In an effort to broaden its international presence, Columbia University is opening a Global Center in Santiago on March 19, the first of its kind in Latin America and only the seventh in the world.
The new center will open another window for international collaborations, research projects and study abroad programs in Chile and throughout the region.
Columbia Provost and scholar of Latin American affairs, John Coatsworth, told The Santiago Times that the decision to base the center in Santiago was due to “Chile’s importance as a model for much of Latin America.”
“Chile has a vibrant democracy, vibrant and fascinating cultural scene, astronomical observatories that are among the best in world, top flight universities that are well organized and effective, broad social movements that affect the ambitions and hope of the population, and for our undergraduates, great beaches,” Coatsworth said.
For the U.S. university, the center will be a means of getting better connected with, and gaining a better understanding of, the countries beyond its southern border.
“With next year marking the 50th anniversary of the founding of Columbia’s renowned Institute of Latin American Studies, the opening of the Global Center in Santiago comes as a timely reminder of our university’s long and rich history of studying Latin America,” said Columbia President Lee C. Bollinger.
The center will provide Chilean universities with direct access to an Ivy League university that is ranked at No. 10 in the QS World University Rankings, and all of the resources and facilities that go with it.
Some of the projects planned for the center include; the Earth Institute’s International Research Institute for Climate and Society, which seeks to integrate cutting edge climatic research into the sectors of agriculture, health, water resources, natural ecosystems, and disaster risk management, as well as an extension of both Columbia’s Graduate School of Journalism and its Entrepreneurship and Competitiveness in Latin America Program into the country.