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2nd Bi-Regional Conference of Alfa Puentes

For its second meeting, the bi-regional conference of Alfa Puentes took place in Cartagena de Indias in Colombia. More than 120 participants from Latin America and the Caribbean met to discuss internationalisation of higher education in their region and to welcome a new international university association.

Initiated for a period of three years, the Alfa Puentes is an international cooperation initiative aiming at improving regional development of higher education in Latin America. The project is managed by Latin American and European university associations and co-funded by the European Union. Alfa Puentes was created in order to

  • improve modernisation of higher education in Latin America;
  • facilitate the harmonisation of educational systems; and
  • enhance EU-Latin American partnership.

The conference offered an opportunity for the participants to discuss the results of a survey on transformations in Latin American higher education (TRESAL – Transformación en la Educación Superior en América Latina). Focusing on quality assessment and internationalisation attempts, the survey revealed relatively little movement in these fields, as almost half of the survey participants assess no sufficient improvement in quality. The survey also found that Latin American internationalisation strategies focus largely on the US and Europe instead of countries within the region.

The conference also provided a suitable stage for the official announcement of the creation of the Association of University Rectors’ Councils of Latin America and the Caribbean (ACRULAC). The establishment of ACRULAC was obviously not just some spontaneous idea coming up during a conference lunch break, but had been in preparation for the last two years. Representing 15 different rectors’ councils and modelled on the good example of the European University Association (EUA), ACRULAC will do its best to contribute to an improved framework for higher education in Latin America. 

Alfa Puentes - Second Bi-Regional Conference

CRUP - Press release (in Spanish)

CIN - Press release (in Spanish)