International Educator - March/April 2016 - 31

Europe. "Cruz del Sur" is an Erasmus Mundus Action 2 project run
by a consortium of 19 European and Latin American Institutions
of Higher Education, funded entirely by the European Union. It
involves 13 HEI partners in nine Latin American countries (El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Argentina, Brazil, Mexico,
Panama, and Uruguay), and, on the European side, six partners from
five European countries: Spain, Italy, Latvia, Poland, and Portugal.
Exchanges under the program range between six and 12 months in
a host center, Minguez says, and are focused on creating mobility for
undergraduates, graduate students researchers, teachers, and administrative staff and services between Latin American and European HEIs.
The cachet of Latin America among European higher education
institutions has broadened to other parts of Europe. One trend is
the emergence of Spanish as the second lingua franca after English
in Europe.
"There is more interest in Europe in Latin America from
countries like the U.K., France, the region of Scandinavia, the Netherlands, and the Belgium Catholic side with the opening of more
joint- and dual-degree programs," says de Wit. "Interest has been
stimulated by European programs like Erasmus Mundus and the
Alfa Programme, including European funding for scholarships and
joint- and dual-degree programs. Latin American HEIs, for their
part, look to Europe to seek a high quality of education in countries
like the UK, Germany, and Scandinavia."
Many European countries have been aggressive in sponsoring national partnerships, Lane says. "Germany is a great example, as there is
free education for everyone and Germany's international organization
[German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD)] funds government
scholarships to live in Germany and to come to Germany," Lane says.
"They are recruiting globally and they want more researchers to work
in Germany and more students to pursue their undergraduate and
graduate degrees in Germany."
Reutlingen University is a University of Applied Sciences in
southern Germany with a total of approximately 5,800 students
and 170 partner universities globally that in recent years has expanded its partnerships with certain Latin American HEIs. That in
particular includes deepening relationships with HEI partners in
Brazil, as the BRIC states are a new key area of focus in Reutlingen
University's internationalization strategy, as set out in the Structure
and Development Plan (SEP) in 2012, noted Claudia Frank and Max
Alber, staff members of the International Office at Reutlingen, in an
AlfaPuentes report, National and International Strategies: European
Higher Education Institutions' Collaboration with Latin America,
published in 2014. The key goal is to establish stable student mobility
in both directions, they say.
"The main focus is on Brazil, the economic motor of Latin America. Brazil is by far Germany's most important trading partner in
the region," say Frank and Alber, adding that the country also offers
enormous potential for German universities in the academic field,
and a youthful population, as do also HEIs in Chile and Argentina.

"Whilst there have been contacts between Reutlingen University and Argentina, Brazil, and Chile for more than 20 years, and
although partnerships have existed during this period between
individual schools and universities in the region, nonetheless the
potential for developing the cooperation agreements with Latin
American countries has so far not been fully exploited-with the
exception of Mexico," note Frank and Alber. "We therefore wish to
step up the cooperation from now on, and thus increase the mobility
of students and academics."
Frank and Alber report that Reutlingen University is pursuing
the strategy of extending existing partnerships to additional schools
within the university and consolidating them. Financial resources
generated through participation in various projects are being utilized to increase student mobility and to maintain contacts between
the academic staff of the universities involved. Reutlingen University
cooperates with the Universidad Austral in Buenos Aires, Argentina;
the Universidade Federal de Ouro Preto, Brazil; and with the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Valparaiso, Chile.
The university is developing programs that enable students to
attend the partner university for exchange semesters, internships,
and also to write their thesis there. At the same time the linguistic
and intercultural resources offered to students as preparation for
a study period at a partner university are being expanded and a
university-wide information campaign is being started, Frank and
Alber note. In addition, Reutlingen's Institute for Foreign Languages
(IfF) now offers two language courses in Brazilian Portuguese and
a workshop on "Regional Competence Brazil." Frank says, however,
that Brazilian governmental funding cuts will limit certain partnership efforts starting in 2016. In addition, funding for a portion of the
project will be curtailed on the German end in 2015 due to the end
of funding from a German foundation.
Many European institutions bring much to the table both in
funding their own students and, in particular, in funding the fees of
foreign students spending time in their universities. "The European
governments make partnerships much more affordable and the issue
of fees is not as significant as in the U.S.," Marmolejo says. "Many
times students don't pay or pay a modest fee. Institutions have more
flexibility and, of course, students are much more attracted to attend
those institutions."
Partnership programs between the University of Murcia and
Latin American HEIs have been financially supported by grants
from the Spanish government and the European Union on a regular and continuous basis for more than10 years, says Universidad
de Murcia's Minguez.

Partnerships With North America
The United States, like Spain and Portugal, has longstanding and
deep-seated ties to the region based upon the long presence of the
United States in the hemisphere and its strong role as a global leader
in higher education.
M A R + A P R .16 INTERNATIONAL EDUCATOR

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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of International Educator - March/April 2016

Contents
International Educator - March/April 2016 - Cover1
International Educator - March/April 2016 - Cover2
International Educator - March/April 2016 - Contents
International Educator - March/April 2016 - 2
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International Educator - March/April 2016 - Cover3
International Educator - March/April 2016 - Cover4
International Educator - March/April 2016 - FCover1
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International Educator - March/April 2016 - F1
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International Educator - March/April 2016 - FCover3
International Educator - March/April 2016 - FCover4
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