XU, Spain ink MOU on intercultural initiatives, language programs

(Xavier University Communications Office) — Ateneo de Cagayan and the Kingdom of Spain through its Ministry of Education, Culture, and Sports (Spain-MECS) recently signed a memorandum of understanding to work together in bolstering the Spanish and English language programs of XU and to establish intercultural projects.

Both institutions see the valuable role of languages, particularly English and Spanish, as instruments of communication in the exchange of ideas in the fields of education, economy, science, and culture.

The MOU was signed in English and Spanish by XU president Fr Roberto C Yap SJ and Spanish Ambassador to the Philippines Luis Antonio Calvo on November 11 in Manila.

This collaboration hopes to strengthen the linkages between the Philippines and Spain to develop and design an educational model fit for the 21st century, having as fundamental elements the intercultural and international dimensions of education.

As stipulated in the MOU, Xavier and Spain-MECS will improve the quality and reach of the teaching of Spanish language and culture in the Philippine system of education and of the English language and Filipino culture in Spain.

The basic cooperation between the two institutions will be carried out through the Language and Culture Assistantship Program.

For each year, the Education Office of the Embassy of Spain in the Philippines, in cooperation with XU, will select senior undergraduates or graduate students who will serve in Spanish schools for an academic cycle as English language program assistants.

The participants of this program will be considered as “language assistants” and will receive a monthly stipend from the corresponding Spanish administration. At the same time, they may receive specific training in graduate level courses offered by Spanish public universities that are dependent from MECS and the Spanish Autonomous Communities themselves.

Spain-MECS, through its Education Office at the Embassy of Spain in the Philippines, will publish each academic cycle the vacant positions for language and culture assistants.

For XU’s part, it will explore the possibility of creating a Spanish Language Assistantship Program at its main campus and promote intercultural cooperation between the two countries in various university activities.

Xavier has a Center for Languages (XUCL) that offers students and professionals the opportunity to improve their language proficiency through short courses in order to communicate effectively in different settings. Spanish language course is among its popular offerings.

The MOU is valid for four years and during this period, both XU and Spain-MECS may add stipulations for improvement as long as the two parties agree on the additional programs. (Xavier University Communications Office)