Columbia University and Chile’s Universidad Católica Forge Partnership

An MOU was signed by both university presidents with the mission of collaborating in climate change, global health, among other fields.

November 01, 2023

Columbia University and Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile (UC) have joined forces to create a partnership to advance research and scholarly collaboration in a wide range of disciplines, including climate change, global health, engineering, and peace studies.

Through a newly signed Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), Columbia and UC have established a framework for initiatives across various academic domains. At the heart of this partnership are the uniquely situated Field Stations across Chile, established by Universidad Católica. These hubs of scientific exploration, in settings as diverse as deserts, forests, and glaciers, provide unparalleled opportunities for hands-on research and education. Scientists and students from both universities can engage with Chile’s ecologically rich environment to discover sustainable solutions with the potential to benefit communities globally.

Executive Vice President for Columbia Global Wafaa El-Sadr commented that, “Our tenet 'Where thinking meets doing' reflects our dedication to taking scholarly insights and translating them into tangible actions. This collaboration with Universidad Católica is a testament to our commitment to drive meaningful change through the power of ideas and practical solutions.”

The formalization of this MOU was the result of the concerted efforts of Columbia Global Centers | Santiago and UC's Vice Presidency of International Affairs; the presence of both university presidents at the Columbia campus in New York City for the signing of the MOU allowed for the sharing of their commitment for a strong and meaningful collaboration. “This collaboration between our two universities builds on more than a century of partnership between Columbia University and Chile. This partnership reflects our mutual commitment to fostering innovation, cross-cultural understanding, and the pursuit of solutions to complex global challenges,” said Columbia University President Minouche Shafik.

For his part, UC Chile President Ignacio Sánchez emphasized the MOU's potential to enhance the scholarly pursuits of both institutions. He particularly highlighted the significance of the University’s network of Regional Stations “a top-tier academic asset, essential for strengthening exchanges in the fields of sciences and humanities.”