The Organization of Ibero-American States (OEI) states: “Iberoamerican does not have sufficient research capacity to generate prosperity and create development and growth dynamics, in line with the demands of the global economy and knowledge.”
This finding is justified by the fact that 57% of researchers in this region carry out their projects in the academic field, but less than 12% of university professors hold a doctorate, the academic degree in which local research is promoted. , regional, national and international.
This data is part of the ‘Diagnosing Higher Education and Science Post-Covid’ report, led by the OEI with the support of experts from Ibero-America, which highlights science as one of the challenges of universities in this region, along with the transformation of the SDGs and internationalization. It might interest you: This is how Colombian students move around the world.
According to the OEI report, the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the delay in Ibero-American countries in higher education, due to the ’emergency virtualization’ imposed by confinement and due to difficulties in accessing the Internet and other technological resources for students, both at the undergraduate and postgraduate levels. Postgraduate.
The publication notes that “in this sense, Ibero-American countries have been unevenly prepared for the remote educational emergency, as have other developing regions (eg Southern African countries)”.
An ’emergency virtual’ by COVID has highlighted the difficulties of higher education in Iberian America, according to the OEI.
According to UNESCO, “there is a close relationship between research and development (R&D) spending as a percentage of GDP and the number of researchers per million inhabitants.”
In this way, North American and Western European countries have more research professionals, among them the United States, Switzerland, Denmark and Sweden. Latin America and the Caribbean is one of the marginalized regions in this indicator (investment in research and development vs. number of researchers per million inhabitants).
“North America and Western Europe, as well as East Asia and the Pacific, spend the highest percentage of GDP on research and development (2.50% and 2.11%, respectively), says UNESCO. Latin American countries are much lower than this average, with It barely amounts to 0.7% of GDP investment in research and development; only African and Central Asian countries invest less in this area.
It is the average GDP devoted to research and development in Latin American countries.
For its part, the OEI explains that although the situation of higher education in Iberian America has improved in the past 20 years, the backwardness in science, technology and innovation continues: “In South America, there has been a significant increase in state funding in recent years. Through grant instruments Different competitiveness (…) Despite this important progress, the increase in funding has not yet generated the expected number of researchers, publications and citations.” Read also: Studying a postgraduate degree is a matter of commitment and mission.
How does Ibero-American overcome this huge gap in terms of science, technology and innovation? According to the OEI, the commitment should not be to “catch up” with developed countries, but to promote research based on the needs of the region, including for medium and small companies that are driving emerging economies.
“This means saving the social and human sciences, which can orient other sciences so that their developments and innovations are not exclusive or duplicates of inequality,” is what the OEI suggests.
Other strategies, such as crowdfunding for higher education, including private resources, without compromising the issues to be investigated, as well as international cooperation, can help maintain progress and overcome challenges in terms of science, research and development in Iberian America.
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Ibero-American University 2030
The data collected and analyzed by the OEI are part of the Iberoamerican University 2030 program, which aims to respond to the region’s problems in higher education and science.
Among the principles of this initiative are joint action between states, international organizations and the private sector, as well as the mobilization and exchange of students and researchers to promote Ibero-Americanism in research and development issues.