Posts de la categoría ‘News’

Solidarity, the best barrier for this pandemic

We’re currently living through a situation that hasn’t been experienced for generations on a global level; a novel coronavirus (COVID-19) which has caused many countries to close their borders. In Chile, this decision was taken on March 16 for all foreigners arriving by plane, boat or land in order to avoid further spreading the virus. As a network of higher education institutions, we also want to disclose the measures adopted by our member institutions.

Although this is a transitory situation, what we need most right now is solidarity. We must work together to overcome the rapid spread of infections. This pandemic will put to the test our empathy and commitment to common, and not only individual, wellbeing. As such, the message is clear: stay at home and leave the house only when strictly necessary. In this way, we can all take care of each other.

The university community and vocational schools in Chile have decided to suspend classes, and are taking measures to facilitate the continuity of international students’ education at home, offering in most cases the option of attending online classes.

We ask the community that follows us on our platforms, those who have visited Chile, and students currently in our country or thinking about coming in the future for their solidarity, and to adhere to the prevention guidelines issued by each country and international health authorities.

Chile has already taken a series of measures, based on the experience of other countries. Once this situation has resolved, we will be waiting for you to come and enjoy the experience of living and studying in Chile.

US students complete conservation biology program in Concepción

A group of students from the University of Massachusetts Boston’s Biology Department completed a full-time overseas study program which lasted for one semester focused on ecology, biodiversity and conservation biology. This course was given in English by four professors from the University of Massachusetts Boston and Universidad Católica de la Santísima Concepción (UCSC) in the city of Concepción, Chile, and will be repeated in autumn 2020.

Concepción, located in the south of Chile, is known as a gateway to the country’s Patagonia region. The course paid special attention to flora, fauna and ecosystems unique to the south of Chile, making it a one-of-a-kind experience. During their stay in Chile, the exchange students were able to explore La Campana National Park, Las Trancas, the Itata Valley and the San Ignacio del Huinay Foundation.

Classes were also held at USCS’s marine biology station in Lenga, in addition to field excursions and night trips. The night expeditions involved visits to major cities, national parks and coastal areas, where students were able to put into practice everything they learned in the five courses held during the semester. Transport, accommodation and food (or food subsidies) were provided for all trips outside of Concepción.

2020 and the solar eclipse

Students who register for the 2020 version of this program will also have the unique opportunity to experience the total solar eclipse which will take place on December 14 next year, with coverage in Concepción reaching 95%. The sun will be 100% covered in nearby cities such as Temuco, Villarrica or Pucón.

This program is not exclusively for University of Massachusetts Boston students—students from other universities can also register. So, if you want to experience an adventure full of natural and astronomical phenomena, prepare yourself for the start of the next exchange, which will take place from August 27 to December 16, 2020.

More information on registration.

Universities aim to foster dialogue in ongoing social transformation in Chile

The eyes of the world have been on Chile in recent weeks. The 23 universities belonging to the Learn Chile network wish to inform that we have maintained constant contact with our foreign students, accompanying them and ensuring their safety, and we will continue to do so. As higher education institutions, our efforts have been focused on ensuring the necessary conditions to guarantee debate and the generation of knowledge in support of a revival that we want to form part of, in order to work together to build a fairer, more supportive and stronger Chile.

We are one of many actors in the social, political and economic process currently ongoing in Chile, framed within a global phenomenon of social demonstrations and protests in the common interest.

We believe that the solutions to this crisis must be reached via institutional channels, and that all demonstrations must be carried out on the basis of respect, dialogue, empathy and repudiation of violence. As education institutions, we have communicated this position to our students, and we are convinced that this is a temporary and transitory situation from which we will emerge strengthened and distinct. It will also contribute a new perspective to our educational programs, in tune with the challenges of a globalized world.

These are some of the conclusions that we have reached following the reflection sessions organized by our member institutions with their students, academics and staff to discuss and analyze the current social and political crisis affecting the country from an interdisciplinary viewpoint. These contributions may be merged with those generated by groups of citizens who have held meetings in various cities throughout the country in order to discuss the possible social changes that will be required going forward.

International education has a powerful role to play in this social transformation of limitless potential. In that regard, we wish to thank all of our member institutions which form part of this collaborative ecosystem that we have developed over recent years.

