January 26, 2024. The three-day examination and assessment of the eight academic programs had just reached its denouement – yet awaiting final evaluation results for meeting all compliance requirements set by the Accrediting Agency of Chartered Colleges and Universities of the Philippines (AACCUP).
AACCUP Coordinator, Dr. Manuel A. Sanchez, Jr. along with his team of experts, had put together significant overtures for the university to prepare the ground for bigger challenges concomitant with achieving an assured quality and standard education that is globally at par, and to maintain key tangible attributes that give credence to the level of standards and practices that the university adhered to.
Team Sanchez, set forth significant recommendations compounded from the team’s observation and assessment of compliance materials presented during the accreditation processes and underscores the point that the final evaluation decision will be formally communicated to the university once duly certified by the National Network of Quality Assurance Agencies, Inc.
The following are the recommendations of the AACCUP Sanchez team, until final evaluation of the AACCUP Board:
- For the Board Programs to advance to a higher level of accreditation, graduate performance in the PRC board examinations must be at least 50% higher than the national passing average by holding more rigorous review sessions and implementing more effective interventions;
- Encouragement for BS Industrial Engineering graduates who take the certification examination should be improved;
- Improve comprehensiveness and documentation of tracer studies and putting in place a standardized process for conducting these studies and keeping a well organized graduate database;
- Acquire gradually a state of the art laboratory equipment for Industry 4.0;
- Encourage core faculty for each program to conduct more research and innovation for presentation at national and international conferences as well as publication in the reputable journals such as Scopus, Way of Science Index Journals, ACI and others;
- Search potential funding and IP application for some of the completed projects;
- Instructional materials produced by the faculty be considered for copyright;
- Administration should ensure that extension projects are sustainable by incorporating long term planning and community involvement and consider conducting a third party impact studies to determine how effective these projects are in improving the quality of life for beneficiaries;
- Expanding national and international collaborations has the potential to improve instruction, research, extension and resource generation;
- BS Industrial Engineering program should expedite the process of obtaining a certificate program compliance from the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) to ensure legal recognition and other agency-mandated standards.
Additionally, Dr. Sanchez stressed that the university has a well-developed plan that can be improved by providing and implementing current university plans such as:
- Strategic Plans
- Faculty Development Plans
- Research and Extension Plans
- ISO Operating Plans
- Succession Plans which will result in PBB and CNA beneficiaries each year:
- ISO recertification
- Prime HR level up
- Inclusion in the QS University Ranking and
- The Times Higher Education World University Ranking
In order for RTU to reach greater heights, Dr. Sanchez highlights some potential challenges that the university may encounter in maintaining its current standards while pursuing future goals on:
- Accreditation and certification
Aim for inclusion in the QS Star rating, ACBET accreditation for Engineering Programs, AACCUP institutional accreditation, ISO recertification and ISO 21001:2018 certification.
RTU must ensure to meet the stringent standards these bodies require as these involve continuous improvement in all aspects of operation including teaching, research, facilities and administration.
2. Quality Awards
Pursuing the Philippines Quality Award will require RTU to demonstrate exceptional performance in leadership, strategic planning, customer focus, measurement, analyses, knowledge management, workforce focus, operations focus and results.
3. Internationalization Initiatives
As RTU embarks on internationalization initiatives, it will face the challenge of establishing partnership with foreign institutions, attracting international students and providing opportunities for students and faculty to gain international exposure.
4. Institutional Sustainability Assessment by CHED
RTU must demonstrate its commitment to sustainability in operations, curriculum, research and community engagement.
5. As a Center of Development and Center of Excellence
To achieve these statuses in all programs with higher levels of accreditation, RTU will need to demonstrate exceptional performance in instruction, research and extension services.
Summary: RTU’s future challenges revolve around in maintaining its current accomplishments while striving for continuous improvement in the pursuit of its future plans. These allow RTU to continue to uphold its commitment to academic excellence and institutional growth.
Dr. Sanchez ended his statement with a quote from Aristotle: “Quality is not an act. It is a habit” which is meant for RTU “not to stop after this activity and must maintain the commitment to achieve excellence in instruction, research, extension and resource generation. And to create a culture and instill the idea that everyday is accreditation day.”