This is how the socialization of the project “Strengthening the IMPACT of Latin American universities” was carried out

On 30 August, the Colombian Association of Administration Faculties (ASCOLFA for its acronym in Spanish) held a meeting with the members of the Caribbean Coast chapter at the Rafael Núñez University Corporation at its headquarters in the city of Cartagena de Indias, in order to share and socialize the experience and results of its participation in the project “Fortalecimiento del impacto de las universidades latinoamericanas” (Strengthening the impact of Latin American universities) IMPALA (for its acronym in English) of the Erasmus + program of the European Union, with the direction of the EFMD. About 50 people participated in the meeting, including deans and directors of Administration schools of the Caribbean Coast Chapter of ASCOLFA, as well as professors and graduates of this prestigious institution.

In this meeting, the ASCOLFA research team, Dr. Gisele Eugenia BECERRA, executive director of the association, accompanied by researchers Claudia Patricia Ballesteros and William Umar Rincón, were in charge of presenting the main results of the two projects carried out by ASCOLFA within the framework of IMPALA, the first project “Impacto de la Educación Continua en el desarrollo de Carrera del Egresado y su empleabilidad en Colombia” (Impact of continuing education in the development of the graduate’s career and their employability in Colombia) and the second corresponding to the development of the “Caracterización de la Tercera Misión en las instituciones de educación superior en Colombia” (Characterization of the Third Mission in higher education institutions in Colombia).

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IMPALA consolidates its results in international publications

At present, the IMPALA project is working on the edition of the two books that are the product of the work of these three years. Firstly, the book Buenas Prácticas de Tercera Misión (Third Mission Good Practices), and, secondly, the book Evaluación de Impacto de Proyectos Institucionales de Tercera Misión (Third Mission Institutional Projects Impact Assessment). The publishing house of the Corporation for Biological Research (CIB for its acronym in Spanish) with the accompanying of the University of Antioquia is carrying out the editorial process, with the support of EFMD and advisors Fiona Hunter and Rafael Monterde. We hope that these documents will be a support for all higher education institutions in the Latin American and Caribbean region to guide their institutional planning processes towards achieving impacts on education for the benefit of the communities.

These books will be officially presented at a project closing event in Havana in November. We wish that this will be the starting point for new projects that effectively apply this hard collective work of our institutions in Latin America and the Caribbean and the organizations and universities in Europe that have supported it.

Presentation of the results of the pilot of community actions projects at the Catholic University of Colombia

In previous days, at the Catholic University of Colombia, the Extension Committee was held, which is composed of the coordinators of the different programs and departments of the university and all the staff of the institution linked to the Extension.

In this space, the main results of the two community action projects were presented which were worked on the ERASMUS – IMPALA impact assessment, in the territorial program YOMASA :

Project 1: Fortalecimiento ciudadano al servicio de transformaciones personales, familiares y comunitarias, hacia la convivencia de los microterritorios participantes de la Unidad de Planeamiento Zonal 57 Gran Yomasa (entre los años 2016 y 2020). Citizen strengthening at the service of personal, family and community transformations towards the coexistence of the participating micro-territories of the Unit of Zonal Planning 57 Gran Yomasa between 2016 and 2020.

Project 2: Construcción de cultura y conciencia medioambiental (con niños y jóvenes en algunos sectores de la Unidad de Planeamiento Zonal 57 Gran Yomasa entre los años 2016 y 2020.) Construction of culture and environmental awareness with children and young people in some sectors of the Zonal Planning Unit 57 Gran Yomasa between 2016 and 2020.

With this socialization, it’s evident the learning in terms of measuring the impact of the community actions that the university carries out in the institutional programs of social responsibility, which is of great benefit for the measurement of future projects.

Presentation of reflections from the project IMPALA at the University of La Sabana

On Friday 8 April , within the framework of the closure of the Sustainability and BIC Companies, the presentation of the main learnings and reflections from the project IMPALA were presented  at the University of La Sabana.

The session was led by Juan Carlos Camelo, General Director of Social Projection and Co-creation, who has actively participated in the project IMPALA. The University’s Rector, Dr. Rolando Roncancio Rachid, and several deans, directors of administrative units, professors and managers of third mission’s activities attended too. 

During the event, Juan Carlos Camelo and Carolina Velásquez, coordinator of the project IMPALA at the university, shared the main progress that has been made during these last three years. Besides, reflections on the importance of university’s third mission’s projects’ impact assessment were exchanged.

The importance of differentiating between product – effect – and impact- was presented as one of the main learnings  when it comes to creating evaluation and monitoring indicators and tools. Another highlight was that the use of impact assessment methodologies promotes working by projects in interdisciplinary teams. In the transformation process towards a third generation University (U3G), it is important to bear in mind that the impact assessment framework must start in the third mission, while it is organically integrated in the other two University’s missions: teaching and research. This is particularly relevant taking into account the new national accreditation model.

Finally, the attendees declared that this type of international cooperation projects are of great importance for the strengthening of institutional capacities. They also highlighted the great opportunities to learn and exchange good practices within the consortium that have been created.

Presentation of IMPALA to UNAH’s Board of Directors

IMPALA project‘s Impact Assessment Framework (IAF), value chain, Institutional Impact Assessment Report and methodological tools were presented to the Board of Directors of the Agrarian University of Havana “Fructuoso Rodríguez Pérez” (UNAH).

Two things were highlighted during the presentation: the IAF and value chain’s usefulness to measure the relevance of the University’s actions with its environment; and the importance of replicating these learnings in the university’s community. Good practices and lessons learned were exhibited as well. 

The university has selected two projects to validate in the institution IMPALA’s IAF: Inclusion of students with disabilities at the UNAH; and Doctoral Training College at the Scientific Teaching Complex of the Mayabeque Province. The first one belonging to the Assistance Services typology and the second one to the Continuing Education typology.

Finally, replication workshops have been organized in all the faculties, areas and local university centres of the province as dissemination activities.