The Observatory of Cultural Diversity and Interculturality in Higher Education aims to contribute to the progress, deepening and growth of higher education intercultural experiences existing in the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean, as well as debates and reforms aimed at achieving that all the higher education be more relevant to cultural diversity and to serve as a sustainable mechanism for collaboration between higher education institutions (HEIs) dedicated to serving needs, demands and proposals for higher education of indigenous and African descent, and others with similar interests.

The Observatory was established following both the recommendations of the Regional Conference on Higher Education (CRES 2008) held in Cartagena de Indias, Colombia, from 4 to June 6, 2008, as the Regional Workshop on Cultural Diversity and Interculturality in Higher Education in Latin America (Belo Horizonte, Brazil, 6 and August 7, 2009).

The Final Declaration of CRES included two key recommendations in this area. In the section C-3 states that "It should promote cultural diversity and multiculturalism on equitable and mutually respectful. The challenge is not only to include indigenous, Afro-descendants and other culturally differentiated institutions as they exist today, but to transform them to make them more relevant to cultural diversity. Dialogue is necessary to incorporate the knowledge and recognition of the diversity of values ​​and ways of learning as central elements of policies, plans and programs in the sector ", and the D-4 adds that "Higher Education in all of its endeavors, should reaffirm and strengthen the multicultural, multiethnic and multilingual nature of our country and our region."

For its part, the recommendations made by the 43 participants of the workshop and attached by other 14 contributors to the project Cultural Diversity and Interculturality in Higher Education in Latin America included the need of creating a forum for Promoting Cultural Diversity and Intercultural with Equity in Higher Education in Latin America.

Based on these recommendations and the Declaration of Belo Horizonte, the Observatory of Cultural Diversity and Interculturality in Higher Education aims to be an open and ongoing dialogue, discussion and debate space aimed at promoting the development of higher education with equity and intercultural the meeting and visibility of actors involved in this process. Its starting point is the experiences, concerns and interests expressed by the representatives of more than 50 initiatives in this field to understand and intervene in complex social and political contexts, through the establishment of links to projects, organizations and institutions of indigenous peoples and Afro-descendants and / or working with those populations.

Thereby the Observatory hopes to be a virtual space of reference in the field, monitoring and promoting the multiculturalism with equity in higher education in which comes researchers, representatives of indigenous and Afro-Colombian communities, policy makers and other stakeholders together in the care of needs, demands and proposals for higher education in these communities, in order to advance the institutional collaboration strategies, academic cooperation, study and monitoring of experiences, knowledge management and shared resources, regional dialogue and institutional mobilization.



Objectives of the Centre:

1. Disclose the current situation of intercultural higher education in Latin America and the Caribbean.

2. Give more visibility and strengthen intercultural practices that exist in higher education, and promote the construction of innovative practices that challenge the monocultural academic thinking through conceptual reflection and collective construction of new knowledge.

3. Encourage and guide public policy debates in higher education that can bring initiatives and alternatives for the development of intercultural education with equity in Latin America and the Caribbean.

4. Promote equitable multiculturalism both within HEIs (including indigenous higher education experiences and / or intercultural and the HEIs in general) society as a whole.

5. Promote the development and expression of various languages ​​and communication practices in the areas of information and dissemination.

6. Serve as exchange and training network that facilitates its members to work together and to disseminate and promote research exercises to articulate shared readings around problems also shared and / or common.

7. Open spaces for analysis and debate on the need and the possibilities to address the management and devolution of knowledge and information based on individual and collective interests of indigenous peoples and Afro-descendants.

8. Apply tracking and monitoring mechanisms of the processes of implementing the recommendations included in both the Final Declaration of CRES as in the Declaration of Belo Horizonte, related to inclusion and intercultural experience of higher education with equity.