International Cooperation System

WHAT DOES INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION MEAN?

International Cooperation (IC) has been traditionally associated to the concept of assistance, specifically development assistance, which has been understood as the transfer or exchange of resources and technical assistance from one country to another in terms of concessional finance. Nevertheless, the use of this term refers nowadays, from a wider perspective, to “a series of actions through which policies are established and efforts are coordinated in order to achieve common goals at the international level.”
 
IC must be understood as a two-way process where each party agrees to cooperate in order to solve a specific problem while meeting the goals of all and each of the parties.
 
IC is an ideal mechanism to search for solutions involving more than one country (regarding human rights, environmental sustainability, stability of democratic systems, education, etc.) and to create a common ground based on solidarity, interdependence, and the search of common good.
 
IC is also a development instrument as it allows transferring science and technology and strengthening the cultural, technological, educative, human and social capacities of the organizations taking part in the process.
 
In this spirit, the international cooperation has become a horizontal activity which impacts the policies, organization and management of universities regarding their educational offer of undergraduate, postgraduate and actualization programs, teachers' formation, researchers' specialization, the process of scientific research, extension and service activities.
 
There are many public and private organisms and organizations that provide non-refundable funds to promote education and research. Programs such as Erasmus Mundus in Europe, Fulbright in United States, ELAP in Canada, and many others allocate significant amounts of economic resources to scholarships and financial aid for students and academic staff in the context of academic exchange programs from their higher education institutions and to finance applied research on global issues. Also these organizations promote alliances that allow transferring know-how and knowledge through development of double-degree programs.
 
The higher-education institutions cooperate through the development of collaboration and research networks and through subscription of agreements that coordinate joint actions based on mutual benefit.
 
In general, we call STRATEGIC SYSTEM OF INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION to all forms of mutual collaboration along with international partners to develop joint activities in the areas of teaching, academic research, extension, service, and management.