On March 23 and 24 representatives of the International Cooperation and Foreign Students Department (ICFSD) of Riga Technical University participated in the final meeting of the Erasmus+ KA2 Capacity Building project TIC Cruz del Sur – “Use of ICT for integral management of internationalization in Latin America” (Uso de las TIC para la gestión integral de la internacionalización en América Latina). Taking all Covid-19 restrictions into account the meeting was organized online by the project coordinator University of Murcia (Spain) and attended by all 10 member institutions of the consortium representing 6 countries – Honduras, Panama, Argentina, Spain, Latvia and Portugal.
The implementation of the TIC Cruz del Sur project began in October 2017 and the project consortium was formed on the basis of an Erasmus Mundus Action 2 project CRUZ DEL SUR which aimed to promote mobility on all levels among the participating Latin American and European higher education institutions (HEIs). RTU hosted numerous students and staff members from Brazil, El Salvador, Panama, Honduras and other Latin American countries within the framework of the CRUZ DEL SUR project and positive feedback from the mobility participants was one of the main reasons why RTU was invited to be a part of TIC Cruz del Sur too. TIC Cruz del Sur was developed as a continuation of CRUZ DEL SUR and aimed to enhance capacity for international cooperation between universities in Latin America’s least developed regions and HEIs in EU countries, by facilitating transfer of knowledge and best practice by creating IT’s tools for the management of mobility programmes as a part of a future internationalization strategy that may positively contribute to their development.
During the first day of the final meeting, the management of all HEIs reflected on the challenges the global pandemic has created and how internationalization activities of the universities have been affected by it, as well as summarized the outcomes of the project and expressed their ideas for future cooperation. RTU was represented by Deputy Rector for International Academic Cooperation and Studies Professor Igors Tipans who expressed RTU’s interest in continuing to work with TIC Cruz del Sur partner institutions and expand the cooperation activities to scientific research. The second day of the meeting was dedicated to administrative issues, overview of the results achieved within different Work Packages as well as quality monitoring implemented by RTU. Latin American partners presented their experience and impact of the project to their institutions.
Similarly to developing TIC Cruz del Sur on the basis of a previous project, the consortium plans to continue cooperation and use the current structure and results as a basis for the next joint project. Both CRUZ DEL SUR and TIC Cruz del Sur have helped RTU strengthen cooperation and expand the partnership network in Latin America significantly and there is no doubt that cooperation with these institutions will continue in the future.