Directors of International Relations meet for the third annual meeting

The representatives of International Relations of the CRUCH universities debated about the world panorama faced by the schools. On the occasion, the challenges that lie ahead in this matter were also raised, in addition to making a summary of the activities of the year.

At the University of Los Lagos, a two-day meeting was held between the representatives of International Relations of the Universities of the Council of Rectors, with the presence of rectors of the CRUCH and guests.

Present at the meeting were the rectors Luis Pinto, from UTEM, Óscar Garrido, from the University of Los Lagos and Víctor Cubillos, from the Austral University, who chairs the International Relations Committee of CRUCH. Also present were María Teresa Marshall, executive director of CRUCH, and as guests, Gabriel Rodríguez, representative of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, José Goñi from the University of Concepción, Daniela Moriamez from PROCHILE and Pablo García, from AGCI.

On the first day of work, a conversation panel was held that included the rectors Cubillos and Garrido along with Gabriel Rodríguez and José Goñi, with the purpose of analyzing the current situation of internationalization of the higher education system and raising the challenges in this matter .

The panel analyzed the internationalization scenarios that CRUCH universities would have to face, as well as the changes at the global level that can configure the institutions' formulas to generate greater mobility. In this regard, the rector Óscar Garrido pointed out that among the universities “there is great heterogeneity. Many do not consider international relations as part of their strategic plan ”. For this reason, he suggested that CRUCH should "advance in a logic of cooperation", both between universities and with the government.

The rector Cubillos highlighted the importance that the schools - both their academics and students - have the opportunity to link with foreign institutions. “This allows us to see what foreign universities do in terms of linking with the company or donation strategies, to name a few issues. And the students get another look when they go out.

When asked what would be the best plan of action in terms of International Relations, José Goñi pointed out that today universities must be able to adapt and anticipate the new international scenario, for which he highlighted four elements that in his opinion are important for generate a successful strategy. First, make a good diagnosis of the institution to know its strengths and from that, know with which countries to work. Second, prioritize the issues to be internationalized, taking into account the comparative advantages of each campus. Third, make this issue a concern of the CRUCH as a whole and fourth, propose an interaction strategy between the Council of Rectors, the State and the private sector. In a complementary way, Ambassador Rodríguez commented that to navigate in these scenarios there are no rules, however he stressed the importance of identifying alliances, considering that scientific development operates in networks, which require critical masses and given the size of our higher education system it is essential to add capacities.

Other points on the agenda addressed a progress report on the undergraduate student mobility situation by Complementa Consultores; the alternatives offered by the Pacific Alliance scholarship program; the evaluation and projections of the doctoral missions in Latin America carried out by the CRUCH Postgraduate Commission; the OUI offer for strengthening management and internationalization capacities in CRUCH universities.

The meeting culminated in a broad debate on proposals to strengthen internationalization in CRUCH universities based on student mobility strategies based on academic recognition, academic mobility in priority topics, the need to make international contributions visible in the field of research and strengthen active membership in networks at regional and international level.