Transnational scholars head to United Kingdom for meteorology degree

CHED K-12 Program Transition scholars Ritche Nuevo and Ma. Ellen Camarillo of CTU Argao are now Transnational Education scholars following notifications in August on the 5, 853, 711.15–grant each received per CMO 17, S.2018, assuring them of a full-time study on meteorology in United Kingdom’s University of Reading and in another yet-to-be identified HEI [still in UK].

Nuevo spoke to UICPA on how he gauges himself in terms of taking on the challenge despite conceding to the idea that leaving the family would definitely be a struggle.

“I am positive I can finish the program. It’s just a question of when. Seriously, I hope to finish it within the allotted time.”

Under a dual degree program, Engr. Nuevo will be awarded 2 degrees—PhD in Meteorology from the University of the Philippines (UP) Diliman and PhD in Atmosphere, Oceans and Climate by Distance from the University of Reading (UoR) in Berkshire,England for a total of 4 years (where 3 years will be spent in Diliman). UoR awaits him by January next year.

Within the duration, he explained: “[Since] ours is a PhD program by research, there is no more coursework. However, we are required to sit in graduate courses in meteorology for breadth of understanding. For my dissertation, I will be working on the remote sensing of soil moisture by radar and its interactions with climate.”

More importantly, at least 2 articles published in reputable journals (not predatory and has high impact factor) are expected of him.

His passion, so it seems, hinges on real problems and proclivity.

“Climate change is … a big thing. On a personal note, I have always been interested in earth system sciences since high school. I wanted to take up geology, but I landed instead in agricultural engineering. I worked on soil erosion modelling for my thesis. This was also the time I was first exposed to meteorology. You can’t continue studying soil erosion without understanding meteorology and the hydrologic cycle… . I eventually took up a master’s program in agrometeorology at UPLB. There I worked on the remote sensing of rice and the impacts of weather on its growth.”

His stay in UPLB only pushed him more to taking a PhD in meteorology in UP Diliman, as it is the only one closest to agrometeorology which he would have taken if offered anywhere in the country.

As to how his present accomplishment is impacting the course of his future career, he expressed:
“ Of course I expect to learn from the program. We are required to come up with a re-entry plan … . Among the items I identified is to push for the offering of more relevant BS and graduate programs responsive to the needs of the region. I also expect to conduct and bring others into research. As a university, this is the only way to grow…not just research, but researches that are relevant and have real impact to our pressing problems.”

Looking back at the selection process, he knew there were 3 of them in the program as well as some 40 scholars from the country’s universities. Chosen as one of the grantees, he could not help but mention the effect of CTU’s present administration.

Being in CTU since 2002, he described how research has been like since Dr. Rosein A . Ancheta took office in 2015.
“There is a huge emphasis on research in Dr. Ancheta’s time. I hope CTU leaders will continue pushing for excellence in this path.”

Driven by the CTU’s vision insofar as his field is concerned, Engr. Nuevo hoped for the offering of BS and graduate programs in meteorology and environmental science in at least one of the university’s campuses.

With CHED’s Institutional Development and Innovation Grants (IDIG) as amended by CMO No. 63 s. 2016 and CMO No. 12 s. 2018 , the Scholarships for Transnational Education Programs for Faculty and Staff Development aims at sustaining the “Joint Development of Niche Programmes thru Philippine – United Kingdom Linkages.”  UICPA