17 Marist institutions of further education strengthen their ties

III Meeting of the representatives of institutions of Further Education
2008-12-18 - Spain
Promoted by the General Council, the Escuela Universitaria de Magisterio Luis Vives, integrated in the Universidad Pontifícia de Salamanca and the Escuela Universitaria Cardenal Cisneros de Alcalá de Henares, the III MEETING OF REPRESENTATIVES OF UNIVERSITY INSTITUTIONS OF FURTHER EDUCATION was held from 17 to 21 November. The Institute of Marist Studies recently created in the Escuela Luis Vives was responsible for organizing the Meeting in the Escuela Luis Vives of Salamanca, while the Escuela Cardenal Cisneros organized the initial welcome and first activities in Alcalá de Henares.

Those involved in the III Meeting were the rectors, vice-rectors, deans, directors of institutes or university schools representing the following Institutions:
Australian Catholic University (Australia)
Champagnat Education (Australia)
Escuela de Magisterio Luis Vives (Spain)
Escuela Universitaria Cardenal Cisneros (Spain)
Faculdade Marista Recife (Brazil)
Instituto Superior Marista (ISMA) (Argentina)
Notre Dame of Marbel (Philippines)
Pontifícia Universidade Catolica do Paraná (Brazil)
Pontifícia Universidade Catolica do Rio Grande do Sul (Brazil)
Universidad Marcelino Champagnat (Perú)
Universidad Marista de Guadalajara (Mexico)
Universidad Marista de Mérida (Mexico)
Universidad Marista de Mexico D.F.
Universidad Marista de Querétaro (Mexico)
Universidad Marista Nayarit (Mexico)
Universidad Marista San Luis de Potosí (Mexico)
Universidade Catolica de Brasília (Brazil)

The Rector of the UPSA, D. Marceliano Arranz and brother Primitivo Mendoza González, Provincial of Compostela, with their speech entitled Educating: a mission of commitment, received and welcomed the university authorities taking part in the Meeting, in a ceremony which took place in the afternoon of Tuesday November 18 in the beautiful Main Hall of the University, where the family picture was taken.

In this III Meeting the intention was to foment the creation of networks that would encourage collaboration among the Marist Institutions of Further Education which were represented. By building these networks the combined use of new technologies would be applied to education, basically the platforms of e-learning and other administrative devices for distance learning, as well as the formation of research groups in the fields of science and technology, based on humanist and Christian formation. An important objective of this activity was to establish the bases for reaching a method of sharing the possession of a mark of quality which would be a guarantee of recognition and international prestige.

In work sessions directed by the different Commissions already established in the previous Meeting, which took place in Mexico, they presented, studied and approved such important documents as “Marist Mission in Further Education, Possibilities and opportunities for international exchange among our Institutions, Worldwide Networks of Marist Institutions of Further Education”. “Further education for the new millennium with the charism of Marcellin. The proposal was also presented of the Postgraduate Course in Marist Spirituality: “Marist mission, vision and educational principles, which raised pleasant expectations.

In the document Marist Mission in Further Education” which was approved at the Meeting, there are indications of significant growth, in different parts of the world, in the participation of the Marist Institute in institutions of Further Education. Such institutions are devoted to teaching, research and the furthering of knowledge and they are set up as study centres for educational formation and professional frameworks at post-secondary level. They are committed to mastering and cultivating human knowledge, and to the exercise of citizenship.

At this Meeting, the participating Institutions were formed into a Network of Marist Institutions of Further Education to strengthen knowledge and collaboration, to exchange experiences and information and to foment the exchange of knowledge, for students and educators to strengthen academic ties and shared work. To move forward in this sense, a Council was created, with its own proper functions, which will continue to create a normative framework for its operation. Among the first actions to be carried out, the creation of a database to gather together the Study Plans of the degrees and diplomas of each participating Institution of Further Education to favour mobility, and also, the creation of a web page as a space for virtual reference which holds this and other information of interest.

The culture and leisure part consisted in visiting the cities of Salamanca and Zamora, and enjoying the performances of the Grupo de Teatro Keum and the Coro Contrapunto of the Luis Vives School, as well as the university music group.

The Meeting was also used to sign Agreements of the Marist University Institutions with the Papal University of Salamanca.

There was also time for the participants, mainly those from outside Spain, to get to know better the NGO Solidarity, Education and Development, through its Director brother Antonio Tejedor and the EDELVIVES Group, through their General Director, brother Antonio Giménez de Bagües.

The IV Meeting will take place in Brazil in 2010 to provide continuity to these projects and to develop other features already established and which will be organized by an Executive Council which is already appointed.

Fernando González Alonso
Director of the Institute of Marist Studies
Escuela Universitaria de Magisterio Luis Vives
Universidad Pontificia de Salamanca

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