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The difference between developed and developing countries is becoming even wider with the rapid development of science and technology. In this context, Cuban is implementing a program of make university education accessible at the municipal level.

These were the words of Juan Vela Valdes, the islands minister of Higher Education, at the opening ceremony of the Fifth Ibero-American University Council (CUIB in Spanish). The conference started on Thursday at the National Hotel of Havana where there are representatives from 14 countries, as well as guests from international organizations and individuals involved in the field of education.

The Cuban minister explained the details of the Cuban effort to train professionals across the country, where there are currently 800,000 such workers and 685,000 university students. By 2010, the country hopes to reach the figure of one million higher education graduates.

"The evolution of science and technology continually requires more qualified specialists, therefore the Cuban program of making university studies accessible throughout all the islands municipalities is an essential cornerstone of this endeavour," said Vela Valdes.

In its working sessions, the specialists will analyze the contribution of CUIB to regional integration and to higher education cooperation in and research throughout Latin America and the Caribbean.

CUIB is a non-governmental organization created in Cartagena de Indias, Colombia on November 21, 2002 that has established a network of Iberian and American universities.

Among the associations main goals is the creation, consolidation and promotion of Ibero-American opportunities for higher education and research, the boosting of collaboration among universities in the region and with other regions, defending the fundamental principles of university institutions, and to serve as a forum for debate, information and exchange of experiences, which will facilitate the coordination and organization of joint initiatives.

Source: By Margarita Barrios, Juventud Rebelde

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