In a meeting held in the Chilean city of Talca, the Council of Rectors of Chilean universities and its German counterpart, the Hochschulrektorenkonferenz, agreed to increase academic exchanges between the two countries in order to consolidate the Chilean-German doctoral projects that were agreed in 2009, strengthen academic cooperation and look into possible new opportunities for joint activities.
Among the measures that will be implemented to further the proposal is the opening in Santiago of a center for excellence of the University of Heidelberg, the oldest and one of the most prestigious German universities, whose main objective will be to stimulate academic cooperation with this Latin American nation.
At present, Germany allocates 40 million euros to Latin America through the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), of which 4.1 million were invested in Chile in 2009. With this recent agreement, although the figures have not been revealed, these resources are expected to increase substantially.
In this way, the intention is to stimulate even further the positive relationship between the two nations, which up to now consists of 120 cooperation relationships between Chilean and German universities. This is a significant figure when compared to the relationships established with other larger nations such as Mexico (147) and Brazil (238).
The interest shown by the German academic circles resides in the good academic level of Chilean universities, which allows their institutions to internationalize their study centers efficiently, promote high-level knowledge and assume a position of greater leadership vis-à-vis the competition of the Anglo-Saxon universities.
For Chileans, in turn, it represents an excellent alternative to gain greater knowledge in the spheres of natural sciences, an area of specialization that encompasses the largest proportion of Chilean grant recipients that go to study in Germany (77%, in comparison with the world average of 63%), medicine (28%), engineering (6%) and social sciences (18%).
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