In anticipation of the 100th year of Xavier University – Ateneo de Cagayan in 2033, the Campus of the Future which will rise in uptown Cagayan de Oro is expected to change the course of the school.
“The new campus and its smart facilities will impact the quality of education at Xavier University,” shares XU’s Director for Strategy and Quality Management Gerardo “Gerry” Doroja, adding that “there is a positive causality, or at the very least, a correlation between learning environments and achievement of student outcomes.”
The Vatican already gave its seal of approval for the “Campus of the Future” project which will feature the Masterson Campus and Manresa Township — aiming to expand the school’s post-pandemic learning spaces and opportunities.
“This new campus will be an essential element of the new learning environment we are envisioning for our centennial year in 2033 and beyond,” Doroja says.
“With this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity of building a new campus, we can avoid the difficult and costly renovation and retrofitting of existing facilities that need to be carried out to keep up with the learning spaces’ requirements that the new standard-based accreditation would ultimately require to bring Philippine education to the 21st century,” he adds.
Strategic move towards the centennial
The new campus and its attendant smart facilities that are appropriately designed with the learning spaces’ requirement of XU’s program offerings will impact the quality of education in Xavier Ateneo.
“With the new campus, we are hoping to achieve an improvement in the levels of accreditation for the various higher education programs of the university,” Doroja hopes.
There is an ongoing upgrading of accreditation standards in the Philippine higher education sector initiated by the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) and implemented by accreditation agencies, such as the Philippine Accrediting Association of Schools, Colleges, and Universities (PAASCU).
As part of the strategic planning process, the Strategy and Quality Management Office (SQMO) has developed a framework for setting up a strategic management system to ensure that XU’s goals as reflected in the masterplan are transformed into realities through deliberate actions.
By the end of the SY2020-2021, the office has introduced another important element of the framework, the monitoring and evaluation system, to ensure that priority strategic initiatives and targets are moving forward and most importantly achieving the intended objectives.
Doroja revealed that they will be adding the risk management component towards the end of this school year to be able to plan for and manage the impacts of the pandemic and an uncertain future.
“There is a greater need for more quality education in the new normal and I hope that the Campus of the Future we are trying to build will serve as a vehicle for fulfilling this need,” Doroja says.
The university township
The main masterplan elements of the Campus of the Future include an abundance of open and green spaces – the main plaza, interconnected courtyards, wireless connectivity, bike lanes, sports facilities, an amphitheater, and a University Forum which incorporates a museum, theatre, and a gallery.
The project will be constructed in phases and campus development is expected to start in the second quarter of 2022 while observing the COVID-19 quarantine restrictions and protocols.
The Masterson Campus (named after the visionary Jesuit Fr William Masterson SJ) will be constructed on a 21-hectare land in Manresa, adjacent to the 14.3-hectare township to be known as “Manresa Town.” The 25-hectare forest reserve and animal sanctuaries will be retained in the uptown property.
The Manresa Town will be integrated as a complementary to the Masterson Campus to provide students with generous open spaces, convenient and safe residential options, easy access to commercial establishments, and future-ready offices.
The university township will be constructed by XU’s partner real estate developer Cebu Landmasters Inc.
The new campus is in line with the Jesuit university’s strategic plan to be the top university in Mindanao and among the best in the Philippines and Southeast Asia, particularly as Xavier Ateneo moves forward to celebrating its centennial.
“We firmly believe that this new campus project is what Xavier Ateneo needs to move forward to become a leading ASEAN university — more resilient and more responsive to the needs of the new normal and beyond,” XU President Fr Mars Tan SJ shares.
“This is God’s special gift to Xavier Ateneo, to us, and we are all called to make this a reality.