St. Paul University Philippines (SPUP) hosted its 7th International Interdisciplinary Research Conference (7th IIRC) from June 20-22, 2024, with the theme “Fostering Educational Sustainability and Innovations through Research”. The conference aimed to advance systematic investigation and study of various phenomena and their impacts on improvement and development.

The 7th IIRC, conducted in a hyflex mode, brought together 114 educators, researchers, practitioners, graduate students, and research enthusiasts from diverse sectors and disciplines in the Philippines and abroad (United States of America, Japan, Singapore, Indonesia, India, Oman, and China). Participants convened both onsite at the SPUP Global Center and virtually via MS Teams.

Esteemed speakers and research presenters engaged in scholarly discourse through plenary talks and concurrent paper presentations focused on quality education, technology, and sustainability.

During the opening program, Sr. Merceditas Ang, SPC (SPUP President), welcomed the participants, highlighting the pivotal role of research in sustainable development. “Research drives innovation in education, industry, healthcare, business, communications, technology, and all facets of life and work. Sustainability is the new advantage. Thus, research and innovation will ensure Quality and Sustainability,” Sr. Merceditas remarked.

This year’s plenary speakers included Dr. Tan Cher Sen, (Executive Chair of Republic Healthcare Holdings in Singapore and President of California Metropolitan University). Dr. Tan’s keynote speech emphasized the importance of connecting learners across borders. Dr. Tan underscored education’s transformative potential, emphasizing its ability to not only change lives but also bridge societal divides, fostering unity among all individuals in our shared human experience.

Subsequently, Dr. Tetsuya Tanioka, (Professor of nursing at Tokushima University, Japan), spoke on “Integrating Research in Educational Sustainability,” stressing the transformative role of research in fostering sustainable educational practices that not only enhance learning outcomes but also contribute positively to environmental stewardship and community well-being.

Moreover, Dr. Charlotte Royeen, (Retired Dean of the College of Health Sciences at Rush University, Chicago), delivered a speech on “Fostering Educational Sustainability and Innovations through Research,” highlighting how significant research can drive sustainability and innovation in education. She also elaborated on the objectives of the conference, namely, to Sustain and advance educational innovations, Present innovative and impactful research, Upgrade the level of expertise, and Promote research in making a difference globally (SPUP).

Meanwhile, Dr. Amelita Pangilinan, (Regional Director of the Department of Health- Region 2), presented the department’s 8-Point Action Agenda, the Medium-Term Strategy for the Health Sector (2023-2028), which focuses on healthcare reforms, community health promotion, and the strengthening of healthcare institutions and worker welfare. She underscored the department’s as well as the agenda’s crucial role in guiding the Philippines’ healthcare system towards achieving national health coverage, improving health outcomes, and ensuring access to quality health services for all Filipinos. At the end of her talk, Dr. Pangilinan called for research papers, especially on mental health and road safety, highlighting research as a pivotal tool for enhancing national health and safety, and announced available funding for approved projects.

Beyond the research presentations, participants enjoyed cultural performances by international students during the welcome dinner, exhibit viewing on the 2nd Floor Lobby of the SPUP Global Center, and a campus tour of the university led by Dr. Corazon Dela Cruz, (Head, Promotions and Marketing).

To conclude the conference, Dr. Jeremy Godofredo Morales, (Director, SPUP Internationalization and Overall Conference Chair), expressed his gratitude to the attendees and the steering committee for the successful event. Participants then took part in final photo opportunities.

The conference was co-hosted by California Metropolitan University, Singapore; Chang Jung Christian University, Taiwan; Guangzhou Huashang Vocational College, China; Guangzhou Sport University, China; Guizhou Vocational and Technical College of Water Resources and Hydropower, China; Tokushima University, Japan; and Universitas Sari Mulia, Indonesia.