Several thousand higher education representatives from Latin America and the Caribbean gathered for Universidad 2016: the 10th International Higher Education Congress being held in Havana, from 15 to 19 February, 2016.
UNESCO Assistant Director-General for Education, Qian Tang and David Atchoarena, Director of the Division for Policies and Lifelong Learning Systems, attended the bi-annual event hosted by the Ministry of Higher Education of the Republic of Cuba.
At the inauguration Mr Qian Tang, who is attending this Congress for the third time on behalf of UNESCO, stressed the relevance of this year’s theme, “The Innovative University for Sustainable Human Development”, not only for the Latin America and Caribbean region, but within the context of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
He underlined the vital role given to higher education within the 2030 Education Agenda, distinguished by its holistic and humanistic approach.
Following the event, he visited educational centres in Havana and met with Cuban government officials, the Minister of Higher Education and the Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Cuba.
Critical milestone for regional development of higher education
At the same time, a meeting of the Working Group on Revising the Regional Convention on the Recognition of Studies, Diplomas and Degrees in Higher Education in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) is organized on 17 and 18 February 2016, in parallel with other workshops of the Congress.
The meeting of the Working Group is facilitated by the UNESCO International Institute for Higher Education in Latin America and the Caribbean (IESALC), the UNESCO Office in Havana and the Section of Higher Education.
Mr Tang said: “We are now working intensely on the revision of the regional Convention for Latin America and the Caribbean, and I am delighted that Cuba has kindly offered to host the first meeting of the Working Group charged with preparing the revised text within the context of Universidad 2016.
“This work began at the regional forum held in Brasilia in 2015 and will be concluded by the end of 2017. It will be a critical milestone in supporting the development of higher education in the region not just in terms of increasing the quality of the higher education teaching and learning but also for supporting the need and desire for more intra-regional cooperation.”
The Assistant-Director General expressed confidence that: “the revised LAC Convention will also provide a significant springboard for the region’s contribution to the Global Convention on the recognition of higher education qualifications, which is also now in the process of being elaborated.”