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Cuba For Training Professionals to Contribute to Society
Cuban Minister Rodolfo Alarcon said that the country aspires to have citizens who are civilized and contribute to society, who, through the practice of their professions are committed to their homeland.

According to the head of the Ministry of Higher Education, this is the fundamental objective of the formation of future professionals in Cuban universities.

This teaching process is presently engaged in a process of transformation that aims to democratize the level of education and enhance the quality of graduates.

Alarcón is encouraged by the results of changes implemented through the university admissions process, which have been gradually applied nationwide since 2009.

He said that the political and ideological formation of professors had been enhanced and that there has been an increase in the number of careers and faculties registered by the National Accreditation Institute, and also in the number of university professors undertaking doctorates.

University admissions are continuing and in this second phase include the institutions of Santiago de Cuba, Holgiín, Granma, Las Tunas, Villa Clara and Pinar del Rio, with the third phase taking place in Havana.

The process integrates complimentary specialties, resulting in better prepared future professionals.

The unification of universities of the Higher Education Ministry with those of the Teaching Sciences and of Sports and Physical Education, permits work of a multi and trans-disciplinary focus.

The Minister announced that from the academic year 2016-17 onwards, a series of further changes, including the reduction of various university courses to four years and a pre-requisite standard of English for university admission, will be progressively implemented.

Regular face-to-face education and distance learning will also be changed, with efforts made to update technology platforms to enhance access to the content of the courses and to bring the modalities up to speed with modern times.

New possibilities to stimulate the uptake of teaching careers are planned, including an offer to basic secondary level students to
undertake high school courses affiliated with universities in order to pass directly into these careers.

Alarcon emphasized that work was underway for the future implementation of new non-professional higher education modalities for a range of the nation's economic sectors.

The Minister assured that even though a lot still remains to be changed and done, the Cuban higher education system will maintain the objective of the admission of those who wish to undertake studies at university level. / By Nuriem de Armas - PL.

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