Faculty Members of Ateneo de Manila University Visit Tzu Chi University, and are Deeply Impressed by Tzu Chi University’s Education
On March 5, 2018, faculty members of Ateneo de Manila University, Philippines, came to Tzu Chi University for a visit. Ateneo de Manila University was founded in 1859 by the Society of Jesus (Jesuits). Ateneo de Manila University offers elementary and secondary education, as well as undergraduate and postgraduate programs. Today, Father Jose M. Cruz, S.J., Vice President for University and Global Relations, Dr. Norman Dennis E. Marquez, Director of the Health Sciences Program, and Professor Leland Rodriguez de la Cruz, Director of the Office of Social Concern and Involvement, came to TCU.
On October of 2017, while attending the Taiwan Higher Education Fair in the Philippines, Tzu Chi University’s delegation visited Ateneo de Manila University, and subsequently invited Ateneo de Manila University to pay a visit to Tzu Chi University. Tzu Chi University tried to facilitate the possibility of future collaboration between the two universities.
Ateneo’s School of Medicine and Public Health was established in 2007, and they are very interested in Tzu Chi University’s medical education. Tzu Chi University’s Dean of the College of Medicine, Professor Jen-Hung Yang, shared our Silent Mentor Program with the guests. This program’s faculty members ask students to visit with their Silent Mentors’ family members, before the class starts. Through interactions with Silent Mentors’ family members, students learn the essence of giving unselfishly, respecting patients, and supporting patients’ families.
Since 2013, Professor Jen-Hung Yang has been accompanying Tzu Chi University’s students to the Philippines every summer, taking part in medical outreach and home visits to local underprivileged people. Today, students shared their experiences serving the needy in the Philippines. Santi Mitra Sari is a medical student, who has participated in this program four times. She said that students have gained medical knowledge and skills from assisting volunteer physicians, and moreover, they learned ways to serve the needy willingly and vigorously. After knowing how Taiwanese students served in their country, Ateneo’s faculty members were very impressed, and sang a Pilipino song “May Buras Pa” (Tomorrow will come) with the students.
Ateneo de Manila University’s Vice President, Father Cruz, said he was very impressed after spending a whole day at Tzu Chi University. Ateneo de Manila University asks students to take part in community service regularly, beginning from their freshman year. Their students can either serve the needy in the Philippines, or serve those in need overseas. Vice President Cruz stated he believes education is more than the enhancement of student’s skills and knowledge; instead, holistic education is what a university should focus on. Both Ateneo de Manila University and Tzu Chi University have similar educational goals, and he anticipated the two universities will soon carry out faculty and student exchange programs.