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Outreach and International Affairs
sharing the best of Virginia Tech by working side by side with communities throughout the world

Welcome to the Latin America Committee

The Latin America Committee provides a forum for faculty members to exchange information on research and projects in Latin America, provide advocacy on behalf of each other’s programs, and to think strategicalldancey about how the university can further engage in the region.

Spring Semester 2012

Tuesday, February 14th, 3pm President's Board Room

This meeting featured a presentation on the Virginia Tech Caribbean Center for Education and Research, in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic. Ian Michalski led the group through a presentation and discussion about the center, its offerings, and the many potentials opportunities that are there for students, edcuators and researchers.

Latin America Meeting Mintues 2-14-12

VT-CCER Presentation

Fall Semester 2011

Thursday September 1st, 1:30pm- Presidents Board Room

Our most recent meeting featured participants in the IFDP intenational experience in Chile, which took place in May 2011. We heard from Valerie Ragan and Debby Stoudt on their experiences as well as subsequent developments. Joan Hirt also discussed her efforts to imporive Higher Education Administration in Latin America.

9-1-2011 Meeting Minutes

Dr. Hirt's Higher Ed Certificate Proposal

Wednesday November 2nd, 3pm- 325 Burruss Hall

Our second meeting fo the semester featured 3 faculty members from Virginia Tech who have led study abroad trips to Latin America. They came to share their experience and discuss the value of these sorts of opportunities for studnts and faculty alike. For more infomortion see the minutes which are posted below. Also posted are two handouts which were distributed at the meeting.

11-2-11 Meeting Mintues

Brazil Trip Handout

Dominican Republic Trip Handout

Latin America Higher Education in The News

February/March 2012- I have not been able to find too mucho in the news regarding hihger education in Latin America, if you know of anythign going on, please share. However, in light of our recent discussion on students and their motivations to study abraod, as well as, what they gain from it, I suggest this article from The Chronicle. The second article I suggest taking a look it is about collaborative international research between the US and Mexico. Mexico often gets a bad name in tems of "security issues" but there is still world class edcuation adn research happening there! This article, also in The Chronicle speaks to such research.

November 2011- Anybody who has been following higher education news in Latin America know the last few months in Chile have been difficult. There is a struggle at nearly all levels of education over the privitization vs. state subsidization of education, but the most vocal and active protest has come from college students. Virginia Tech's strong partner in the region Universidad Austral de Chile, has held classes for many weeks! However, a final decision to resume class has been reached and students voted on whether they would sacrifice a larger portion of their summer vacation to be in classes instead. This of course, would help keep studnets from falling behind in ther plans of study. To read more you can read this article from the Economist, as well as the press releases from UAch, in Valdivia Chile. In other Latin American Higher Education news, an article in the Chronicle for Higher Education reports that the Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico (UNAM) has embarked on an ambitious project to post publiccations and materials online.

This article form University World News and Report details the recent progress made in the Chilean higher education struggle.

September 2011-Access to international and regionally specific scholarly publications can often be a great challenge. A recent article from the University World News highlights new web portal which will provide centralized access to scholarly publications coming out of Latin America. Also, the Unversity World News featured an article at the beginning of the month regarding some struggles between a prestigious Catholic University in Peru and the Vatican.

August 2011- Higher education is of course growing in its importance throughout the world and many countries in Latin Ameica are determined to improve their educational systems. An article form The Chronicle addresses the major research potentials that lie within the very diverse ecosystems of Latin American countries, which could be leveraged as a unique resource for research in higher education institutions as well as an economic stimulant. Also, another article from The Chronicle speaks to the push for latin american students to study abroad. For more information and news regarding higher education efforts in Latin America see the following artcles from Univeristy World News:

LATIN AMERICA: Higher education integration for bloc

BRAZIL: What is holding higher education back?


Information From Past Meetings

If you woudl like copies of minutes, handouts, or other information from last school years meetings, please contact Ian Michalski at


Virginia Tech in Haiti: Working alongside Haitians to buld back better

The Virginia Tech Office Of International Research Education and Development (OIRED) has recently put together this booklet

to highlight some of the ways that Virginia Tech is involved in helping Haiti and it's people recover from the devastating

earthquake that hit in January of this year.