Top-Down and Bottom-Up. Two Collaborative Initiatives in Latin America

María José Lemaitre


Within the context of continental diversity, institutional autonomy and wide differentiation that characterises higher education in Latin America, the article describes two different collaborative initiatives developed and implemented in the region. One of them emerged from national governments in the MERCOSUR region and deals with a regional mechanism for programme accreditation. The other is a long-lasting association of public and private universities, working together to improve the quality of higher education institutions and to provide inputs for national and institutional policymaking. In both cases, the result has been increased trust, shared learning and useful lessons for collaboration in a region better known for competition and marketisation.