IIE Networker - Fall 2009 - (Page 23)

UNIVERSITY PRESIDENTS INTERVIEW SERIES A Conversation with Luis Guzman-Barron, Rector of Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú By Rosemarie Arens A FORMER FULBRIGHTER, Luis Guzman-Barron brings a unique experience to the position of Rector at Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú, a private institution in Lima founded in 1917. In this installment of the IIENetworker University President’s Interview Series, Mr. Guzman-Barron shares his perspective on institutional internationalization in Peru and partnering with U.S. universities. Before his role as Rector, Luis Guzman-Barron worked at Católica for over forty years, first as a professor of civil engineering and later as Vice-Rector. Luis Guzman-Barron recently completed his term as Rector in July. include English beginning in the second year of studies, the lack of skills in this language continues to be an important barrier to study abroad. Other important factors include challenges to setting up exchange programs for both students and teachers that encompass the granting of academic credit and the recognition of academic programs so as to grant double degrees that are valid in Perú and another country. Spain is an exception and is particularly active in fostering and financing the exchange of students. It is also easier to develop programs with European countries. While we do have several undergraduate exchange agreements with American universities, we have regrettably been unable to close many additional agreements in the last few years with American institutions, which in general do not appear interested in Latin America. Compared to European universities, American universities appear indifferent to our realities and their presence on Latin American campuses has decreased. They seem more focused on other geographical areas such as Asia, Europe and Africa. Also, in my opinion, American universities seem to have more administrative and budgetary constraints and have many more bureaucratic rules to follow than we do. I think they need to be more proactive and innovative in the way they manage international education. This might have to do with the budgetary constraints I mentioned earlier. I just don’t know, but as an alumnus of an American university I feel sad at the lost opportunities. A case in point of being proactive is France. The local French embassy has a “University attaché” in their cultural affairs office who works full time promoting French higher education, organizing events, university fairs, visits by French students and teachers, and of course, providing scholarships to young Peruvians. I say all of this with a great sense of sadness since I, myself, did my graduate studies in engineering at Marquette University under a Fulbright scholarship, and I have close personal and family ties with the United States. Of course, there are certain exceptions at Católica. Our MBA program has a very successful agreement with Tulane University. Also, American universities have been historically very important for the development of our academic and professional programs Rector Guzman-Barron has worked at Católica for over forty years. IIENetworker: What do you see as the main challenges in internationalizing your campus? Beginning with our own students, I consider the inability of our students to finance study abroad and the lack of skills in foreign languages, especially English, as the two most important factors standing in the way of internationalization. The majority of our students lack the financial means to pay for travel to a foreign country and the cost to study once there. Despite our efforts to Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú is a private institution in Lima founded in 1917. 23

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of IIE Networker - Fall 2009

IIE Networker - Fall 2009
Message from Allan E. Goodman
Public Diplomacy and Academic Exchange: Policy Priorities of the New Administration
Student Mobility Trends in Latin America
Promoting Inclusiveness in Higher Education in Latin America: A Policy Response
IIENetworker University Presidents Interview Series
Student Recruitment in the Caribbean: New Strategies for Cooperation
Bridging Borders: A Project for the Development and Diversification of Higher Learning Institutions in the United States and Haiti
Recent Challenges to Study Abroad in Mexico: Economic Crisis, Security Risks, H1N1
Special Feature: International Education Initiatives in Latin America
New York City and Sao Paulo, Public Policy and Business: A New Dual Degree Partnership
The Browser: Advertisers' Index
IIE Program Profile: The IIE Regional Office for Latin America

IIE Networker - Fall 2009