Regional Cooperation Plan for University Networking: France – Latin America – Caribbean
Convinced of the need to support development in countries culturally close to France, which are playing a role in the emergence of a zone of higher learning – European Union / Latin America / Caribbean –, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of National Education, Higher Learning and Research have set up three regional academic cooperation programs with Latin America and the Caribbean.
For five years, the FMSH has been ensuring the scientific and administrative management of the PREFALC Program.
While this plan initially aimed at organizing masters programs or masters courses between at least one French university and at least two universities from two different countries in the same regional area in Latin America (Andean countries; Mercosur; Central America, Caribbean and Mexico), this regional constraint was soon abandoned in favor of focusing on more meaningful scientific complementarity.
This program concerns all disciplines, not only those in the social and human sciences. Moreover, it goes beyond the FMSH’s usual areas of action. However, its role responds to a need: it helps (when asked) to define projects according to the desired reorientations of relations with Latin America and which are recognized as being necessary by its partners.
One of this program’s central components is that it allows non-specialists from the concerned regions to partake in the various masters initiatives. In this respect, it fully falls under the framework of the FMSH’s goals for exchange: to be based more on disciplinary excellence than on geographic specialization. In addition, the FMSH helps to ensure dynamism between certain projects in the social and human sciences, other programs aiming at researcher/student mobility, and its own research projects.
The high reputation of some PREFALC masters programs in several Latin American countries has encouraged numerous American universities to request establishing joint programs carrying this label and which are intimately linked to a demand that corresponds to the immediate interests of civil society. The scope of the masters programs, which are not common in university relationships between our countries, has enabled rapidly identifying teams with whom long-term partnerships are likely to develop. In addition, students enjoy a genuine follow-up thanks to the various exchange tools made available to them by their country and ours. It also encourages two-way language learning. In many cases, PREFALC also participates in a movement sparked by Latin American countries that aims at forming close ties between professionals and researchers within a common framework. Lastly, since its creation, the program has strived to promote dynamism with the other programs (ex: Ecos, Hermès, etc) established by the Ministries of National Education and of Foreign Affairs.
Scientific Director: Dominique Fournier / Contact
Administrative Director: Catherine Dassieu / Contact