In a bid to generate funds and expand their budget for improving educational facilities and quality of teaching, many state-owned colleges and universities are considering converting part of their property into education economic zones in partnership with big corporations and foundations.
Officials of 110 SUCs attended orientation briefings on how to make their assets and resources profitable at a forum held on September 7-9.
Dr. Ruben Sevilleja, president of the Central Luzon State Univerity, said they are looking into technology commercialization by putting up incubator projects and business process outsourcing “as very viable revenue-making ventures.”
It was agreed that the SUCs would request the Philippine Economic Zone Authority to declare their lands as economic zones and help them invite investors. It was indicated that the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) was amenable to the idea.
The school administrators were joined in the forums by managers from Ayala Foundation, Inc., Management Association of the Philippines, Land Bank of the Philippines, the business process outsourcing sector and representatives of state universities and colleges already implementing successful income-generating projects.
Putting up eco-zone projects is considered one of the answers to the problem of budget-cuts which have set back the operation of state-owned colleges and universities since last year.
In Metro Manila, prominent examples of thriving university-private sector partnership in hosting businesses may be found at the University of the Philippines Diliman Campus which run the UP-Ayala Land Techno Hub complex and the Technology Business Incubator (TBI) facility.
( Adapted from the Philipine Daily Inquirer, September 10, 2011, page A10.)