As much of the country’s financial business district emerge from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the University of Makati steps up their plans to meet the challenges of the new normal with its resolve to strengthen the backbone of businesses—competitive communication skills that will ensure the readiness of graduates to engage in the international workplace.

The University of Makati (UMak) is a leading local academic institution with 17 colleges and over 17,000 students. Committed to create and implement innovative and sustainable curricular programs for faculty and students at the University, members of the academe actively and carefully bridge growth opportunities found in local and international industries through sustainable and institutionalized academic linkages and affiliations.

Set to rise as a SMART City, the university aims to accelerate the Makati City Government’s efforts to boost economic, social, and educational opportunities for its constituents by training and developing its students to become advocates and influencers in a globally competitive workforce—starting with communication.

Makati Mayor Mar-Len Abigail Binay-Campos shares, “The vision of Makati City becoming the first true Smart City in the Philippines need not be far-fetched. We are eager to explore avenues for international collaboration, particularly with cities, academic institutions and corporate leaders that share the vision of a thriving, future-proof city-- and we believe that this can be accomplished faster by finding constituents who can support and communicate this vision well”.

As academic institutions brace for the unprecedented impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, UMak has started cascading and training for the implementation of online and blended learning for its students to access flexible learning options that considers their unique and varied circumstances. Part of the University’s pioneer project this school year is the administration of the globally recognized Test of English for International Communication (TOEIC) to assess students’ communication skills, in a bid to groom graduates who meet industry and global standards.

“By institutionalizing a new education paradigm and partnering with local and international service providers, we are able to renew our commitment to our students and to the City Government. Through the academic linkages and community collaborations, we are able to prepare graduates to become significant contributors to a globally competitive workforce,” reveals Vice President for Academic Affairs, Dr. Elyxzur C. Ramos.

Through the Center of Curriculum and Materials Development (CCMD) under Director Rey S. Medenilla, students at the University of Makati are set to take the TOEIC that will help identify strengths and points for improvement in communication, which can be further supported by English Language Learning Programs and other instructional material. “Exposing our learners to varied and authentic communication styles early on will help breed familiarity and gradually, fluency, in the English language. The integration and use of online assessments and learning also help better prepare our students on what to expect and use in the global arena.”

As the pandemic forces the public to observe strict physical distancing, the recent shift to online platforms mark the digital transformation of assessments such as TOEIC, and the high demand of online services for administrators and students alike. As the sole provider of TOEIC in the country, Hopkins International Partners, Inc. has come prepared for the transition of the test from paper-based, to secure online testing.

The Test of English for International Communication, or TOEIC, is one of the most widely used and respected English-language assessments in the world. The test is recognized by thousands of multinational companies including LG Electronics, Shell, Accenture, and Canon. TOEIC certifies language learners of their English level, giving them the option to pursue a career or education here or abroad. TOEIC also provides learning institutions a blue print for necessary curriculum review, enabling administrators to pinpoint skills that may need strengthening and improvement.

With the University of Makati stepping up to meet the challenges of the new normal, students can now look forward to accessing a global credential such as TOEIC, as well as other English Language Learning Programs that will ensure that they are ready to engage in any international workplace upon graduation.

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