Higher Education Cooperation
Promoting and enhancing cooperation between universities from El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras,Mexico and Nicaragua and European universities is the main purpose of this project. This aim will be realized through student and staff mobility. Mobility of students and young researchers involves all levels: bachelors, masters, doctorate and post-doctoral studies. A total mobility of 152 persons - 80% Latin Americans - is scheduled during the 48 months running period of the project: 122 students and scholars from Mexico and Central American countries to Europe and 30 students and scholars from Europe to Latin America.
Recognition of Studies
Another objective is to promote and enhance recognition of periods of studies as well as qualifications. The project should have an impact on the main academic fields identified, through cooperation not only in the field of education but also in the field of research. The development of joint degrees – in particular at master level – and international doctoral schools in three of the priority areas should reflect that the universities involved in this project are looking for a sustainable relationship.
Special emphasis is laid on cooperation with less favoured areas in the countries involved, which should result in advancing the quality of universities in those regions. This is underpinned with a clear policy for equal opportunities, assuring gender balance and preventing brain-drain. The project should also contribute to the social cohesion of the Latin American societies involved by offering education to fulnarable groups and by raising awareness among European universities about the importance of the social dimension in higher education.
The project is based on a Partnership of 13 Latin American universities and 7 European universities. 17 universities and organizations will act as associate partners. The universities have been selected on the basis of a set of criteria: academic excellence, profile, identified academic priority areas and geographical spread both in Mexico/Central America and in Europe. From the 13 LA universities five are located in Mexico. Three of those Mexican universities belong to less favoured zones (BUAP, UNACH and UAEH) and the other two (UNAM and UdG) are among the largest, most prestigious and oldest universities in the country. In the case of the other LA countries, two universities were identified in each case. The universities chosen are the most representative, traditional, and prestigious in the higher education system. Of the thirteen universities selected, seven belong to the Network of Macro-Universities (BUAP, UNAM, UdG, UNAN-Managua, UES; USCG and UNAH). A balance was made between Mexico’s participation (with five institutions) and that of the other countries of Central America. Given the size of the Mexican higher education system it was considered appropriate to include five institutions geographically distributed and respecting the criteria of less favoured zones (three universities) and wide coverage of matriculation (the UNAM and the UdG). All universities involved train large number of students from less prosperous backgrounds.
The project is coordinated by the Mexican Studies Centre of the University of Groningen (The Netherlands) in close cooperation with the Institute of Undergraduate and Graduate Studies of the Faculty of Arts of that university.