Articulación europea latinoamericana para la internacionalización de la educación de posgrado. Resumen del acto de lanzamiento del Proyecto CONSENS en la Universidad de Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Expected impact of the project
To favor the deployment of the two main strategies that today have the Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) for the internationalization of postgraduates: joint programmes and mobility with academic recognition.
Which are our general objectives?
- To contribute to the development of sustainable and inclusive socioeconomic growth in the countries of Latin America, through better trained professionals working in private and public areas committed to such growth, by improving the quality of postgraduates (masters and doctorates) in the framework of a greater internationalization of LA HEIs and a greater educational integration of the countries of the region, driven by MERCOSUR.
- To create, develop and sustain a Latin American network (CONSENS network) of Ministries of Education, regulatory agencies, and Universities, both public and private ones, with the aim of contributing to the internationalization of postgraduate education, by means of the consensus on standards related to substantial variables linked to student-centered learning – learning outcomes, competences and credits – and quality assurance.
- To cooperate with any other initiative aimed at improving quality and promoting the internationalization of higher education in Latin America.
What will we do specifically?
Once CONSENS Project finishes, after a three-year development period (2019-2021) the Consortium will have
- Agreed upon and developed, for master’s and doctorate degrees of at least one area to be determined, standards for learning outcomes, competences, credits and quality assurance.
- Applied CONSENS standards in at least one postgraduate career to be provided by each of the partner universities.
- Developed an instrument to categorize, qualify, monitor and evaluate the contribution of master’s degrees with CONSENS curricular modifications, to the internationalization of higher education institutions. That is, to categorize, qualify, monitor and evaluate the principal variables of student centered learning (SCL: learning outcomes, competences, credits) and quality of posgruaduate programmes.
The agreed standards and their implementation in postgraduate degrees will be put into effect in such areas which are strategic to the socioeconomic development of the countries which are part of the project. In order to achieve the specific objectives, such areas will be defined by the participating organizations, upon the basis of a situational diagnosis which is part of the first set of activities carried out by the “Latin American Consensus for the Internationalization in Postgraduate Education”.
The approach of CONSENS
It is similar to the european Bologna process. CONSENS focuses in student centered learning trough
- Expected Learning Outcomes (objectives), as a disaggregated means of identifying what the learner is expected to know as a result of the learning process (cognitive, procedural and attitudinal knowledge), in order to identify such specific activities which facilitate the acquisition of said knowledge.
- Competences, as a precise way of achieving the learning outcomes. Competences are defined as the ability of using, in an integrated manner, one’s knowledge, skills and personal, social and/or methodological abilities both in work or study situations and in one’s professional and personal development.
- Credits, as the appropriate conceptual and operational framework to assess the volume of learning in postgraduate courses and degrees, based on the defined learning outcomes in said courses and careers and the student’s workload.
- Quality assurance, as a true and necessary way to improve the results of postgraduate higher education. Quality assurance implies that several variables of the content of programmes, the structural resources, of the teaching and learning processes and their outcomes, will be monitored by means of indicators which are suitable to assess outcomes in terms of performance and impact.
In addition, CONSENS will enhance other experiences that have being carried out in the region and inter-governmental and inter-university agreements have being entered into, aimed at fostering the internationalization of HEIs. Three of them have been highly relevant: Educational MERCOSUR, the Ibero-American Knowledge Area (EIC in Spanish) and the Tuning Latin America Project.
CONSENSUS also plans to interact with the following initiatives aimed at promoting the internationalization of LA HEIs:
- The National Observatory of Internationalization of University Education of the University of Cuyo refunctionalized and named, in 2015, National Observatory of Internationalization of Higher Education (CONIES).
- The Regional Observatory on Internationalization and Networks in Tertiary Education (OBIRET).
- The Regional Network for the Promotion of the Internationalization of Higher Education in Latin America (RIESAL), project co-funded by the European Commission (2017) within the framework of the Erasmus+