Three days of work concluded, bringing together 110 professionals from the network of centres around the world and from the central headquarters

Technological transformation, the cross-cutting challenge at the meeting of academic heads of the Cervantes Institute

Luis García Montero, director del Instituto Cervantes (a la izquierda) y Raúl Martín Martín, vicerrector de Internacionalización de la Universidad de Castilla-La Mancha (UCLM), clausuran la reunión de responsables académicos del Instituto Cervantes en el campus de Toledo de la UCLM – PHOTO/Instituto Cervantes/Pablo Rojo
Luis García Montero, director of the Cervantes Institute (left) and Raúl Martín Martín, vice-rector of Internationalisation of the University of Castilla-La Mancha (UCLM), close the meeting of the Cervantes Institute's academic heads at the Toledo campus of the UCLM - PHOTO/Instituto Cervantes/Pablo Rojo

After three days of exchange, the meeting of the Cervantes Institute's academic heads concluded on Thursday "at a time of technological transformation, when it is essential to meet to analyse the issues that involve the entire network with specific achievements, in terms of language and speech, theory and practice", said Luis García Montero, Director of the Institute.

  1. Dialogue and participation
  2. Focus on digital transformation

The Director of Cervantes also highlighted the importance of these meetings "to see how we can maintain a common spirit and a reflection of linked knowledge that will help us to understand each detail or each specificity of our centres in order to continue moving forward", he added.

A total of 110 professionals - including heads of studies from Cervantes centres around the world and staff from the Academic Management - debated aspects of the organisation, objectives, teaching plan and improvements in the teaching of Spanish as a foreign language at this conference on the Toledo campus of the University of Castilla-La Mancha (UCLM) from 19 to 21 March.

At the closing ceremony, the Vice-Rector for Internationalisation of the UCLM, Raúl Martín Martín, recalled the commitment of his university to "the teaching and dissemination of Spanish, which is the same as saying Instituto Cervantes; an institution that seeks its improvement to continue being an academic reference and cultural bridge between nations" and urged to maintain "the spirit of collaboration and commitment" between the two entities.

After thanking the UCLM for its collaboration, García Montero proposed that it would be fun to "continue to organise academic conferences in the rest of Castilla la Mancha", in reference to the other campuses of the University of La Mancha in Toledo, Cuenca, Albacete and Ciudad Real.

Dialogue and participation

This professional meeting was based on the participation and exchange of heads of studies from the network of Instituto Cervantes centres - which has around a hundred centres around the world in 50 countries - as well as management staff from the different areas of the institution involved in the teaching process.

In this regard, the round tables where the heads of the academic management of different centres shared their experiences and challenges, which highlight the particularities of each territory and, in turn, invite us to think about global strategies to defend Spanish, were particularly noteworthy.

Over the course of five round tables and three working groups, participants and moderators addressed issues specific to the activity of teachers of Spanish as a foreign language, such as the value of the Instituto Cervantes Accreditation System for Cervantes Centres (SACIC), training needs and the involvement of teaching teams in certification projects.

Focus on digital transformation

For its part, technological transformation was the cross-cutting theme throughout the meeting due to its essential nature as a driving force behind new teaching perspectives, methods and hybrid dynamics that combine face-to-face and digital classes.

The Academic Director of the Cervantes Institute, Carmen Pastor, who was in charge of presenting the "Action Plan of the Instituto Cervantes 2024-2026" on the opening day, closed the work agenda on Thursday with the conclusions of the meeting.

Submitted by José Antonio Sierra, Hispanismo advisor.