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Saint Aloysius Gonzaga, Patron of Youth

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Catholic higher education and internationalisation in Latin America



The Catholic Pontifical University of Rio Grande do Sul hosts a Latin American meeting

26/04/2006: Brazil

From the 6th to the 8th April, the challenges and the possibilities of Catholic Higher Education in a globalised world was the object of discussions and reflections by seventy Catholic university directors from the different countries of Latin America and the Caribbean, at the PUCRS (a university directed by the Marist Brothers of Porto Alegre, Brazil). The meeting, organised by the International Federation of Catholic Universities (IFCU), had as its central theme: “From Rome to Porto Alegre 2002-2006 – Catholic Higher Education and Internationalisation in Latin America.” The objective was to continue to deepen a debate started four years ago in the Vatican, by highlighting the consequences of internationalisation, especially in the Latin American nations.

The event brought together the Director of PUCRS, Brother Fr. Joaquim Clotet, the President of the International Federation of Catholic Universities (IFCU), Professor Jan Peters, the Secretary of the Congregation for Catholic Education, representing the Holy See, Monsignor Vicenzo Zani and Monsignor Guy-Réal Thivierge, Secretary General of IFCU.

“The university must open its pathways so that the world will not only be wiser but more just as well,” said the academic assessor of the World Network of Universities for innovation, the Cuban Francisco López Segrera.

The Director of PUCRS, Brother Joaquim Clotet, declared that the event could be summarised in one word: “challenge” and he invited the directors to be practical. He proposed that the institutions start or perfect activities of solidarity with their students. “The students of Catholic universities will leave with two diplomas: a professional one and another of a committed citizen for justice.” He also suggested that the universities realise or perfect actions of social formation with the professors who are in direct contact with the students.

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