Havana recently hosted the 13th Cuba-Spain Rectors Meeting, during which participants reviewed university collaboration, academic cooperation and approved the Cuba-Spain Strategic Alliance.
Attending the inaugural session were Cuban Minister of Higher Education Dr. José Ramón Saborido Loidi, and first deputy minister, Dr. Martha del Carmen Mesa Valenciana. Representing the European nation were the President of the Conference of Rectors of Spanish Universities and Chancellor of the University of Extremadura, Segundo Píriz Durán, as well as Spanish Ambassador to Cuba, the honorable Juan José Buitrago de Benito.
Collaboration between universities from both countries has been ongoing for over 20 years. In this sense Segundo Píriz Durán noted:
"This is the 13th time that rectors of Cuban and Spanish universities are coming together and that in itself is quite important. The fact that we have been organizing these biennial and bilateral encounters means that we Cuban and Spanish universities are clearly supporting collaboration on the basis of full equality.
"Different Spanish universities are undertaking, to a greater or lesser extent, actions with Cuban institutions."
Regarding the Conference of Rectors of Spanish Universities (CRUE), which includes 76 of the country's 83 higher education institutions, Chancellor Píriz Durán explained that "We are the only association that represents all universities, while CRUE aims to continue strengthening ties with Cuban universities which, in my opinion, is absolutely fundamental."
The Cuba-Spain Rectors meetings began in 1993, while the island's universities currently receive an average of more than 260 Spanish professors and academic directors annually.
Meanwhile, the participation of academics from the European nation in conferences, panels and roundtable discussions held during international higher education congresses in Cuba has risen from 2002 through 2016.
Finally, the 13th Cuba-Spain Rectors Meeting agenda also included a tour of Old Havana, discussions and workshops, as well as the signing of bilateral agreements.