Tailored training to understand the keys to the relationship between Latin America and the European Union
DICYT - Acquiring a proper understanding of the complex relationships between two regions that are very distant from each other but with relevant common interests, such as Latin America and the European Union, is of vital importance for those who want to develop a future career in public management, business, cooperation or international relations. Also, for those young people who want to focus on teaching or researching this field. But sometimes, finding such specific training is not easy.
In the Institute for the Research in Latin American Studies (IELAT) of the University of Alcalá de Henares (UAH), one of the Spanish universities with the greatest tradition, are well aware of this difficulties so that they have created an Official Master's Degree in this field, with a novel approach: Involve the students in the classes, which are taught in a round table, and make the debate and reflection a substantial part of the learning process. "The Master is designed for pupils to debate and express their personal opinions, something that afterward reflects on their work. The human factor has also been considered. The fact that the classes are planned as a table in which we can all discuss and get into the teacher's lesson in an active way, enriches the contents", explains Carlos, one of the students of the Master.
"We do not want only to prepare good students who graduate with A+ grades. Our purpose is to offer them the necessary interdisciplinary tools so that they can freely imagine the future alternatives that open up in the global world in which we live. The 21st century requires new professionals who are capable of visualizing alternatives that enhance spaces of dignity, promote peaceful coexistence and fight against dogmatisms and fundamentalisms, "says Pedro Pérez Herrero, academic director, regarding this methodology”.
This innovative Master degree has a double orientation: on the one hand, an academic one -in order to prepare students who wish to work as teachers or researchers, doing their thesis in this field- and, on the other hand, a professional orientation- to specialize workers who can exercise their functions in private and public institutions, from a local, state or multilateral approach. For this, important researchers and experts in different related disciplines, such as Science and Political Thought, Law, Economic Analysis, History, Anthropology, International Relations, Regional Integration and Human Rights, Prospective, Relationships Labor and Social Protection, all of them oriented towards the Latin American and European reality, are in charge of the different subjects.
Mirka Torres Acosta, the Master's coordinator, recalls that annually the IELAT welcomes visiting professors-researchers from prestigious universities in the United States, Canada, Latin America, the European Union, and Australia to present and discuss their work. "The visit of these professionals offers an unparalleled framework for fostering a critical spirit, reflecting comparatively on the problems of each region, evaluating the results of existing policies and proposing possible ways to strengthen strategic multilateral relations that go beyond paternalistic approaches, avoiding the mechanical application of models designed for other realities. Latin America and the European Union must be understood in the context of the western Atlantic world and this, in turn, in the globally interconnected world of the 21st century, "she explains.
In addition to this teaching approach, the IELAT has different useful tools for the students. One of them is its academic dissemination platform that is created by and for young researchers. The 'Vision International' is an observatory designed so that they can share and expose their analysis and proposals about new phenomena that are happening and that are changing the political, social, economic, cultural and historical world at a global level. Young researchers can share here articles on various issues ranging from gender violence to excesses of power. They also collect the most important published news regarding international relations.
Finally is worth mentioning that IELAT participates in a GLOBAL University NETWORK in postgraduate studies in social sciences and humanities along with the University of Guadalajara (Mexico), the University of Buenos Aires (Argentina), the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Valparaíso (Chile), the Federal University of Sao Paulo (Brazil), the Free University of Berlin (Germany), the Jean Jaurès University of Toulouse (France), the University of Calgary (Canada) and the Western Sydney University (Australia). Among the objectives of this Network is the exchange of students and professors and, above all, the promotion of co-degrees at Master and Doctorate level.
The enrolment period for this one year and face-to-face Master is now open to all students from Europe, Latin America and other parts of the world who wish to expand their training in this strategic cooperation.