UBCHEA Approves $30,000 Grant for ACUCA’s Micro Degree/Certificate Program

The present ACUCA administration, through the initiative of its Secretary-General, Prof. Kitai Kim, envisions to fulfill the association’s purposes as an organization of higher learning by making the institutions’ membership more valuable, especially during these difficult times. Reflecting on how to enrich the quality of the existing educational programs while re-examining their relevance vis-à-vis the needs of a changing society, Prof. Kim proposed to develop an exceptional online learning platform that enables students from member institutions to earn credentials on a flexible learning setup. 

The proposed Micro Degree/Certificate Program is in line with the United Board of Christian Higher Education in Asia’s (UBCHEA) centennial initiatives which provide students with additional skills and competency training beyond the usual academic programs. As part of the United Board network, ACUCA is granted $10,000 for its Phase 1 Micro Degree/Certificate Program which offers two language courses, Korean and Mandarin, as the pilot courses during the Summer term. A supplementary conditional grant of $20,000 will be for Phase 2 covering January 2023 to December 2023. The MDP was successfully launched last July 25, 2022 through the lead institutions that have established language centers – Hannam University, Korea and Chung Yuan Christian University, Taiwan. 

Prof. Kwang-sup Lee, President of Hannam University and the concurrent President of ACUCA in his speech delivered during the program launch says: 

“It is my pleasure to introduce the Micro Degree/Certificate Program. This is the first of its kind to be launched by the Association. With the Micro Degree/Certificate Program, we will utilize the same technology and platforms we’ve come to embrace throughout the pandemic and tap into the resources of our 66-member strong community — a network of experts, professionals, and academics from a wide array of disciplines and fields, including business, science, and the arts, while at the same time, emphasizing Christ-centered higher education. The Micro Degree Certificate Program will showcase ACUCA’s brand of community and our brand of collaboration.” 

There are a total of 194 students who enrolled in the language courses from eight member institutions: Lady Doak College (India), Atma Jaya Christian University (Indonesia), Silliman University (Philippines), Lingnan University (Hong Kong), Tunghai University (Taiwan), Universitas Kristen Indonesia (Indonesia), St. Paul University (Philippines), and Krida Wacana Christian University (Indonesia). 

The Korean Language 1 course has six classes with 24 students in a class while the Chinese Language 1A has two classes with 25 students in each class or a total of 8 sections. Phase 1 for the 2022 Summer Term will end on August 12, 2022. Upon completing the language course, the students will receive a certificate of completion on the last day of classes. 

According to Prof. Kitai Kim, “to maintain sustainability, the MDP will be considered as one of the regular programs of ACUCA in the future and hopes that more faculty and member institutions will participate in the program as well as collaborate on the creation of specific micro degrees”.