TURNITIN Philippines is partnering with local universities to upskill staff in using its technologies in 2021.

The online plagiarism detection and educational feedback company set up its first Philippine office last March after operating in the country with a reselling partner for about seven years.

Turnitin Southeast Asia Head of Business Partnerships Jack Brazel said in an online interview on Thursday that local schools are enthusiastic about the technology.

“The challenge is what we’re going to have to help our partner universities with in 2021 is how do you roll out enterprise technology right across the university?” he said.

“The challenge is obviously there’s a lot of change to the end user — that being the lecturer and the student — and I think universities will need to come up with ways to upskill their staff to become more tech-savvy.”

Potential upskilling partnerships this year are the key advantage, he said, of moving from a reselling model to a direct service model in the country.

The move to the Philippines, he added, “signals our faith in the market. It signals the interest in I suppose the universities’ agenda — we can see them having a strong modernization agenda — and we wanted to come to the market to give them the best experience of Turnitin.“

Turnitin plans to release Gradescope, an artificial intelligence-based platform that can help instructors grade paper-based assessments online, in the Philippines.

“We all know that Filipinos struggle with their internet connection. And so this will allow students to do their work on maybe note pads, take a picture with their phone, and then upload it to the system perhaps when they’re back in a more effective internet area and then the teachers can mark it,” Mr. Brazel said.

Turnitin previously rolled out this platform in other countries, including Australia, the United Kingdom, and Singapore.

The company could continue to expand in the country, Mr. Brazel said, depending on customer growth. — Jenina P. Ibañez