The OBREAL Global European members and partners meeting was held in Cork (Ireland) on 25 November. This meeting was hosted by University College Cork, to whom we would like to express our gratitude for their commitment to our association.
A day before the meeting, our European members and partners had the opportunity to take a guided tour of the UCC campus, as well as learn about the ancient trees that surround the campus.On the second day of this visit to Cork, we were able to hold – at last! – our first face-to-face meeting since the start of the pandemic, although as a precaution and given the remaining travel difficulties, the meeting was held in a hybrid format, with some of the participants travelling to Ireland and those who could not travel joining us virtually.
The meeting began with welcoming remarks by Prof. Paul McSweeney, UCC Vice President for Teaching and Learning and Ramon Torrent, President of OBREAL Global. After a short round of introductions, we presented to our European partners and members the activities developed by OBREAL Global during this year and explored the different opportunities of interregional cooperation for our European partners and members.
In a second part of the meeting, the chairs of the different regional chapters of OBREAL Global presented the activities carried out by the chapters and exchanged ideas to further develop the South-South-North interregional cooperation promoted by OBREAL Global.
Dr. Vidya Yeravdekar, chair of the Indian Chapter and Pro Chancellor of Symbiosis International University, Prof. Nicoo Jooste, from Southern African Regional Universities Association -SARUA – and Chair of the African Chapter, Oscar Dominguez from Asociación Colombiana de Universidades -ASCUN- and Alvaro Maglia from Asociación de Universidades Grupo Montevideo -AUGM-, co-chairs of the South American Chapter, Myriam Moïse from Universities Caribbean and Chair of the Caribbean Chapter and Francisco Alarcón from Consejo Superior Universitario Centroamericano -CSUCA- and Chair of the Central American Chapter presented the activities and perspectives for the future of their respective Chapters.
The European partners and members of OBREAL Global agreed to continue working on the strategic lines established at this meeting and to work through OBREAL Global to improve the opportunities for interregional South-South-North cooperation in their own institutions.