Leon Overweel / Unsplash
Virgínia Sánchez Román
With the new calls, the UOC aims to contribute to guaranteeing access to quality lifelong education for everyone
The UOC is expanding its international grant programme with with two new calls that will provide 100 grants to study official master's degrees to future students in Costa Rica and Panama. This call will take the total number of grants offered this semester by the University to Latin American students wishing to start studying in March 2021 to 250 grants. This includes the grants awarded jointly with Ecuador's SENESCYT, now in their 4th year (100 grants), and the grant programme in Peru, now in its 2nd year (50 grants).
"We live in a society that faces major global challenges in a context of constant change and uncertainty," explained Pastora Martínez Samper, Vice President for Globalization and Cooperation. "That is why we believe that it is more necessary than ever to provide quality lifelong education that trains and empowers people to transform their local environment".
Training to adapt to a changing world
The UOC launched its first call for official master's degree grant applications at the end of 2016. This call enabled 44 Colombians to broaden their postgraduate training at the UOC. A few months later, it opened an extraordinary call for a scholarship programme that would enable 25 refugees to study languages from their refugee camps in Greece.
Gemma Xarles, director of UOC Globalization and Cooperation, explained that the creation of this line of grants "not only consolidates our commitment to broadening people's access to higher education through online teaching but also fosters diversity in the classrooms. Furthermore, by developing this line of grants in coordination with public institutions and international bodies, we can contribute to strengthening higher education systems in different countries".
At present, the UOC has supported grant programmes with supranational bodies such as the Ibero-American General Secretariat (SEGIB) or the Organization of American States (OEA) and with national institutions such as Ecuador's Secretariat for Higher Education, Science, Technology and Innovation (SENESCYT) or the Colombian Institute for Educational Credit and Technical Studies Abroad (ICETEX). It also organizes programmes of its own promoted by reference institutions in the countries they target, such as the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Worship in Costa Rica, Panama and the National Programme of Scholarships and Educational Credit (PRONABEC) in Peru, contributing to one of the targets of SDG4, quality education, by increasing the grants targeting countries comprising the Global South.
With its international grant programme, the proportion of international students has increased in the UOC's classrooms, particularly on official master's degree programmes, enriching learning experiences for the entire university community. As Martínez Samper said: "Our aim is to facilitate competence acquisition for the world's citizens, creating a living experience of diversity through the use of e-learning: our students have the opportunity to share classrooms, exchange approaches or discuss viewpoints with other students who have very different personal contexts."
The grant calls for each country can be found at this link.