The University of Santo Tomas renewed its partnership with two information technology companies, Trends and Technologies, Inc. and Cisco, in a ceremonial contract signing on October 24, 2023 at Makati Shangri-La.
UST Rector Very Rev. Fr. Richard G. Ang, O.P., Ph.D., who represented the University in the signing, shared that “Through this contract signing, UST affirms a collaborative partnership with modalities of cooperation centered on improving our network and infrastructure system.”
Trends and Cisco have been the University’s partners since the mid-2000s, when UST first made wireless internet available throughout the 21.5-hectare campus. With the renewed partnership, they aim to modernize network infrastructure, increase bandwidth and reduce latency, provide full and seamless coverage, and improve network monitoring and troubleshooting capabilities.
The Father Rector further added, “As an institution dedicated to the formation of competent, committed, and compassionate professionals, we recognize the importance of digital technologies to provide a topnotch learning environment, post-digital and otherwise, in order to prepare our students to thrive and excel in their future workplaces. Of course, technology is very important, but technology will be nothing without the human person… This collaboration today is vital because it is the key to bridging the gap between education and employment. Through this ceremonial signing, we envision our educators being updated with the industry trends, learners are provided with practical skills, exposure to industry needs, familiarity with cutting edge technologies, and potential job opportunities through apprenticeships, internships, or cooperative programs.”
Cisco Managing Director Ms. Zaza S. Nicart said, “UST is the oldest university in the Philippines, but it is the most technologically advanced. UST has also been a pioneer in shaping the way education is delivered to Filipinos. As digital transformation evolved in all industries, especially during the pandemic, UST led the way in technology adoption in Philippine education. We are witnesses to how UST empowers the students, faculty, and university members with innovative and adaptive technology. Cisco’s purpose is to power an inclusive future for all, which is very much aligned to the digital journey of UST, a huge leap to making a significant contribution to the advancement of education.”
Trends and Technologies CEO Mr. Hasan Fard, a Thomasian, pledged that the Trends, Cisco, and UST teams will work together harmoniously for the positive outcome of the project. He also commended the project teams, saying “It is the people behind [the technology] and the vision of the institution that delivers the outcome that everybody wants, with regards to the values and knowledge that will get the end result you have envisioned.”
The upgraded services would “fortify and advance the technological infrastructure of [UST] aligning it with the demands of the hybrid learning mode,” said the Assistant to the Rector for ICT Asst. Prof. Jerralyn T. Padua, who added that the collaboration would foster “an environment that would enable flipped classroom approaches, enhance student engagement, and offer simulated laboratory space where both students and academic staff could practically apply theories and concepts in laboratory experiments.”
The renewal of the partnership between the University and its partners Trends and CISCO is a testament to the commitment of UST to provide quality education to its students and to strengthen its thrusts toward a technologically adept campus.