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ALFA PUENTES (2011-2014)

ALFA PUENTES (2011-2013)

Building Capacity of University Associations in fostering Latin American regional integration

This three-year ALFA project will enhance the capacity of Latin American (LA) university associations to:
1) advise and support their members on institutional higher education modernisation and internationalisation
2) engage in dialogue and act collectively at national and regional policy levels
3) engage internationally through structured dialogue and cooperation with sister organisations in the LA sub-regions and beyond, and with European partners.

It will specifically support three sub-regional initiatives (Mercosur, Andean Community, Central America/ Mexico) as building blocks for wider regional convergence. The sub-regional initiatives focus on actions that sub-regional university associations have prioritised, primarily regarding the reform of teaching and learning, quality assurance (QA) and internationalisation. European partners will be engaged in the sub-regional initiatives and transversally across the project.

The project consortium consists of more than 20 university associations from Latin America and Europe. The project management team consists of the European University Association (EUA), Observatorio de las Relaciones Unión Europea América Latina (OBREAL), Asociación Grupo Santander (AGS), Asociación Colombiana de Universidades (ASCUN),  Asociación de Universidades "Grupo Montevideo" (AUGM), Consejo Superior Universitario Centroamericano (CSUCA), and Universidad Veracruzana.

Project aims and objectives

  • To analyse the current state and needs of LA universities and university associations
  • To improve the capacity of LA university associations to contribute to policy development in dialogue with governments, to contribute to institutional development of members, and to engage in international dialogue and cooperation within the region and beyond
  • To improve awareness and understanding of the concepts of recognition, QA, qualifications frameworks, mobility tools, at the level of university associations and their members, and enhanced ability to develop and employ them actively - at the level of university and university associations, in practice and at policy level
  • Development of core features of sub-regional convergence processes in three sub-regions, and development of good practice for LA regional level
  • Internationalisation of LA universities and university organisations, which is also of benefit to their European partners


  • A major cross-regional survey on ‘transformation in the university’: Comparative data will be generated on how higher education institutions are currently tackling learning and teaching, research, mobility and internationalisation, QA, and governance/management.
  • Four regional integration seminars for senior leadership from LA and European experts. The seminars will focus on the core elements of a regional higher education framework (quality, recognition, qualifications frameworks and mobility).
  • Three sub-regional pilot projects (consisting of workshops and focus groups) on:

a. A quality assurance and recognition framework for the Andean community
b. An internationalisation and mobility strategy for Mercosur
c. A qualifications framework for Central America/ Mexico

  • Two bi-regional University Association Conferences (UAC) to assess progress made at the sub-regional level and outline strategic and operational approaches for the regional LA Higher Education Area and LA-Europe Common Area
  • Bi-lateral activities and interest groups for university associations networking between Europe and LA

Project launch meeting, Bogotá, Columbia (16-17 May 2011):

  • Watch the video from the meeting here.

Regional Integration Seminar in Lima, Peru (6-8 November 2011)

Regional Integration Seminar in Santiago de Chile (4-6 March 2012)

First bi-regional University Association Conference in São Paulo, Brazil (12-14 November 2012)

Second bi-regional University Association Conference in Cartagena de Indias, Colombia (2-4 December 2013)

  • Topic: “A Europe-Latin America Partnership for innovative, responsive and sustainable universities”
  • For further information please see the Save the Date.

Project Website

For more information, see the Project website:



European University Association (EUA-
Observatorio de las Relaciones Unión Europea - América Latina (OBREAL- Spain-
Conferencia de Rectores de las Universidades Españolas (CRUE- Spain-
Hochschulrektorenkonferenz- German Rectors’ Conference (HRK- Germany-
Conference of University Presidents (CPU – France-
Conference of Rectors of Academic Schools in Poland (CRASP -
Conselho de Reitores das Universidades Portuguesas (CRUP -
Asociación Grupo Santander (AGS -

Central America/Mexico

Consejo Superior Universitario Centroamericano (CSUCA -
Universidad Veracruzana, México (representing the Inter-American Organisation for Higher Education -
Consejo Nacional de Rectores- Costa Rica (CONARE -
Consejo de Rectores de Panamá (CRP -
Universidad Nacional Autónoma de Honduras (UNAH -
Asociación Nacional de Universidades y de Instituciones de Educación Superior - México (ANUIES-


Asociación de Universidades "Grupo Montevideo" (
Conselho de Reitores das Universidades Brasileras (CRUB –
Consejo Interuniversitario Nacional - Argentina (CIN -
Universidad Nacional de Asunción – Paraguay (
Universidad de la República – Uruguay – associated partner (

Andean Community

Asociación Colombiana de Universidades (ASCUN -
Universidad de Guayaquil (Consejo Nacional de Educación Superior de Ecuador- CONESUP-
Consejo de Rectores de las Universidades Chilenas (CRUCH-
Comité Ejecutivo de la Universidad Boliviana (CEUB-
Asamblea Nacional de Rectores del Perú (ANR-


Elizabeth Colucci, Programme Manager

The project is carried out with co-funding of the European Union. The opinions expressed are those of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.

European University Association (EUA)

Brussels office:
Avenue de l’Yser, 24
1040 Brussels
Tel: +32 (0) 2 230 55 44

Geneva office:
114, Rue du Rhône
Case postale 3174
1211 Geneva 3
Tel: +41 22 552 02 96