarship.
At the ceremony, Taipei Economic and Cultural Office (TECO) in the Philippines Representative Wallace Chow hopes to send more Filipino scholars in the future while touching on possible collaborations with leading universities in the Philippines for fields related to electronics, artificial intelligence (AI) and semiconductor.
Manila Economic and Cultural Office Representative Silvestre Bello III, meanwhile, encouraged the students to become the "bond" that further strengthen the friendship between the Taiwanese and Filipino people.
“From the moment you finish your scholarship programs, you will now act as ambassadors of goodwill of the Philippines to further enhance and enrich the friendly relations between our two peoples,” he said. (PNA)