Monday, Feb. 13, 2017
USJ-R has forged an agreement with its sister school based in Bogota, Colombia for an “international academic cooperation.”
USJ-R President Fr. Cristopher Maspara, OAR signed the agreement with Fr. Carlos Alberto Villabona Vargas, OAR, president of Universitaria Agustiniana (also called UniAgustiniana), during a forum with USJ-R religious and lay administrators last Feb. 11.
“USJ-R and UniAgustiniana can synergize in many ways to be able to strengthen the Recollect brand of education and achieve our mission of evangelization, especially the integral and holistic formation of the young people we serve,” said Fr. Maspara.
UniAgustiniana is an institution of higher learning run by the Order of the Augustinian Recollects (OAR) in the capital city of Colombia. It was only established eight years ago, and the school caters to more than seven thousand tertiary level students.
Among the things agreed upon by both institutions were the exchange programs for students and professors, joint research activities and publications, and collaborative holding of workshops, conferences, seminars and other academic fora.
“Administrators in Columbia hope that this agreement we sign with USJ-R will come to fruition,” said Fr. Vargas. “The only way to work today is to have alliances all over the world.”
Despite its relatively young history, UniAgustiniana has been “considered as one of the best universities in Bogota”, having been certified to have “high quality in all (its) processes” by international accrediting bodies, the Colombian priest said.
“We are just a baby university and we hope to learn a lot from you,” he added.
Dr. Ricardo Rojas Lopez, UniAgustiniana’s general vice president, also signed as witness to the agreement along with USJ-R Vice President for Administration Fr. Emilio Jaruda Jr., OAR.
Speaking in Spanish and interpreted by Fr. Vargas, Dr. Lopez said that in Colombia, people are so passionate about what they do that it doesn’t matter how much they earn.
Passion, he said, is something that is shared by Colombians and Filipinos.
In a forum with Josenian students, he urged them to “be educated as professionals, but especially as great human beings.”
“Do everything with passion, and you will be able to go around the world,” he said.
The Colombian delegation was in the country for a series of visits to other Recollect-run schools here. They also signed similar agreements with USJ-R’s sister schools University of Negros Occidental-Recoletos in Bacolod and San Sebastian College-Recoletos in Manila and Cavite.
“Your visit is very memorable because finally we have a family member, a sister university from the Americas to work in partnership with,” said Fr. Maspara.
“We are very excited about this partnership and we are very optimistic about the great opportunities that lie ahead,” he added. IPA
University of San Jose - Recoletos
Year Founded 1947