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The CEUB is the national player in Bolivia in terms of university policy with regards to research, international relations, accreditations, etc. The CEUB encompasses 18 universities, including public ones, indigenous ones, as well as some ‘special status’ private ones. Together they make up the ‘Sistema de la Universidad Boliviana’ (the Bolivian university system), with the CEUB representing some 400,000 students. The four biggest universities in Bolivia who are also part of CEUB are: Universidad Mayor de San Simon (UMSS) from Cochabamba, Universidad Autónoma Gabriel René Moreno (UAGRM) from Santa Cruz, Universidad Mayor de San Andrés (UMSA) and Universidad Católica Boliviana San Pablo (UCB) from La Paz. The agreement with VUB was signed at the end of November 2018 after a match-making set-up between various institutes of the Bolivian university system and VUB research teams.

The purpose of this visit, which takes place from Monday 8-Saturday 13 April, is to further develop and facilitate research cooperation, as well as staff and student mobility. CEUB will organise a conference in La Paz during the week which will be the official launch of the agreement, but the purpose is mostly to start off the specific research and academic collaborations between VUB and the various Bolivian universities.

Back in November the research groups at VUB who were interested in collaborating with CEUB were put into six clusters. Now, academics representing these clusters are participating in the Bolivia trip, where each cluster will attend three workshops with interested Bolivian researchers, in El Alto, Cochabamba and Santa Cruz. The VUB clusters represent the following research domains:


C1: Water management, mining, contamination, climate change, health & life sciences

C2: Agriculture, farmers’ rights, food sovereignty

C3: Economy development, social entrepreneurship

C4: Literature, culture, society, media, identity & heritage

C5: Research methods, ICT & technological innovation, academic English

C6: Community development, urban studies and demography


An alumni event will also take place in Santa Cruz on Thursday 11 April, and throughout the week Prof Romain Meeusen, Vice-Rector Internationalisation, along with dr Jacqueline Couder, Director of the VUB International Relations office, will also have separate meetings with CEUB authorities, and with their counterparts and the director for research at UMSS, UAGRM. On Tuesday 9 April in the morning there will also be a signing ceremony for the MoU between VUB and Universidad Pública de El Alto (UPEA). [read on below picture]

The third step in the elaboration of this agreement between VUB and CEUB will be when the CEUB authorities visit VUB and the various research groups to sign more agreements. Exact dates for this visit are still to be determined.

More information on CEUB (in Spanish):

More information on the agreement can be obtained from Annabel Van Damme:

Below slideshow of photos: