2015: Universidad Santo Tomás, Santiago de Chile
“Renewing the Promise: Refocusing with Purpose”
In the opening session held on Friday, September 25 in the Aula Magna of the UST Santiago, UST Rector Jaime Vatter welcomed the participants and he stressed the importance of Catholic universities’ offering in strong training on inclusion among their students. These transcendental issues were addressed in the round tables held during the day.
UST’s Head also emphasized that they expect that:
“From this meeting should emerge a relationship that will allow us to continue developing joint research projects, seeking links among our universities and achieving more empowered work, which will favor our growth as institutions that contribute to the development of society”.
In connection with Jaime Vatter’s words, the Executive Director of ICUSTA, Ravi Srinivas, stressed the importance of this meeting, since it offers an opportunity to work together and share experiences in order to create opportunities both for students and for the development for higher education institutions.
Also in this session, Benito Baranda Executive President of América Solidaria gave the opening conference. He addressed the issue of how important it is to foster a globalization process based on solidarity and justice and on the dignity of human being, and he emphasized that “universities represent a privileged space for building relationships based on dignity and respect for one another”.
For María del Rosario Sáez, Rector of the Catholic University of Avila, Institution that will host the next ICUSTA Conference in 2017, this meeting:
“is an opportunity to generate projects, especially for training our students and also to make it possible for our teachers and students to stay in our network’s Universities; considering that these Universities share the same education in values, when a student or a professor of ours visit another ICUSTA University, they are at home”.
Twenty-four delegates from thirteen member institutions attended this meeting. They actively took part in three round tables, which focused on Adding Value in the Academic Area, in the Management Area and in Mission Related Partnerships (community engagement and service learning projects). They also attended to the presentation of the “Aquinas Initiative for Religion, Education and Science” (AIRES), by Dr. Don Frohlich, from UST Houston, and Dr. Philippe Quentin, from ICES-France.
The Executive Committee approved two main changes for ICUSTA: the first one was to establish a Steering Committee to proceed with implementation of a work plan, composed of one person from each of the members represented on the Executive Committee. The second was to transfer the Secretariat from UST Houston to another member institution while also naming a new Executive Director from the host Institution, by the end of 2016.