Structures of Solidarity in Spanish Universities: The Characterization of a Key Agent in Development Education

  • Authors:
    Mª Luz Ortega, Antonio Sianes, Mª Rosa Cordón
    The Journal of the World Universities Forum, volume 6, issue 1
    Year: 2013


The first documents of the Spanish Development Cooperation system described Development Education as “a set of actions that public authorities perform, directly or in collaboration with NGOs and others in ODA, in order to promote activities that aim to improve society’s perception of the problems facing developing countries, and help to encourage solidarity and cooperation with them”. Emitted in 2007, the “Development Education Strategy for Spanish Cooperation” took that definition of Development Education even further, referring to it as a set of actions in “an ongoing educational process”. According to this, the strategy considers the University to be a main agent in Development Education, not just in the traditional fields of research and postgraduate education, but in the whole process of training students in values, knowledge, skills and mentality. To accompany students in this educational process, Spanish universities have set up different kinds of structures (associations, foundations, etc.) linked to the University. These are what the authors of this article refer to as “structures of solidarity”. In the last ten years, over 90 structures of solidarity have emerged within the 72 Spanish universities. The aim of this paper is to provide an initial description of their salient features.

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