International Education Leadership


Developing Capacity Through Networks in Latin America

Thursday, June 2
2:00 PM - 3:15 PM
Room: CCC, 401

Educators working with and within Latin America need to understand the unique characteristics of the region. This session reveals barriers faced by institutions and professionals in Argentina, Brazil, and Chile, and presents cases where universities have built networks to achieve common goals and capacity on international education policy and practice.

Learning Objectives:

Maria Soledad Zapiola

Head of International Office
Pontificia Universidad Católica Argentina
Buenos Aires, Argentina

Soledad Zapiola is the Director of International Office at Pontificia Universidad Católica Argentina in Buenos Aires, where she also serves as chair of the Latin-American Studies Program (PEL). She presents often on promoting education abroad, developing capacity for international cooperation and quality enhancement in cooperation practices. Soledad has designed and led several student programs from France, Colombia, USA and Germany. Previously, Soledad Zapiola served as the President of the Argentinean Forum for International Education (FAEI), where she launched the student’s chapter for the promotion of International Education. She has a vast experience in Latin-American higher education system and cooperation circuits, having served as the Secretary of the Organization of Catholic Universities in Latin America and the Caribbean (ODUCAL). In that capacity, Soledad served as consultant for the Institute for Higher Education in Latin American and the Caribbean (IESALC-UNESCO) being the author of Chapter 15 of the “Informe sobre la Educación Superior en América Latina y el Caribe 2000-2005. La metamorfosis de la Educación Superior” IESALC-UNESCO, 2006. She received her degree in Political Science from Pontificia Universidad Católica Argentina and has started master studies on Education Management at Universidad Torcuato Di Tella.


Ricardo BORGES. Alencar

Deputy Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs
PUC-Rio Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Rio de Janeiro
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Deputy Associate Vice-President for Academic Affairs, International Office, Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro – PUC-Rio (since 2009). Academic Supervisor for the Customized Courses organized by the International Office, PhD in Linguistics and Portuguese Language, Adjunct Professor of Portuguese Language and Linguistics – Department of Letters, PUC-Rio, working as a Teacher of Portuguese as a Second Language to International Students (since 1996) and Professor of The Portuguese Language in the World module for the Specialization Degree (Lato Sensu - Graduate Diploma level) Portuguese as a Second Language Teachers Training Course. The research line developed is Intercultural Aspects of Portuguese as a Second Language with several articles and chapters of books and academics journals published, presentations and lectures in national and international conferences. Former First Secretary of the International Society of Portuguese as a Second Language – SIPLE (1998-2001) and Scientific Committee for SIPLE (Since 2012).


Marcos Avilez

Director, International Relations
Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Valparaiso
Valparaiso, Chile

Marcos Avilez is Director of International Relations at Pontificia Universidad Católica de Valparaíso, Chile. In this capacity, he manages a complex international network for various initiatives including but not limited to student mobility, internationalization development, capacity bulding, among others.
In the past thirteen years, he has served as Special Assistant to the Rector and in the past eight years, he has been directly involved in international education.
Currently is the Director of LEARN CHILE, the Higher Education National Brand, an educational Project looking to position his country as an academic destination for international students.
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