We have received many messages of support and solidarity, for which we are hugely grateful. We have also received positive feedback on the protocols activated and the support that we have provided to foreign students in Chile, which forms part of our duty of care to all of our students. This gives us confidence that, thanks to Chile’s people and its institutions, the result of this historic process will be positive and transcendent.

Chile joins the 20 member countries of the University Mobility in Asia and the Pacific (UMAP) network

During the NAFSA 2019 event, UMAP and Learn Chile representatives met with their peers from the University Mobility in Asia and the Pacific (UMAP) network. Starting from 2019, as a result of the process led by Learn Chile, Chile has joined this regional university network, which includes 570 educational institutions in 36 countries, of which 21 are member countries with 23 universities.

This year, the National Secretariat will be coordinated by Universidad Católica del Maule, led by the university’s Outreach Director Jorge Burgos. “Membership in this network is in line with the way in which higher education institutions are addressing the issue of international relations where, rather than signing bilateral conventions, efforts are being made to focus on establishing collaboration networks. This gives us more flexibility, facilitates administrative monitoring of the agreements, and enables more cross-disciplinary areas of collaboration to be found. Similarly, this type of network is often aligned with countries’ economic development priorities, and as such it promotes connection between the public, private and academic sectors”, said Burgos.

Benefits for Chile

Forming part of this network offers major benefits to Chile, including an increase in exchange students between member countries in the medium term. By signing the agreement with UMAP, the Chilean higher education institutions that form part of this network can access its extensive student mobility and institutional collaboration potential.

UMAP’s International Secretariat, based in Japan, welcomed Chile, and outlined the scholarship options available: “Taiwan and Japan offer scholarships for incoming and outgoing students, and Canada offers leadership exchange scholarships for young people interested in studying in Chile. There are many programs for students to choose from, all of which are taught in English. For institutions, on the other hand, UMAP will be an ideal opportunity to develop their strategic partnerships with our member countries and territories”.

UMAP was founded in 1991 as a voluntary association of government and non-government representatives from the higher education sector. The network’s general objective is for each country and territory in the Asia-Pacific region to achieve greater understanding of the cultural, economic and social systems of other countries in the region through increased cooperation between higher education institutions, and greater mobility of students and staff.

For the student body, “the network consists primarily of three types of mobility program. The first is multilateral programs with reciprocity conditions between institutions without additional costs for students in terms of tuition fees. The second is between two universities, with specific conditions to be defined. And the third consists of a line of short-term programs. The UMAP network opens at least two application processes per year for students to apply to this type of programs”, explained Burgos.

In the case of academic professionals, “the UMAP network includes a special partial financing line for research development. The conditions for this program are defined on an annual basis, and proposals are selected by an international committee appointed by the network’s board of directors”.

13 Learn Chile member institutions have already joined this association in 2019:

Both NAFSA and EAIE (which will be attended by Learn Chile between September 24 and 27 this year) are key events at which UMAP coordination meetings will be held. “The topics to be addressed are related to specific coordination regarding scholarship application processes, reviewing the countries that are joining the network, and the strategic pillars that will be strengthened with greater emphasis”, concluded Burgos.

More than 150 cooperation agreements will be generated following NAFSA 2019

For a sixth consecutive year, educational institutions which form part of Learn Chile were present at the NAFSA 2019 conference, the largest meeting of international educators in the world, which took place from May 28 to 31 in Washington, D.C., United States. Chile joined more than 10,000 attendees from over 100 countries at this annual event.

Under the framework of NAFSA 2019, consortium representatives promoted their institutions’ academic offerings, and held more than 800 networking meetings with their peers from other countries. These meetings will give rise to more than 150 new cooperation agreements, which are expected to be signed to facilitate the arrival of students from all over the world who wish to continue their education in a Spanish-speaking country.

According to the Ministry of Education’s report on the Enrollment of Foreign Students in Chilean Higher Education Institutions, 86% of foreign exchange students who enrolled in Chile in 2017 did so through an agreement between their home university and the Chilean university at which they carried out their exchange program.

“University exchanges that take place under agreements have experienced sustained growth, and the results achieved at NAFSA will enable us to continue this positive trend”, said Learn Chile Director Marcos Avilez. In total, Chile receives more than 30,000 foreign students every year.

Visits to innovation centers

Chile is the most innovative economy in Latin America (Global Innovation Index) and leads the Latin America & Caribbean Edition of the Digital Evolution Index (DEI LAC). Learn Chile has set itself the objective of strengthening ties with the private sector. As part of these efforts, the NAFSA 2019 delegation visited the George Washington University Innovation Center, the 3M Innovation Center—a multinational company with branches in Chile—and Amazon’s renowned distribution center. Opportunities for exchanges between institutions arose at each of these visits.

Meanwhile, under the framework of NAFSA 2019, the “Applied research and innovation between associations in the United States and Chile” workshop was held at the American Councils for International Education in Washington, D.C. This workshop constituted an excellent opportunity to present the progress being made by universities from both countries in terms of research and innovation.

“We were very happy with the results of this meeting, which gave rise to collaboration opportunities in applied research for educational institutions that form part of Learn Chile”, said Steve Baeza, Director of Institutional Relations at Universidad Católica de la Santísima Concepción.

The Chilean delegation was greeted by the Chilean Ambassador to the United States, Alfonso Silva, at his residence, together with representatives from universities around the world, who the ambassador invited to visit Chile and establish agreements with the country’s educational institutions. The diplomat highlighted the work carried out by Learn Chile in the six years since it was created as the only network that brings together public and private universities from all over the country to promote the export of educational services throughout the world.

20 Chilean universities among the top 100 in Latin America

Once again, Chile stands out in the region for the quality of its higher education, leading the Times Higher Education ranking which lists the best universities in Latin America and the Caribbean. Chile’s Pontificia Universidad Católica obtained first place in this year’s ranking, which has historically been led by Brazilian institutions.

According to Simon Marginson, professor of higher education at the University of Oxford and director of the Centre for Global Higher Education, Chile is one country that is performing well above expectations. “Chile is lifting its research performance, and both public and private universities figure in the rankings”, he said

This year, the ranking was extended to include 150 universities from 12 countries, compared to 129 institutions from 10 countries last year. The universities are ranked based on the same 13 rigorous performance indicators as those used in the global rankings, but the weightings are adjusted to reflect the following characteristics of Latin American universities: teaching, research, industry income and international outlook.

Changes in the ranking

First place in the ranking is held by Chilean university Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile. Meanwhile, other Chilean institutions, including Universidad de Chile (7) and Universidad Católica de Valparaíso (23), also achieved prominent places in the list.

Brazil’s Universidade de São Paulo remains in second place. Meanwhile, the top university in last year’s ranking, Universidade Estadual de Campinas, fell to third place. The remaining top-five universities included Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Rio de Janeiro, which increased its position by three places to fourth, while Mexico’s Instituto Tecnológico de Monterrey remains in fifth place.

Brazil is the country with the highest number of universities featuring in the ranking, with more than a third of all universities included and six of the top 10. A total of 52 Brazilian universities were included in this year’s ranking, compared to 43 last year. Chile remains the second most represented country with 30 universities, compared to 26 in 2018.

The following universities included in the ranking form part of Learn Chile. Pontificia Universidad Católica de Valparaíso (23), Universidad de Santiago de Chile (24), Universidad de La Frontera (42), Universidad de Valparaíso (43), Universidad de los Andes (47), Universidad Técnica Federico Santa María (51), Universidad Autónoma de Chile (71), Universidad del Desarrollo (81) and Universidad del Bío-Bío (91).

Ambassadors and foreign academics participate in the 1st International Congress on Cultural Diplomacy at Universidad Santo Tomás

The activity, organized by the cultural center Mohamed VI of the Embassy of Morocco, together with the University of Santo Tomás, highlighted the importance of cultural diplomacy as a bridge of dialogue among civilizations.

The importance in the communication and the approach between the peoples were the central themes of the inauguration of the I International Congress on Cultural Diplomacy, which took place on August 6, 2018 at the Santo Tomás University, Santiago. Organized by the Cultural Center Mohamed VI for the Dialogue of Civilizations, belonging to the Embassy of the Kingdom of Morocco in Chile, in collaboration with the UST, diplomats from Morocco, Argentina, El Salvador, Greece and Iran attended, together with outstanding international academics.

“Acceptance and appreciation of cultural diversity is essential in our globalized world and universities are called to play a leading role in this exchange (…). I hope that this congress allows us to assess the role of culture and diplomacy in the rapprochement between the different nations of the world, a process in which our university will continue to contribute with its work and its international linkage, building bridges that will allow spaces for mutual collaboration and growth “, assured Jaime Vatter, National Rector of the UST at the start of the day.

