The conference is designed, according to organisers, to “give participants a local, national, and regional perspective on the various issues facing the various actors and stakeholders involved in HE and internationalisation throughout the Americas.
Three key trends discussed during the conference included a call for urgency regarding the climate crisis, increasing access to international opportunities and shifting from a mindset of competition to collaboration.
This year’s conference theme – “The Future is Now” – was woven throughout keynotes, plenary sessions, and expert panels.
Presenters shared insights about the trends, challenges, and opportunities happening in their institutions and organisations within their region and their implications across a broader context.
CJ Tremblay, founder and managing director of Alethea Global Consulting Cooperative spoke with The PIE about the focus on sustainability. “It was an overarching topic that was truly embedded into almost every presentation and session.”
“They’re looking to our sector leaders on guidance on what that means and for them to lead by example and to take that leadership role in moving the sector towards equity-centred climate action work.”
Tremblay said this was heartening because “it can and should be part of everything that we do both in the sector and beyond”.
Tremblay called for heightened urgency in efforts to combat climate change in the sector, particularly given the looming 2030 SDG target.
“[The next decade] is 72 months away and people in the sector are realising that is not far off – and there’s much important work to be done.
“They’re looking to our sector leaders on guidance on what that means and for them to lead by example and to take that leadership role in moving the sector towards equity-centred climate action work,” she added.
Equity and access in international opportunities for students was also highlighted across numerous sessions.
President of the University of Nevada Las Vegas Keith Whitfield discussed the critical nature of increasing access for students and addressing funding inequities many students face.
UNLV was a co-host of this year’s event. Marty Bennett, its director of global recruitment and partnerships, told The PIE co-hosting the first event in the US “for over 650 participants has been an important milestone for UNLV” in its internationalisation development.
Bennett said UNLV have prioritised Latin America for establishing key institutional partnerships across the region.
The university signed three new MOUs with institutions in Ecuador, Colombia and Brazil during the opening reception hosted on campus, and more potential partnerships as a result of CAEI.
“We need to shift the mindset from one of competition to one of collaboration”
David Julien, OUI-IOHE executive director, discussed the nature of collaboration that resounded throughout the event.
“We’re so glad to see so many presidents and delegates forging and signing partnerships to build a common agenda and especially to work in a more integrated way with Latin America and the Caribbean,” Julien commented.
During an expert panel, Waldenor Moraes, VP of the Brazilian Association for International Education also emphasised the importance of partnerships in crafting initiatives for the future of IE.
“We need to shift the mindset from one of competition to one of collaboration,” Moraes said.
This starts, he urged, with actively listening to the perspectives of others and seeking to understand, and then leveraging combined strengths through partnerships.
CAEI Senior Manager Luis Kauachi offered the conference closing address. “We wanted to come to the US to showcase what internationalization throughout the Americas looks like. This has been our motivation. We got it!”
The next CAEI will be held in Costa Rica in 2025.
Check out the PIE’s Gallery from the event here.