On 17 July 2017, the Rector of the University of Groningen, prof. Elmer Sterken visited Universidad de Chile (UCH). At the occasion, the institutions made major progress in the advancement of their strategic partnership, marked by the signing of three agreements. The UG Rector met with his counterpart prof. Ennio Vivaldi, vice-rector for Research Rosa Devés, postgraduate director Alicia Salomone, and different representatives of the Faculties of Physical & Mathematical Sciences and Medical Sciences. The relationship between UCH and Groningen has a long history of student exchange and has included cooperation under different actions of the the Erasmus Mundus and subsequent Erasmus Plus program, as well as a double degree master in Economics & Economic Analysis.
A solid basis for sustainable relations
The two universities share the belief that a solid basis for sustainable relations needs to be sought in strong connections between individual researchers and research groups. Two of the agreements have been signed with the specific aim to promote these connections. A doctoral agreement has made it possible to enroll qualified and selected students in a double degree program in all academic fields covered by both institutions. Furthermore, the Postgraduate Department of UCH in cooperation with UG faculties may now allocate funding to short research internships of master and PhD students at the other institution.
Finally, a major advancement has been made in the establishment of a double degree in the fields of engineering and astronomy. To that purpose, prof. Sterken and the Dean of the Faculty of Physical & Mathematical Sciences, Patricio Aceituno, signed an agreement that allows for students to obtain an undergraduate degree in electrical engineering and a master in astronomical instrumentation, by taking a combined trajectory at both institutions.
Double doctoral program
Both the agreement for short research internships, as well as the degree in Astronomical Instrumentation, may lead to student selection and subsequent enrollment in the double doctoral program. In terms of doctoral degree cooperation, the efforts made by the Faculty of Medicine are particularly noteworthy: in 2016 UCH awarded funding to the partnership between this faculty and the University Medical Center Groningen for the establishment of a Joint Doctoral Program. Efforts for a full integration of both institutions’ doctoral curriculum are underway and expected to be finalized over the course of 2017.
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