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Last modified: Tuesday, November 13, 2012

IU trip to Chile results in partnership with top-ranked university, launch of new alumni chapter

Nov. 13, 2012

SANTIAGO, CHILE -- Indiana University officials have announced the signing of a new partnership agreement with Pontifical Catholic University of Chile, the nation's top-ranked university and the second-highest-ranked university in Latin America, as well as the official formation of a new Chilean alumni chapter.

Catholic University of Chile

Indiana University President Michael A. McRobbie, left, and Pontifical Catholic University of Chile Rector Ignacio Sánchez Díaz sign a partnership agreement between their institutions.

Print-Quality Photo

The partnership with Pontifical Catholic University of Chile is expected to result in student exchanges, faculty research opportunities and other potential collaborations in Chile, the fastest-growing economy in Latin America and a country where IU has a significant presence. IU has 138 Chilean alumni, several of whom attended the official launch of the IU Alumni Association's new Chile Chapter in Santiago on Nov. 11.

Through the new partnership with Pontifical Catholic University of Chile, which is in Chile's capital city of Santiago, IU will explore collaborative activities in the areas of communications, the arts and humanities, and the social sciences.

IU's delegation in Chile, led by IU President Michael A. McRobbie and Vice President for International Affairs David Zaret, also met Nov. 12 with leaders of the University of Chile to explore additional collaborations with Chile's oldest institution of higher education and its most prestigious public university in terms of research and social impact. The University of Chile has strong programs in nearly every discipline, five medical campuses and management responsibility for eight hospitals, including the largest clinical hospital in the country.

Discussions with the University of Chile centered on collaborations in business, informatics and international studies, as well as the establishment of joint summer courses and other customized academic programs with the University of Chile students in Santiago.

"Establishing relationships with Chile's most prominent and respected academic institutions will enable Indiana University to generate new study abroad opportunities and significant research possibilities for faculty in an increasingly important part of the world and one that will continue to play a vital role in advancing the global economy," McRobbie said.

The announcements came as McRobbie was wrapping up an eight-day trip to South America, the first by a sitting IU president in nearly 40 years, which resulted in the university entering into new partnerships with several of the region's leading academic institutions.

The announcements also came a day after the latest Open Doors report, published by the Institute of International Education, which reflected IU's stature as one of the most internationally engaged academic institutions in the U.S. in terms of student enrollment and study abroad activities. Among more than 1,200 U.S. universities, IU Bloomington now ranks seventh, up from eighth in last year's report, in overall number of students studying abroad and 11th in the number of international students enrolled.

Across all of its campuses, IU had 405 students study abroad in Latin America in 2009-10, representing more than 14 percent of the university's study abroad activity.

During the eight-day trip to South America, IU entered into new partnerships with Brazil's University of São Paulo, State University of Campinas, Fundação Getulio Vargas and the Brazilian Academy of Letters. IU delegation members also met with officials at other leading academic institutions in the region, including the Fluminense Federal University in Brazil and the National University of La Plata and Austral University in Argentina, and inaugurated new alumni chapters at special events in São Paulo, Brazil, and Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Daily blog entries from the trip, prepared by Shawn Conner, associate director of international partnerships at IU, are available in the IU News Room section of the university's website, and on the website for the Office of the President.