Opportunity 2.0

Events & Stories

USAID holds Higher Ed Summit to boost OSY systems in PH

Group photo of guests, speakers, and participants during the opening ceremony of the USAID Opportunity 2.0 Higher Education Learning Summit held on May 30, 2023, at Novotel, Cubao, Quezon City, Metro Manila.

Higher education institutions (HEIs) in the Philippines have a mandate to support the communities they are part of through research, extension, and training. This is why USAID is partnering with Philippine HEIs to leverage their existing mandates on research, extension, and training towards strengthening systems so that out-of-school youth (OSY) can also have a second chance at education, employment, or entrepreneurship opportunities.

To date, USAID has supported more than 70 Philippine HEIs to produce OSY-focused research, roll out work and business readiness training for OSYs, train local government officials on positive youth development, and design OSY-responsive innovations.

From left: Mir Tillah, Ryan Washburn, Thomas LeBlanc, and Yvette Malcioln speak with OSY leaders attending the HE Learning Summit.


From left: TESDA Director Maria Roque, DepEd Director Lynn Padillo, O2 Deputy Chief of Party Maria Theresa Mokamad, USAID Mission Director Ryan Washburn, CHED Chairperson Commissioner Prospero de Vera III, Quezon City Vice Mayor Gino Sotto, USAID Education Director Thomas LeBlanc, USAID Education Deputy Director Yvette Malcioln, and Higher Education Director General Marjuni Maddi of the Bangsamoro Ministry of Basic, Higher and Technical Education

To highlight the progress of its partner HEIs and to foster transformative knowledge exchange, USAID held an Opportunity 2.0 Higher Education Learning Summit on May 30-31, 2023 in Manila with 200 HEI leaders and officials from 15 cities across the country.

Mission Director Ryan Washburn led the event together with Chairperson Prospero de Vera III of the Philippine Commission on Higher Education. USAID Higher Education Senior Advisor Samantha Alvis served as one of the keynote speakers.

A session featuring OSY leaders who have worked with higher education institutions in their communities on uplifting marginalized youth.
USAID Higher Education Senior Advisor Dr. Samantha Alvis joins the summit remotely to share global practices on higher education for youth development.

A new community of practice of Philippine HEIs is planned to lead the implementation of HEI-led solutions and strategies aimed at uplifting the lives of young marginalized Filipinos generated from the summit.

USAID’s support to Philippine higher education institutions is deepening and is elevating the function of universities, colleges, and training institutes in strengthening the larger system that addresses the complex needs of out-of-school youth to successfully transition to higher studies and employment.#

A panel composed of leaders of USAID’s partner HEIs. From left: O2 HE Lead Carlo Fernando, Dr. Trixie Sison of Miriam College, Dr. Frankie Villanueva of Angeles City College, Dr. Theresita Atienza of Quezon City University, Dr. Jaime Jalon of Zamboanga State College on Marine Science and Technology, Dr. Maria Teresa Fajardo of the University of Science and Technology of Southern Philippines, and O2 Deputy Chief of Party Dr. Maria Theresa Mokamad.
Dr. April Mattix Foster of George Mason University in Virginia and Dr. Jennifer Lebron of the USAID Higher Education Learning Network share United States expertise and experiences on building HEI communities of practice.