Tuesday, January 25, 2011

161. Cuba Hosting University Students from More than 70 Countries

By Roberto Miguel Torres Barbán, Granma International, January 21, 2011

African Medical Students in Cuba

Gil Ramón González, deputy minister of Higher Education (MES), reported that scholarship students from more than 70 countries are studying in Cuba, almost all of them in degree programs at university level.

At a press conference which took place at MES headquarters, González noted that currently, more than 78,000 Cuban and foreign students are living in student resident halls attached to 63 universities.

From the triumph of the Revolution to the end of the 2009-2010 school year, close to 1,082,000 university students have graduated in Cuba thanks to the creation of a scholarship plan for these centers, he stated.

That project was initiated at University of Havana on November 7, 1960, recalled Gerardo Emilio Chong, one of its founders, who added that the initiative gave access to that institution to young people from different regions and social classes.

Engineering, architecture and medical students were the beneficiaries of that program encouraged by Comandante en Jefe Fidel Castro, who personally attended the inauguration of the first university residence hall.

This past January 19, an event celebrating the 50th anniversary of the University Scholarship Movement took place in the Alma Magna of the University of Havana (UH), as Norma Barros, its vice rector, reported.

One of the principal strengths of the project at the present time is that residence halls have been built to provide space for debates, study and discussion about current Cuban realities, and work in the community is being fostered.

However, shortcomings in these facilities include their overuse, the result of a continued explosive growth in the student population, despite maintenance and repair works.

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