Directors of International Relations meet at the University of Concepción

The International Relations directorates of the universities of the Council of Rectors met at the UdeC with the purpose of advancing in the internationalization strategies based on the challenges and opportunities that currently arise from the new cooperation orientations of Europe and the United Kingdom .

Academic collaboration with the United Kingdom was analyzed, specifically the Newton Picarte project, the collaboration provided by CONICYT through its International Cooperation Program and the changes brought by the Erasmus Plus program.  

Present at the meeting was the rector of the University of Concepción, Sergio Lavanchy, who highlighted the work of the International Relations Committee of the CRUCH, the role that the Council has played in these matters and committing to transmit to the plenary session of rectors the contributions that it is developing this commission.

M. Teresa Marshall, executive director of CRUCH, stressed how the Council of Rectors constitutes a network that opens opportunities for international collaboration for the development of all current university work: undergraduate and graduate training, scientific research networks in all areas of knowledge and debates on higher education policies. Remembering, also, that the Council of Rectors is the benchmark for higher education of excellence before the various international development agencies in Chile and abroad, maintaining a constant communication and coordination channel. In this way, the Council of Rectors has the role of promoting international collaboration as an instrument for the internationalization of universities, through agreements, seminars and cooperation networks.

Mariana González, in charge of studies of the Council of Rectors, presented the state of academic collaboration between Chilean universities and those of the United Kingdom. Among the main conclusions of this exhibition is the growing number of scholarship students - SCHOLARSHIPS CHILE - currently in the universities of that country, which does not express either academic priorities or a link with the universities of the Council. At the same time, when analyzing joint scientific production, it is possible to identify universities and areas with a higher level of academic activity and therefore from this parameter it makes it possible to define areas of cooperation in the future.
In this sense, Karl Zammit, director of Economic Affairs and Climate Change of the United Kingdom embassy, presented the alternatives of the Newton Fund project, a fund of 14 million pounds (about US$ 23 million) of which Chile contributes 50% and which will finance academic mobility programs, research and joint innovation projects with British institutions. Along the same lines, were the contributions of Trinidad García, from the CONICYT International Cooperation Program, who presented the alternatives for competitive funds and international networks.

On the new lines of collaboration with universities in Europe was the presentation of Thomas Lagathu, regional cooperation attaché of the French Regional Directorate in Latin America. He explained the Erasmus Plus program, which will develop three main lines: individual mobility, cooperation for innovation and capacity building for higher education. He also presented the scope of the Horizon 2020 research and innovation program.

The day ended with the commitment to prepare a proposal for doctoral colleges to present to the United Kingdom, organize a conference with researchers to publicize the Horizon 2020 program and delve into the areas of interest of each university to plan a visit to the United Kingdom, in March - April next year.