The UPLB College of Development Communication (CDC) together with the University of Reading (UoR) held a workshop on 30 March 2023 to craft the proposal for a Joint Dual Master of Science program. This was an offshoot of earlier meetings held in 2022 to further strengthen academic collaborations between the two institutions.

Dean Maria Stella C. Tirol opened the workshop by acknowledging CDC’s visiting professor, Dr. Sarah Carey of UoR’s School of Agriculture, Policy, and Development, for her university’s continuing partnership with UPLB-CDC. She hopes that the Dual MS program will be an addition to the existing offering of a Joint Dual PhD by Research Program, which is currently being pursued by two of CDC’s faculty members, namely Asst. Prof. Aldo Gavril T. Lim and Asst. Prof. Pamela Joyce M. Eleazar.

The workshop officially started with a discussion of CDC’s Master of Science in Development Communication program by Dr. Benjamina Paula G. Flor (Chair, CDC Curriculum Committee) and UoR’s Master of Science in Communication for Development program by Dr. Cardey. Both of them shared about the academic requirements and timeline, course offerings, and syllabi of their respective programs.

In the afternoon, Dr. Pamela A. Custodio, UPLB Graduate School (GS) Secretary, discussed policies and procedures regarding Dual MS programs on behalf of Dr. Ronilo Jose D. Flores, GS Associate Dean. These included coursework requirements, thesis mentorship and advisory committee constitution, and ethics review.

This was followed by the workshop proper, which revolved around mapping out the academic courses, timeline, and coursework credits of the Dual MS program, in consultation with Asst. Prof. Anna Floresca F. Firmalino, Director of the Office of International Linkages (OIL), who shared lessons learned on instituting such a program.

Others at the workshop were CDC’s department chairs, namely Dr. Trina Leah T. Mendoza (Department of Development Broadcasting and Telecommunication), Asst. Prof. Aletheia C. Araneta (Department of Development Journalism), Mr. Elijah Jesse M. Pine (Department of Educational Communication), and Asst. Prof. Olga C. Lomboy (representing Dr. Elaine DC. Llarena, Department of Science Communication), Dr. Liza A. Cabrera (CDC College Secretary), as well as members of the CDC Committee on Public Affairs, namely Mr. Miguel Victor T. Durian, Ms. Renz Frances D. Abagat-Manrique, and Asst. Prof. Ma. Teresita B. Osalla (CDC International Relations Officer), Asst. Prof. Rosa Pilipinas F. Francisco (Assistant to the Dean), and Ms. Christine Grace V. Mapacpac (Project Development Associate, CDC Dean’s Office). (Miguel Victor T. Durian)