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October 22, at Here are the highlights: Improving relations with the global community, and notably with the US, have set the stage for stronger international ties between Cuba and other countries in the region and beyond Cuba has long been an important study destination in the region, and is especially noted for its medical schools Strengthening inbound and outbound tourism and an improving technical infrastructure will likely further improve the movement of people, information, and ideas on and off the island Cuba has reached a pivotal point in its history.
Signs of rapprochement with the United States and new economic opportunities have drawn the interest of international investors. According to UNESCO figures, Cuba hosts 12 times the number of students it sends abroad, with its 1, outbound students comparing to nearly 23, students hosted in So far, there are no indications outbound student numbers will rise sharply in the immediate future.
Outbound tourism, however, skyrocketed inparticularly in the form of short trips to Mexico, the US, and Spain. Previously, Cubans had to go through a long, expensive process to obtain permission to travel, but as of January most have needed only a Cuban passport and a visa from the destination country.
A broad expansion in the tourism sector has helped Cuba form new links around the planet. Hundreds of international companies have applied for permits to operate there to date. Cuba has even extended invitations to selected American companies, which in turn are pressuring Washington for more freedom to operate on the island.
In the meantime, Mexican and Belgian companies have already received the green light to set up shop in Mariel. And in June, Cuba regained a link with Spain when Iberia airlines reopened a direct air route to Cuba following a hiatus of almost two years. It had stopped flights to the island, and to several other South American countries, due to profitability issues.
But Iberia spokespeople had always suggested service would resume to Cuba when conditions allowed, and this past summer they cited improved relations between the US and Cuba as allowing for potential revenue generation on the route.
Since Spain is the top choice for Cubans studying abroad, they now have another transport option. But while there has been improvement, the US has shown no signs yet of lifting its crippling year economic embargo.
In the interim, Cuba has been busy forging new economic ties with ChinaFrance, Indiaand other nations in areas ranging from pharmaceuticals to oil exploration.
Today it has direct air connections with more than 50 foreign cities, and also has three cruise ship terminals and 39 international marinas. These are all good developments for Cuba, but outbound student mobility is primarily hampered not by poor travel links, but by poor income levels. Cuba as a study destination But while outbound mobility is unlikely to change in the near term, inbound mobility from other countries may soon receive a strong boost due to the impact of recent developments upon communications, banking, and travel.
The United States, for example, has famously eased restrictions related to various types of business dealingswhich means companies can now export telephones, computers, and Internet technology and can also ship supplies to private Cuban enterprises.
Rules for money transfers to the island have also been eased. As noted in previous reports on Cuba, the island has long had a strong receiving market, one admired for the achievements of its education system despite the US embargo. Nations such as Germany, France, and Sweden are estimated to send no more than a handful of students each year.
Universidad de La Habana and several other institutions are internationally respected, but in recent decades many Cuban university professors have seen the value of their pay decline, driving some into other endeavours, such as private tutoring. This exodus of faculty has of course affected teaching quality.
Since the introduction of those changes, the government has expanded its goals to include: Modified admission procedures for night courses and distance education, with increased enrolment facilitated by removing entrance exams — which are currently the same as for normal university degree courses.
A shortening of most undergraduate programmes to no more than four years. The establishment of a legal framework for the continuous training of professionals, with the goal of maintaining a fully prepared workforce and providing opportunities for personal development.
A new requirement to master the English language before graduating with a tertiary degree, with universities offering both structured classes, as well as providing students with courses and access to computer platforms to allow them to learn independently.
The international community has shown interest, both in schooling opportunities and the fruits of Cuban medical research. Earlier this year the French company Abivax licensed a hepatitis B treatment developed entirely by Cuban scientists.
Similar opportunities for revenue-generating partnerships may exist, and could help curb steady defections from a medical sector that has lost more than 1, professionals since While US companies are disadvantaged in forming links with Cuba, universities enjoy more latitude to bypass the embargo, and American schools have responded to political developments by expanding their presence on the island.
Known as CASA-Havanait allows American and Cuban scholars to conduct side-by-side research into political, social, economic, and cultural issues affecting Latin America and the Caribbean.
Another area of Cuban education that remains in good health is its Spanish language sector. Greater ease of travel will make enrolment for foreigners in short courses more attractive. For courses of up to four weeks, language schools and universities accept applicants who possess a standard tourist card, known on the island as a visa del tarjeta del turista.
The government has been vocal about upgrading its telecommunications infrastructure, particularly since an undersea cable between the island and Venezuela provided markedly better Internet service beginning in January That cable was followed by another to Jamaica.
However Cuba continues to suffer from poor connectivity and limited connection speeds. That is likely to soon change.1.
We, the leaders of the Federative Republic of Brazil, the Russian Federation, the Republic of India, the People’s Republic of China and the Republic of South Africa, met in Fortaleza, Brazil, on 15 July at the Sixth BRICS Summit.
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