Also, Vatter stressed that the University, since its inception, has had the vocation to link academics and students with their peers from various countries in the world, strengthening the teaching and learning processes. “But this has not been the most important, the cultural exchange that occurs in this interaction (…), allows there to be greater knowledge and acceptance of different cultures and realities,” he added.

For his part, Roberto Lafontaine, Director of International Projects of Santo Tomás, stressed the importance of creating instances of conversation between different nations. “This is a very important activity that brings together several ambassadors, diplomatic relations are not only political or economic, but culture is playing an increasingly important factor. The congress opens a new path in Chile because it had not been deeply analyzed, “he said.

Check the full story in Santo Tomás Online

UBO gave warm farewell to its first semester exchange students

With a sample of Chilean native culture, the Direction of International Institutional Relations of Universidad Bernardo O’Higgins sent off the exchange students that studied at the different faculties of the higher education institutions during the first semester of 2018.

Young students who attend partnered universities from Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Spain, France, Mexico, Paraguay and Peru became familiar with the key traditions of the Mapuche people, the musical instruments used in sacred ceremonies as well as utensils used in everyday life; they also indulged in a tasting session prepared by Doraliza Coñuepan of the la Venancio Coñuepan Community.

“It is meaningful that foreigners get to know our country’s native culture, because they take this knowledge and experiences back to their countries, spreading and invigorating our traditions” stated Coñuepan.

For the second semester of 2018, students from Argentina, Bolivia, Colombia, Spain, France and Mexico are taking care of the final details before landing in our country and living the experience of studying at UBO.

Via: UBO

Students of the Universidad Católica de Argentina carry out an internship at UBO

In the context of the academic activities of the Ibero-American Network of Schools and Faculties of Law, four students from the Catholic University of Argentina (UCA) made a short-stay exchange at the Bernardo O’Higgins University, with the aim of deepening their knowledge on the ‘Right of Consumption’.

During two weeks, and through face-to-face classes and visits to different institutions, the young people delved into the legal practice of consumption in Chile. In addition, they had the spaces to compare and analyze this specific issue in neighboring nations.

For the interns, the experience, which at first was overwhelming, has become friendlier and, as the days go by, the classes have been a contribution for their future.

In this regard, the Head of the Department of Private Law, Erika Isler, said that “this instance helps students from both institutions to share experiences on a specific topic that, in this case, corresponded to consumer law, allowing us to reflect with academic rigor this subject is so contingent.”

Via: UBO

Chinese Ambassador to Chile visits the UST Santiago five months after taking office

The Chinese diplomat Xu Bu participated in a meeting with the National Rector of Universidad Santo Tomás, Jaime Vatter, and other authorities of the institution. Subsequently, he spoke with a group of 13 Chinese students doing their exchange programs at the university.

Strengthening ties between Chile and the People’s Republic of China has been one of the main objectives of the Universidad Santo Tomas in terms of international relations. Over a decade, several agreements have been made, along with programs that favor student and academic exchange, and the first Confucius Institute in the country was created, responsible for teaching Mandarin Chinese, now operational in 19 locations throughout country.

In this context, the visit of the Chinese ambassador to Chile, Xu Bu, to the UST Santiago on June 14, becomes very important. In the instance the diplomat, who was joined by the First Secretary, Chanqiang Yang, met with the authorities of the UST, Jaime Vatter, National Rector; Sebastián Rodríguez, Academic Vice-Rector, and Roberto Lafontaine, Director of International Projects.

“During the meeting, we presented the history and national presence of Santo Tomás, and also our relationship with China, especially what was done with the Confucius Institute and the agreements with the universities and governmental entities of that country. The ambassador congratulated us, said he was very happy about the relationship we have, which is very important for the embassy and for China. They also offered us all their help and cooperation,” said Roberto Lafontaine.

The Chinese ambassador, Xu Bu, highlighted the relevance that the establishment of relations with Latin American higher education institutions has for his country. “It is very important for us to stay close to the cooperation between the Chilean and Chinese universities, young people are the future for relations between the countries and that is why, currently, we have several student exchanges. Santo Tomás University is doing a good job, promoting student exchange and collaboration between the two countries.”

In addition, the diplomat highlighted the cooperation that exists between the Universidad Santo Tomás and the East China Normal University (ECNU) of Shanghai, the University of Anhui and the Guangdong University of Foreign Studies, with which they maintain a close exchange relationship. academic and student.