According to Richard Clouet, the candidacy led by Robaina emphasizes a “rational and strategic” internationalization, continuing with the objective undertaken four years ago of redirecting the international strategy towards the most significant environments for the ULPGC and thus converting its geographical position into a strength to give the University visibility and prestige in Europe and in the rest of the world. “We are a good European University, ultra-peripheral with the good and the bad that remoteness implies, anchored in Northwest Africa. And what we intend to be in the coming years is a benchmark for the ultra-periphery and Northwest Africa, as we have achieved in the last four years ”.
Clouet also highlights a whole series of actions aimed at other strategic environments such as Asia -China, South Korea and Japan-, and the American continent, both Latin America and the United States and Canada. “What we want is to internationalize the University in strategic places, we are not interested in going everywhere, we have to look for our closest environment to have a well-determined strategy.”
Richard Clouet announces the creation of a Center for African Studies at the University
Among the strategic axes that the Robaina program presents is Northwest Africa, to achieve a privileged position that allows the University to strengthen relations between Europe and Africa. “The ULPGC has been given a very active and important role in this part of the world, leading European forums that have to do with improving research, transfer and mobility with the African continent,” said Professor Clouet, while announced the creation of a Center for African Studies.
The outermost regions (ORs) are another of its lines of action. “We want to be a benchmark in the outermost regions, to continue working on the European Campus RUP project that arises from the collaboration of the seven universities in the nine outermost regions, to link our university systems with the productive fabric of all the ORs and improve their competitiveness”, Richard Clouet pointed out.
They also formulate actions to raise the position of the ULPGC in Latin America – “especially at the graduate and doctoral level” – as well as in the United States and Canada through the exchange programs launched such as the Winter School and Summer School. As well as in Asian countries: China -through the Confucius Institute-, South Korea -Sejong- and Japan, whose relationship with the ULPGC began two years ago when it became the official Japanese exam center, “the only one in the Canary Islands , one of the few in Spain and the only one in Northwest Africa ”.
Lluis Serra’s program also includes a wide range of actions aimed at increasing the weight of the ULPGC in the international context. “It is not only about giving a good image but about showing and demonstrating abroad our teaching, research and student capacity,” said Jin Taira, doctor of Architecture, professor at the Department of Art, City and Territory of the ULPGC, proposed for direct the Vice President for Internationalization, Mobility and International Projection.
Among the actions proposed is updating the international networks – “There are networks in which we have people working, such as the Ibero-American Historical Heritage, and the ULPGC does not appear on the web-; and increase the presence of the ULPGC in them. “For example, in the International Association of Universities (IAU) our connection is limited to our participation with the UNED, and I think we should have a more physical presence, not so tangential.” In this sense, Taira also highlighted the importance of recovering the Unesco chairs. “The ULPGC had five and we have lost two in recent years, this has a little impact on the prestige of our University and that is something we have to fight against,” he stressed.
Jin Taira contemplates a strategy to attract talent and recover Unesco chairs
Another of its priority actions is the creation of a Transcontinental International Campus that strengthens ties with Europe, America, Africa and Asia. “We want to establish, with embassies and consulates, a program of this Transcontinental Campus where Africa, Latin America would appear with greater force and consolidate and increase other presences such as European and Asian, adding the presence of Japan to the ULPGC through the Japan Foundation ”.
It also points out the need to promote and multiply collaboration agreements with other universities for researchers, teachers and students. And they propose the creation of an International Hospitality Program, for the reception, monitoring and attention of visitors who arrive at the ULPGC from abroad.
They also contemplate the creation of a strategic line to attract international talent that seeks the issuance of academic promises from the ULPGC to international centers and their recovery to guarantee the excellence of the future of the University; and establish a transversal relationship with the other vice-rectorships to generate a greater environment for international cooperation. “We have everything on our side so that the ULPGC shines with its own light at the international level, because we have people of great value and we must show it to the world,” concluded Professor Jin Taira.
The internationalization plans for Robaina’s candidacy contemplate actions aimed at maintaining the ULPGC level in mobility programs. “We must continue with our European and European vocation, we are one of the European universities that attracts the most funds for Erasmus and we must continue to move about a thousand members of the university community, who leave each year and also receive a thousand from other universities from Europe, ”Clouet said. On the other hand, Lluis Serra’s mobility plans involve increasing not only that of teachers and students, but also that of PAS. “We have an extraordinary staff in the Internationalization Administration Service, and we must make it easier for them to get to know other universities and contexts,” said Taira. | MJH