The Pontificia Universidad Católica Madre y Maestra (PUCMM) is the host institution where 12 member universities of the International Federation of Catholic Universities (FIUC) are meeting for a training course for their rectors, vice-rectors and directors, on the theme of "Leading Catholic Universities in the 21st Century".
24 educators from the Dominican Republic, Argentina, Mexico, Brazil, Bolivia, Costa Rica, Chile, Ecuador and Paraguay are taking part in the course, which runs until Thursday 22 June. Topics such as the integration of new trends and technologies in higher education, such as ChatGPT, equity, inclusion and graduates prepared for today’s job market are among those covered.
On Monday, at the opening ceremony of this meeting, Father Secilio Espinal, Rector of the PUCMM, welcomed participants to the Dominican Republic and to the Santo Domingo Campus of the PUCAMAIMA. "We are reflecting this week on what Catholic universities should be and do in this new era", said the rector, who also highlighted the achievements of the institution he heads over its 60 years of foundation, with more than 12,000 students and 95,000 graduates.
At the same opening ceremony, Fernando Sánchez Campos, FIUC vice-president and rector of the Catholic University of Costa Rica, emphasised the representation of Latin America within the federation: of the 241 member universities, 33% (79) are Latin American.
Hence the importance of the fact that this educational meeting was hosted by the Dominican Republic and held in Spanish. Dr Sánchez Campos also spoke of the need to continue working so that Catholic universities can train not only good professionals, "but also people capable of working together to transform our reality".
Loïc Roche, Head of FIUC’s Education Department, reaffirmed the immense responsibility of Catholic universities to train responsible citizens for their families, communities, society and the world. "Starting today, we will listen, share and learn," he said.
The aim of the course is to provide its participants, who include eight rectors, six vice-rectors, directors and coordinators, with an overview of global trends in higher education in Latin America.
The course methodology combines lectures, individual and group work, case studies, discussions and application activities. This group of leaders from FIUC member universities benefited from visits from the Minister of Education on Wednesday and the Minister of Higher Education today.