Results of the EU-CELAC Academic and Knowledge Summit.
Over 250 members of the EU, Latin American and Caribbean academic and scientific community convened in El Salvador at the University of El Salvador on 5-6 October, for the EU-CELAC Academic and Knowledge Summit, an event to feed structured input from representative associations and networks of both regions into the forthcoming EU- CELAC Heads of State Summit. The event was supported by EUA, a member of the Organising Committee and the designated university representative of the European side of the bi-lateral process. The Committee also convened important associations and historical partners of EUA, including the Central American University Council (CSUCA), the Latin American Higher Education Space (ENLACES) and its pro-tempore committee, represented by the Grupo Montevideo Association of Universities (AUGM), the Association of Colombian Universities (ASCUN), ANNUIES (Mexico), UNICA (representing Caribbean Universities, UDUAL), and the platform for EU-CELAC rectors conferences meetings, now re-named the EU-CELAC University Council. The summit was an important occasion for these networks to work collectively towards defining common messages for heads of state.
The Summit highlighted the following themes: the alignment of science, technology and innovation and the role of universities, the role of universities in achieving sustainable development goals, higher education and research ‘areas’ and the tools that underpin them, such as mobility programmes, quality assurance collaboration and qualifications frameworks. A Summit declaration has been produced outlining a number of important commitments, which will be followed by the development of an Action Plan that will guide actions in the lead up to the Heads of State Summit in 2019.
An important element of the discussion in the Summit were the lessons learned from the Alfa PUENTES project, a major structural project co-funded by the European Commission and coordinated by EUA between 2011 and 2014. The project brought together over 25 university associations in both regions in an effort to advance regional integration and has been the basis for the active working relationships that EUA and several of its collective members currently maintain with Latin American counterpart associations.
EUA is currently a partner in the Erasmus+ HICA project which supports curricular innovation and qualifications framework development in Central America as well as with OBREAL in order to continue cooperation more broadly with the region.