The Kircher Network Meeting of Senior International Officers took place the past 19th and 21st October at Unviersidad Loyola Andalucía, in Seville. The agenda of the meeting followed 4 main objectives:
- Foster networking among the participants of the Kircher Network and with their colleagues from other Jesuit universities around the world (IAJU), and formally launch the Kircher Group of Peers of International Relation Officers.
- Discuss current projects and identify possible new collaborative initiatives
- Explore Erasmus funding opportunities the network can access
- Promote the signing of Erasmus partnership agreements between institutions
The meeting allowed us to meet in person for the first time and continue reflecting on European opportunities and concrete projects we can develop that are feasible and add value to the mission of our institutions.
The meeting gathered International Relations delegates from 12 member universities and institutions from the Kircher Network, as well as delegates from the European Leadership Programme (ELP) and the Jesuit European Social Center (JESC).
The encounter opened with the interventions of Jaime Oraá SJ (President of Loyola’s Board of Trustees of the Universidad Loyola Andalucía Foundation); Enrique Sanz, SJ (President of Comillas Pontifical University); Gonzalo Villagrán, SJ (Dean of Theology at Universidad Loyola Andalucía); Susana Di Trolio (Executive Secretary of Kircher Network) and Francisco de Borja Martín (Director of International Relations at Universidad Loyola Andalucía).
The agenda was comprised of various presentations: Susana Di Trolio presented the Internationalization guidelines and priorities of the Kircher Network. Laura Rumbley (Associate Director Knowledge Development and Research of the European Association for International Education) was invited as expert on internationalization of education. She explained the opportunities for Internationalization that the EAIE offers for networking initiatives, and the resources and tools they have. Finally, Sonsoles Muñoz (Universidad Loyola Andalucía), Itziar de la Fuente and Lorena Ruiz (University of Deusto) presented the opportunities of the Erasmus Programme for the Kircher Network. They highlighted the four priorities of the Program: inclusion and diversity, digital transformation, environment and fight against climate change.
As a result of this meeting, a Steering Committee to identify the projects and provide support and guidance was created. It comprises delegates from the University of Deusto, the Munich School of Philosophy, the Universidad Loyola Andalucía, and the Kircher Network Executive Secretary. The next steps of the Steering Committee of the group will be to prepare a questionnaire to gather concrete data on the themes and topics universities are offering programs or are planning to develop shortly, as well as their interests in collaborating with others member institutions.
The Steering Committee will meet again this next 3rd of November, online, to concrete the next steps for the group.