AMERICA/DOMINICAN REPUBLIC - Birth of the Association of Catholic Universities, for a greater presence of the Church in society

Wednesday, 11 January 2023 university   episcopal conferences   education  

Santo Domingo (Agenzia Fides) - Six Catholic universities and three specialized institutes of higher education in the Dominican Republic founded Aduca, "Asociación Dominicana de Universidades Católicas e Institutos Especializados Católicos". The non-profit association brings together higher education institutions operating in this Latin American country and part of the Catholic Church, represented by their respective Rectors.
The principles that govern Aduca, reports the note from the Episcopal Conference sent to Fides, are those of a Catholic university, that is, being an academic community that contributes to the protection and development of human dignity and cultural heritage, through research, education and community services. Likewise, it represents a space for debate and reflection on common problems in the field of Dominican higher education, science, research and technology.
The Constitutive and Elective Assembly of Aduca was held on November 30, 2022 and in recent days the members of the first executive council took the oath of office, during a meeting with the Dominican bishops. "It is a satisfaction to be able to do what we are doing now, because the greater presence of the Church in society is a need of society itself", said the President of the Dominican Episcopal Conference (CED), Monsignor Freddy Breton.
After being sworn in as President of Aduca, the rector of the Pontificia Universidad Católica Madre y Maestra (PUCMM), Father Secilio Espinal, spoke about the possibilities of contributing to the quality and strengthening of the higher education system and of the challenges that this institution will have to meet. "A lot of things will be asked of us by the higher education system, society and public opinion, on the different issues," he said in his speech, "which implies a lot of unity between the rectors and the Board of Directors in order to pronounce, when necessary, consensual opinions drawn up with great discernment". He also stressed that this act formalizes the work that the member institutions of Aduca have carried out jointly, and urged them to continue working with even more unity to meet the challenges of the country, "according to research and science, but also faith and reason". Finally, he thanked the bishops for their support.
Among the other objectives of Aduca are the development of joint research projects and the promotion of the exchange of experiences and collaborators between its member institutions and with national and international organizations, such as the Organization of Catholic Universities of Latin America and the Caribbean (ODUCAL) and the International Federation of Catholic Universities (IFCU).
According to information collected by Fides, the history of university education in the Dominican Republic begins in 1510, when Dominican missionaries arrived on the island and founded the first center for higher studies in Santo Domingo. Given the great cultural activity that took place there, on October 28, 1538, Pope Paul III erected it as a university, still active today under the name of Universidad Católica Santo Domingo (UCSD), whose headquarters is located in Santo Domingo and has several branches and sub-offices throughout the country. The capital is home to most of the universities and postgraduate institutes in the Dominican Republic. (SL) (Agenzia Fides, 11/1/2023)