Supported with funds provided by the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) the Programme ‘Dialogue on Innovative Higher Education Strategies’ (DIES) aims to strengthen higher education management capacities in developing countries. DIES which is jointly coordinated by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) and the German Rectors’ Conference (HRK) comprises a variety of modular, practice-oriented training opportunities for management-level professionals from universities in different regions of the world.
One of the very successful DIES courses is the International Deans’ Course Latin America (IDC LA) targeting newly elected deans and vice- deans from universities in Spanish-speaking Latin America. Since its launch in 2012, the IDC LA – implemented in a partnership of the Saarland University (Germany) and the University of Alicante (Spain) – has enhanced the management skills of about 200 participants from 17 different Latin American countries. It deals with the various dimensions of faculty management, such as strategic planning, human resources management, financial management and internationalisation to equip the participants with the necessary managerial skills for their jobs. The future generation of deans needs to acquire the necessary competences to deal with the effective management of human resources or position the faculty in an increasingly competitive higher education market both at national and institutional level or even scarce financial resources. Undiminished demand of the course as well as the annual feedback of participants, trainers and organisers reveal that the selected topics remain relevant and address current higher education management needs in Latin America.