It is essential to establish goals and priorities by constructing a strategic agenda
for the region when facing the challenges of Higher Education in Latin American
and the Caribbean. In view of the conditions and needs of local, national, and
global systems it is possible to establish appropriate guidelines to the new
realities according to the principles of the Declaration of the Regional Conference
on Higher Education in Latin America and the Caribbean (CRES-2008) produced
by working groups during CRES 2008.

In spite of important technological advances, the globalized world still shows
injustice and social inequality. Therefore, it is of utmost importance to consolidate
the role of Higher Education in the region as a strategic factor for sustainable
development and fostering social inclusion and regional solidarity to guarantee
equal opportunities.  Within this context, Higher Education institutions, in the
exercise of their autonomy, should assume a clear social commitment and
responsibility as public service, supporting the development of science and
technology, as well as programs and activities that encourage humanistic
aspects leading to comprehensive training and citizenship consciousness.
The values and principles stated in the

Declaration of CRES 2008
, particularly
the concepts pertaining to education as a social public good, universal right, and
duty of the State, oblige higher education, independently of the juridical nature on
institutions of higher education:

*  Strengthen the notion of quality related to relevance and social inclusion;

*  Develop and foster a culture of democracy and citizenship, in collaboration
with previous levels of education;

*  Strengthen humanistic values fostering a culture of peace, respect for
cultural diversity, and the commitment to achieve a humanistic sustainable

*  Generate conditions for dialogue between peers from other regions with an
emphasis on South-South cooperation;

*  Contribute to the solution of the most critical social problems and
achievement of the Millennium Development Goals.

Within this perspective, the following the

Action Plan
comprises of five major


1.- Expanding
Higher Education undergraduate and graduate levels with quality,
relevance, and social inclusion;

2.- Promoting
accreditation, assessment, and quality assurance policies;

3.- Encouraging
educational innovation and research at all levels;

4.- Building
a regional agenda for science, technology, and innovation in order to
overcome disparities and promote sustainable development of Latin America and
the Caribbean (LAC), in accordance to  the general policies of Member States;

5.- Supporting
regional Latin American and Caribbean integration as well as the
internationalization of higher education through the construction of ENLACES –
Latin America and the Caribbean Area for Higher Education, among another

In order to adjust higher education policies and initiatives to promote the Action
Plan these guidelines, it is important to emphasize the commitment, focus and
efforts of the key players involved: governments, Higher Education institutions,
networks, and international organizations. Several proposals submitted for the
World Conference on Higher Education in Paris 2009 (WCHE 2009) have been
highlighted at the end of the document.