Washington, DC
United States

Event Date Event Time Registration Deadline Registration
May 27, 2019 11:00 am - 1:00 pm TBD Registration Closed
The Use of Networks in Higher Education

The 2019 Latin America Forum focused on how Latin America and the Caribbean continue to provide diverse opportunities for strategic and institutional engagement. Higher education leaders from throughout the region provided insights on developing effective and sustainable partnerships through collaborative networks.

Why does Latin America and the Caribbean matter? Why is it important to collaborate with this multidimensional region? Did you know that by 2050 Spanish will be the second most spoken language in the world? These were some of the questions posed by keynote speaker and NAFSA Senior Fellow, Francisco Marmolejo, to the over 200 participants attending the Forum. The demand for international education will continue to increase as the middle class continues to grow. While Latin America is full of opportunities, its major challenge continues to be inequality. From a social and economic development perspective, the promotion and expansion of a more inclusive higher education in Latin America and the Caribbean is vital.

The 2019 Latin America Forum also included a higher education panel discussion, where speakers shared their experiences working with networks and different models of collaboration in Latin America. In Peru for example, national-level reforms and partnerships with international organizations have strengthened the internationalization of higher education not only in its capital city Lima, but also in other parts of the country. Peru has also benefited from regional platforms such as the Pacific Alliance, which is creating opportunities for capacity building in Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru. In Argentina, both national and regional networks are promoting international student mobility and building bridges with the United States and Europe.

Participants also had a unique networking opportunity during the country/region-specific breakout tables. Regardless of the type of collaboration, speakers emphasized that building trust and intercultural understanding are key to creating successful partnerships and efficient networks throughout the hemisphere.

To continue the conversation from the Forum, we encourage you to join the Latin America and Caribbean SIG, a member interest group created to raise the visibility and coverage of the Latin American and Caribbean area, and to promote and support international educational flows between Latin America and the rest of the world.


Marcela Wolff-Lopez

marcela wolff
Marcela has served as the director, business development – Latin America at ICEF since September 2018. Her key goal is to build institutional capacity among educators in that region to increase their participation in the global student market. Between 2008 and 2018, Wolff was the head of...

Francisco Marmolejo

Francisco Marmolejo
Qatar Foundation
Member-at-Large, NAFSA Board of Directors
Francisco Marmolejo serves as the president of higher education at the Qatar Foundation. From 2012 to 2020, he worked at the World Bank as a global higher education coordinator, based in Washington, DC, and more recently he served as lead higher education specialist for India and South Asia, in...

Marcos Avilez

Marco Avilez 100x140
Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Valparaiso
Marcos Avilez has been director of international relations at Pontificia Universidad Católica de Valparaíso, PUCV, Chile since 2008. This position entails the management of a complex international network of various initiatives, including but not limited to student mobility and international...

Martin Furlong

Martin Furlong
Universidad de Belgrano
Martin Furlong is director of international programs at Universidad de Belgrano (UB), Argentina. In this capacity he has led a comprehensive internationalization process by managing different networks of academic programs that offer students the opportunity to improve their proficiency in foreign...

Sofia Wong

Sofia Wong
Universidad de Piura (Peru)
Sofia Wong is the director of cooperation and international networks at the Universidad de Piura. She is also the coordinator of the Peruvian Network for the Internationalization of Higher Education. In 2013, she was the director general of international relations and cooperation of the National...

Maria de Lourdes Dieck-Assad, PhD

María de Lourdes Dieck-Assad
University of Miami
María de Lourdes Dieck-Assad is world-renowned economist who has held positions in academia, business and government, including serving as Mexico’s ambassador to Belgium and Luxembourg and chief of the Mexican Mission to the European Union. As vice president for hemispheric and global affairs at UM...