Council of Cuttings seeks to increase student mobility in conjunction with Latin American and European universities.
The Alfa Puentes program seeks to reverse the low rate of young foreigners studying at Latino universities, which reaches only 0.4%, compared to 6% of foreign students in Europe.
The Council of Rectors together with representatives of Unesco, the European Association of Universities, the Andean Community and rectors of various Latin American universities met at the "Second Regional Seminar on Latin America-Europe Integration" this Monday and Tuesday in Santiago, with the objective of analyzing and projecting how to encourage university student mobility.
This international coordination is especially important for the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean, because according to Unesco figures, of the total number of young university students who decide to continue their studies in other countries, only the 2% does so in this area. On the contrary, North America and Europe are positioned as the most preferred area, attracting 59% of foreign students.
Likewise, if the data is analyzed in proportion to the number of universities and students, the mobility figure in Latin America continues to be low. While in Europe 6% of the total enrollment of its universities corresponds to foreign university students, this figure only reaches 0.4% in Latin American universities. It should be noted that Chile is positioned above the average with 1.4% of students in exchanges.
To reverse this situation, the participating organizations are developing the Alfa Puentes program, an initiative that seeks to integrate Higher Education in Latin America, and improve cooperation and exchange with Europe.
“As the Council of Rectors, we are part of this project because we believe that it is necessary to generate greater mobility opportunities for our students, academics and researchers, both in the undergraduate and postgraduate fields, since this allows enriching the academic experience of each student, narrowing collaboration ties between universities and generate greater ties between countries ”, highlighted Victor Cubillos, rector of the Austral University of Chile.
"Latin America has become a very interesting emerging market, increasingly valued by European students and we believe that we have to do our best to show the world the potential of our universities," added Cubillos.
Among the future lines of work proposed in the seminar to increase Latin American mobility, there is the activation of a Mobility Observatory in Latin America and the support to governments with policy proposals and work agendas in this area.
“To increase academic mobility, the effort must be joint, by governments, through good and explicit public policies backed with resources; of the universities, with institutional policies that also demand resources and professional personnel, and of associations that facilitate communication between the universities, ”said Xiomara Zarur, representative of the Unesco International Institute for Higher Education in Latin America and the Caribbean.
Chilean Universities Initiative
The Council of Rectors is implementing the Transferable Credit System (SCT) in its universities, an initiative that aims to facilitate the mobility of its undergraduate and graduate students to foreign universities. The Transferable Credits allow to equate the value of the subjects of a career taken in a university of the Council of Rectors with the subjects taught by other houses of study.
Paula Órdenes (22), is a Philosophy student at the University of Chile, who a couple of days ago finished an academic semester at the University of Heidelberg, Germany.
The young student easily managed to carry out this exchange through the transferable credit system that her university currently has.