Virgínia Sánchez Román
This is the first alliance between the UOC and an institution in Bolivia
The UOC and UPSA are both members of CINDA, a network made up of 39 higher education institutions in Ibero-America
The global pandemic brought on by COVID-19 left educational institutions around the world scrambling to set up emergency remote teaching strategies. Faced with the prospect of new social distancing measures, the Universidad Privada de Santa Cruz de la Sierra (UPSA) in Bolivia sought out an alliance with the Universitat Oberta de Catalunya (UOC) to ensure its teaching staff received the necessary training to move their classes online.
Throughout the month of July, fifty teachers from the Bolivian university completed online teaching courses designed by the UOC to equip university faculty with the knowledge and skills required to design teaching-learning opportunities in online environments. In October, fifty new UPSA teachers received training on the UOC's Virtual Campus as well. According to UPSA Vice President, Sergio Daga, "In times of off-site teaching, this partnership with the UOC, the number one online university in Ibero-America, is a remarkable chance to enrich the ongoing training that UPSA faculty undergo".
A springboard for the leap online
For her part, UOC Vice President for Globalization and Cooperation, Pastora Martínez Samper, said: "For some years now the UOC has been guiding institutions in Latin America through the process of digital transformation and in incorporating technology into their learning methodologies." With a view to strengthening higher education systems worldwide, the UOC lends its knowledge and experience as an online university to the entire educational community by advising university institutions and opening up its catalogue of training programmes.
The new alliance with the UPSA marks a milestone for the UOC, as this is the first time it has partnered with an institution based in Bolivia. Martínez Samper said: "We want to do our part to help overcome the challenge of ensuring that students are able to carry on with their studies despite situations like the current one, and we're certain that e-learning has the potential to get us there."
About the UPSA
Opening its doors in 1984, the Universidad Privada de Santa Cruz de la Sierra (UPSA) is an international Bolivian university where high-quality learning and cutting-edge research merge to provide past, present and future students with the best possible academic experience and care. The UPSA's mission is to imbue its students with a globalized outlook, an entrepreneurial spirit and a solid sense of ethics, encouraging its talented and competitive graduates to develop, manage and lead productive and innovative endeavours that have a positive impact on the community.