Three of Latin America’s leading universities have joined forces with the aim of tackling brain drain from the region’s higher education sectors.
At a meeting in Cartagena, rectors from the University of the Andes, Colombia, the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile, and the Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education in Mexico, signed a collaboration agreement called La Triada (“the triad”).
As some of the best-performing, non-profit, politically autonomous universities in the region, the group said that it was their “responsibility” to take an active step towards improving the prospects for universities in the region.
Plans are in place to set up exchange programmes between the three countries for students as well as academics – a move that programme directors say could help with the retention of talent in the long term.
Low salaries and chronic underfunding by federal governments have been blamed for the flight of would-be researchers from Latin America, with the majority of top graduates seeking further qualifications and work in the US and Europe. By offering university students and researchers new opportunities in other Latin American countries, it is hoped that more graduates and teachers will opt to stay in the region.
The partnership will also allow for joint research programmes, greater variety of opportunities for research and innovation within curricula, as well as the setting out of joint policies for “good practice” within teaching, learning and research.
Pablo Navas, rector of the University of the Andes, said that the collaboration made sense on account of the “shared problems” faced by the three countries.
“We want to face the issue of corruption, for example,” he said. “As universities, we can contribute to this enormous problem that [affects] all societies. We can look at how to use new technology and data analysis to [understand corruption] that occurs in our countries, to control and reduce [it].”