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The UC3M project that aims to enhance the effectiveness of University Ombudsman Offices in Latin America


An Erasmus+ initiative, called BRAVIOO and led by the Universidad Carlos III de Madrid (UC3M), seeks to establish or modernize University Ombudsmen in eight universities in Argentina, Bolivia, Chile and Honduras. This effort means a commitment to improve the practical implementation of human rights in education through various tools.

Un proyecto de la UC3M busca fortalecer la defensoría universitaria en Latinoamérica

“The goal is to advance human rights within the university setting so that all communities in these four Latin American countries can thrive and demonstrate greater inclusivity and respect for diverse identities, cultures, genders, and relationships within their institutions,” explains Emilio Olías Ruiz, head of the BRAVIOO project and UC3M's University Ombudsman. “It's crucial for University Ombudsman Offices to be firmly established in regions where they are lacking, as they promote greater appreciation, respect, and fulfillment of societal human rights,” emphasizes Professor Olías Ruiz, who is also a faculty member in the Department of Electronic Technology at the university.

BRAVIOO, funded by the European Union (GA 101129180), is coordinated by UC3M's University Ombudsman Office and involves collaboration with the University Ombudsman Office for Students at the Universidade da Beira Interior (Portugal) and the Spanish consulting firm OpenODS as European partners. Eight Latin American universities are participating in the project: two in Argentina (the National University of Cordoba and the National University of the Northeast); two in Bolivia (the Private Technological University of Santa Cruz and the Private University of Valle); two in Chile (the Adolfo Ibáñez University and the University of La Frontera); and two in Honduras (the National Autonomous University of Honduras and the Francisco Morazán National Pedagogical University).

Project activities focus on providing training tools for participating entities through MOOC courses, which can be easily revised and updated. Additionally, rules and regulations will be developed to facilitate the establishment and reinforcement of University Ombudsman Offices. “The aim is to foster idea exchange, share experiences, and strengthen ties between European and Latin American cultures to establish and standardize Ombudsman Offices across all participating universities,” adds María del Mar Sánchez Pinilla, UC3M's Deputy University Ombudsman.

BRAVIOO (Building Reinforced and Advanced Capacities in Human Rights between Latin American and European HEIs increasing the Visibility and Institutionalization of Ombudspersons Offices) falls under the Capacity Building High Education within the Erasmus+ program, promoting transnational cooperation projects among higher education institutions. Objectives include modernizing and internationalizing higher education, increasing cooperation with the EU, and fostering intercultural awareness.

The UC3M International Relations Service collaborates in administrative and financial activities throughout the project phases, providing support from proposal to project management and justification. “We also assist all consortium partners in meeting legal and administrative requirements mandated by the European Commission,” notes the Erasmus+ International Projects Manager Raquel Navalpotro Gil from UC3M's International Relations Service.

“The project has been highly regarded by the European Commission, securing maximum funding (approximately 800,000 euros) and being one of the few projects to involve four non-European countries,” states Emilio Olías. “This presents a significant challenge, but also a deeply gratifying opportunity,” he concludes.

More information:

UC3M University Ombudsman Office (in Spanish):