MANILA, Philippines — A local technology entrepreneur along with a group of business investors is looking to recreate the unique dynamics of Silicon Valley, Stanford University, and the greater Palo Alto area through a newly opened school South of Metro Manila.
South Forbes City College (SFCC), located in a sprawling 3.1-hectare campus in Silang, Cavite near major industrial and real-estate developments in the area, will be the second educational venture of Ramon Garcia Jr., who runs the Global City Innovative College in Bonifacio Global City.
Garcia said in a recent press briefing that the idea behind the campus and its location was inspired heavily by Stanford University, a school located near Palo Alto, California and Silicon Valley, where most technology companies today are headquartered.
“It reminds me of Palo Alto, Stanford and how they play out on each other,” Garcia said, citing how the US school’s biking trails, mountain trails and the “university town” vibe has been incorporated into the design of the campus grounds.
The businessman said the idea is to develop students that are not only exceptional in their chosen fields, but are well-rounded individuals as well, something he took off the page of Stanford’s educational philosophy.
“Stanford is our benchmark. We are not trying to become an Ivy League school, nor are we looking for people with only academic aptitude to offer,” he stressed.
The group has reportedly set aside some P50 million for the construction of initial campus buildings, with P300 to P500 million in funding reserved for the ten-year construction phase of the entire campus.
For the time being, the school will offer three courses to potential students: Business Administration, Tourism Management, and Hotel, Restaurant and Institutional Management (HRIM), three key industries which Garcia said are either in-demand today or will be in-demand in the future.
Tuition, he added, wouldn’t be as prohibitive as other top-tier schools in Metro Manila, and would range from about P25,000 to P35,000 per semester.
Garcia said he is looking to add Information Technology and Metallurgial Engineering courses in the near future, but stressed that even though IT is not yet offered, some technology concepts will be incorporated in the course offerings.
“IT is weaved as an important aspect and part of our courses,” Garcia said. “We’re already beyond word processing knowledge. Students need to know about cloud servers, mobile technologies, the Internet and other technology concepts.”
SFCC has forged partnerships with leading domestic and international companies from the IT, BPO, and hotel and leisure industries so that internships are guaranteed for SFCC graduates.
Aside from these traditional courses, SFCC will eventually offer aviation engineering specialty training courses through its tie-ups with some of the world’s major aviation and aerospace companies.
Garcia said he hopes to bring the glory days of the Philippines as the education hub of Asia, a destination students from around the world goes to in order to receive quality and innovative education.