Hamburg, Bogota and Barcelona, January 25, 2021 – The European Union-Latin America and the Caribbean International Foundation (EU-LAC Foundation), the Colombian Association of Universities (ASCUN) and OBREAL-Global Observatory (OBREAL GLOBAL) met on January 22 to agree on a joint work plan for 2021 and 2022 that seeks to strengthen bi-regional integration and cooperation processes and the consolidation of the Euro-Latin American and Caribbean dimension of higher education and research, based on the progress of the Andean Mimir Project, a project co-financed by the European Union, within the framework of the Erasmus+ capacity building programs in the field of higher education, which seeks to modernize the institutional management of research and innovation in the Andean Region and Latin America.
The agreed work plan focuses on contributing to the Euro-Latin American and Caribbean dimension of research, innovation and higher education, in addition to emphasizing the articulation role of university associations and rectors of both regions, based on outstanding previous experiences such as those of the ALFA-PUENTES project, developed between 2009 and 2015, which allowed articulating regional academic processes.
For the Executive Director of ASCUN, Oscar Domínguez González, “The wonderful relationship between the European Union and OBREAL-GLOBAL has allowed us to coordinate the MIMIR ANDINO project, which aroused the interest of the EU-LAC Foundation to approach research topics as a primary emphasis. We are pleased that it has accepted our invitation to collaborate closely, which will allow us to identify greater strengths for research in our regions”.
The three institutions defined the following commitments:
- Jointly promote a series of activities linked to capacity building within universities, within the framework of the Erasmus+ and Horizon 2020 projects.
- Consolidate the space for dialogue between associations of universities and rectors of both regions
- Promote the organization of a bi-regional conference between Europe and Latin America and the Caribbean at the end of 2021 or beginning of 2022.
Adrián Bonilla, Executive Director of EU-LAC, referred to the importance of this joint work: “The possibility of the Foundation joining the Andean MIMIR project is absolutely positive because we share an integral vision of higher education and an agenda that emphasizes some of the priorities contained in this project. Furthermore, these efforts are directly linked to our mission, since the EU-LAC Foundation has been created so that the societies of Latin America and the Caribbean and Europe can be linked around a comprehensive agenda that allows priorities to be stated in each of the initiatives. What guides our action is the idea of building and strengthening ties between institutions that highlight the existence of a bi-regional academic community around some vital issues for both regions”.
ASCUN, OBREAL-GLOBAL and the EU-LAC Foundation hope that all rectors’ associations in Latin America, the Caribbean and Europe will actively join this initiative.