Canary Islands, an ultra-peripheral region and a tri-continental cooperation platform

The fundamental value of the internationalization of the education relies on the firm objective to contribute that our young people face the globalized world in which we live, having the best possible preparation.

This premise acquires a special meaning in a region such as the Canary Islands. The European Union in various studies has recognized the advantages and the disadvantages which distinguish the ultra-peripheral regions. The remoteness and the insularity of these territories with an enormous potential contrasts with their privileged geographical situation.

The recent Operational Strategy for the Internationalization of the Canary Islands Economy (EOIEC) is committed to a greater internationalization of the Canary Islands economy, taking up the advantage of belonging to the united European market, exploiting the islands` strategic geographic situation, the proximity to emerging markets in Africa as well as the historical and cultural relations with America.

Therefore, in the field of the education, the Canary Islands constitute a strategic point that forms a tri-continental space between Europe, Africa and America, with privileged conditions to become an international platform for educational cooperation, a space that favors the exchange of ideas and of knowledge between countries of different continents and a suitable place for those who want to be trained in our archipelago.


The concept of internationalization and its impact on the education. The global competence

The Europe 2020 Strategy considers the education as a capital element to promote the development of all the regions that form the European Union. This is an integral bet, where the social, environmental balance and the impulse of the investigation and the development work together to reach a fairer and egalitarian society.

Within the framework of the higher education concept, the internationalization has been defined as “the process of integrating an international, inter-cultural and/or global dimension in the objectives, the functions and the provision of the higher education1.

Similarly, in the non-university education, in order to implement this commitment to the internationalization, besides the study of foreign languages, the students mobility or the signing of international agreements, we should consider issues such as the establishment of joint or multiple training itineraries with foreign partners, the promotion of the mobilities and stays abroad of teachers and students, the simplification of the administrative procedures, the introduction of the education global dimension in the teachers training, the generation of information structures, guidance and support, the promotion of the international students  arrival and awareness on the impact of the internationalization of the education.

On the other hand, in this context, the concept of a «global competence», which is incorporated for the first time in the new edition of the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA), whose data were collected in 2018 and whose results will become public in 2019, is particularly relevant. The global competition will facilitate this international program to evaluate the ability and the willingness of the students to interact properly, both individually and collaboratively, within the framework of a connected and different world.

The Canary Islands Strategy for the Internationalization of the Non-university Education (ECIE), which could be defined as «the strategy for the integration of the global and intercultural dimension of the education in the curriculum, in the continuous training of teachers and in the identity of the educational centers», is an ideal resource to promote the incorporation of global competence in the Canary Islands educational system.

1 Strategy for the internalization of the Spanish universities (Estrategia para la internacionalización de las universidades españolas). Working group on the internationalization of the universities. October 2014. Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport.