The CRES 2018 establishes inter-culturalization of higher education as one of its challenges

On November 24th, 2017, the International Forum on Indigenous and Afro-descendant Peoples and Higher Education in Latin America and the Caribbean: towards the Inter-culturalization of Higher Education was held at the Centro Internacional de Estudios Superiores de Comunicación para América Latina - (CIESPAL) in Quito, Ecuador.

The objective of this meeting was "to identify the systems of higher education pertaining to indigenous peoples of Latin America and their strategies in the processes of inter-culturalization, in reference to the exercise of collective rights and the self-determination of nationalities and peoples in the framework of contemporary states ", as was indicated by the agenda of the event.

The meeting consisted of three panels: 1) Higher education, decolonization and inter-culturality in Abya Yala (denomination given to the American continent by the Kuna people): proposals and experiences; 2) Indigenous, intercultural and community Higher Education models in Abya Yala: contexts, scope and challenges; 3) Actions and commitments of the governing bodies, control and regulation of indigenous, community and intercultural Higher Education in Latin America and the Caribbean, dictated by regional specialists in the field.

UNESCO-IESALC was represented by the academic consultant Debora Ramos, who gave the keynote address: Regional Conference on Higher Education -2018: the challenges of inter-culturalization and the role of indigenous, intercultural and community universities.

"The III Regional Conference on Higher Education (CRES in Spanish) is the most important event that takes place in Latin America and the Caribbean in the field of higher education. In this meeting rectors, leaders, institutions and entities participate with the purpose of creating the foundations for the States to formulate public policies in the subject of higher education ", said Ramos. She then explained that the thematic configuration of the RCHE 2018 will address seven conceptual axes, one of them referred to the diversity, cultural and intercultural in Latin America: "the treatment of this issue in the regional scope will represent an invaluable opportunity for the recognition and respect of the institutional diversity represented by an important sector of the region’s population, such as the original peoples and Afro-descendant communities ".

During the closing of the event, Dr. Luis Fernando Sarango, Pushak / Rector of the Pluriversidad Amawtay Wasi (from the Quechua "house of knowledge") was in charge of reading the final declaration where, among other statements, he urges national, Latin American and international organizations to deepen intercultural education as one of the great challenges of education in general, and higher education in particular, in Latin America and the Caribbean.

Photo courtesy