Reaching out: Visits to Ombuds associations in Spain, Mexico, and Kosovo

During the past months Jorge A. Pereira Ribeiro, Student Ombudsperson of the University of Beira Interior in Portugal and ENOHE board member, paid visits to our colleagues in Spain, Mexico, and Kosovo.

The visits are a part of Board of ENOHE’s “reaching out” initiative as marked down in ENOHE’s strategic plan 2021-2025 and work plan 2022.

Visit to Sevilla, Spain

5-7 October Jorge participated in the first Iberoamerican conference of Education of Human Rights, Democratic Citizenship and Inclusiveness and Sustainable development, at the University Pablo Olavide in Seville in Spain.

The conference was hosted by the Iberoamerican Network for promotion of Human Rights, Education and Inclusive Citizenship. Colleagues from Spain, Portugal and Central and South American higher education institutions attended the conference along with the Spanish minister of higher education, Joan Subirats Humet.

Jorge participated in a panel where he had the opportunity to present ENOHE and to discuss the Iberoamerican Network’s opportunities to collaborate with Ombuds in higher education.

Visit to San Luis de Potosí and in Ciudad de México

Mid-October Jorge participated in two events in Mexico.

First the annual conference within the Mexican Network of Ombuds in Higher Education (REDDU). This conference took place in San Luis de Potosí (SLP) between October 20 and 21 at the Autonomous University of SLP. Here, among others, Jorge discussed cooperation between Ombuds and student representatives.

Secondly, on 24 October Jorge made a presentation at the Ombusperson Office of the Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) in Ciudad de Mexico. Here Jorge focussed on possibilities for cooperation between students and Ombuds in higher education and shared examples from his office. The presentation generated discussions about, among others, mental health, and governance.

During these two events Jorge had the opportunity to speak with REDDU President Urenda Sanchéz, and executive-secretary Guadalupe Barrena about cooperation between ENOHE and REDDU. Jorge invited all REDDU members to participate in next year’s ENOHE Annual Conference in Prague and to participate in soon to be announced ENOHE webinar about sexual harassment during spring 2023.

Visit to Pristina, Republic of Kosovo

From 31 October until 4 November, Jorge made an Erasmus+ visit to University of Pristina, the capital of the Republic of Kosovo. The main aims of this visit were to learn from the university’s good practices in supporting students’ life at the university as well as share good practices from Jorge’s office in Portugal. Jorge also had the opportunity to present ENOHE’s main fields of activities.

During his stay, Jorge met with Provisional Rector Luljeta Plakolli-Kasumi, representatives of the Research Office, representatives of the Students’ Union, and other university stakeholders. Even though the University of Pristina doesn’t have and Ombuds yet, they showed interest in the concept and in collaborating with ENOHE.