The International University in Latin America
One of the main characteristics of the era in which we live in today is that ordinary people in addition to world wide scholarly and cultural institutions have become interconnected due to what is known as the era of communication and globalization. These connections have been made possible by the tremendous capabilities of modern technology, in ways that no human being could have ever dreamt of a few decades ago.
It is evident that one of the benefits of these connections is that they give us the opportunity to become better acquainted with each other’s ideas as well as help us understand the characteristics, ideas, ideologies and civilizations of others. In turn this should help alleviate the conflict and tension that afflicts our world today; and has engulfed some parts of the world in disasters which resulted in misery and suffering all over the world. Moreover, The concept of mutual influence between civilizations and cultures is an ideological issue that man has engaged in since he first developed a sense of historical relevance.
The issue of globalization, which first appeared at the end of the nineteenth century, has now taken on new dimensions. as result of the events of September 11, 2001. This event shifted the debate about mutual influence between civilizations to the clash between them from an ideological issue to a real life one.
The whole world – including all ideologies has experienced the global earthquake that was triggered by the events of that day. One of the basic lessons that these events revealed is that it is imperative to have a deep and all-inclusive understanding of civilizations and cultures. For this understanding of civilization and culture to materialize, it has to be developed within an educational matrix that comprehensively covers the subject of understanding, namely civilization and culture; the tools of expression, namely languages; and the technological element embodied in the means of communication and mass media. This was the inspiring moment and motivation behind the establishment of the International University. The teaching process in the university is shouldered by professors who are open-minded, far-sighted and have sincere devotion to create scholarly, cultural, and civilizational bonds between nations and people in a way that serves humanity and mitigate some of the pain, suffering, and injustice that have befallen our world as a result of ignorance, intolerance, and mistaken judgments of others’ beliefs.
This reflects the great importance of this project whose main goal is to be an enlightening revival within a framework of human relationships governed by justice, objectivity, and respect for privacy.
It is hoped that the university will assume such a dynamic role through benefiting from the tremendous technological achievements to which Allah, the Almighty, guided the human mind to discover and utilize in the service of noble objectives. Being a beacon of academic revitalization in today’s world, the International University in Latin America is looking forward to getting the support of other educational and official institutions.
Why Latin America?
Today we read or hear of schools and universities on the two continents o f Australia and the Americas contributing substantially to the preservation of the Eastern identity and its uniqueness. However, despite the importance of Latin America, it has not yet achieved its required share of attention regarding this issue because it has not addressed it effectively.
The importance of Latin America establishing effective cultural institutions will accomplish a number of strategic and valuable goals. First, on a cultural level it will provide an avenue to recapture through research, teach and disseminate the rich heritage to 2 million Arabs and Muslims who are unaware or lack authentic information about their own heritage.
The second point is that any institution which concentrates on higher education must develop a curriculum that include academic and cultural seminars. These seminars will enable the institutions to act as an ambassador on behalf of the Arab and Muslim culture to Latin America countries. (It should be noted that a skilled university professor plays an important role in dissemination of important information related to scientific, historic and cultural aspects of the Arab and Islamic societies. This role helps introduce and give people and decision making institutions information and issues pertaining to the Arab and Islamic Nations.
In addition it must be noted that the majority of the Spanish speaking people of the world know nothing about Arabic and Islamic culture; and if they do it might be a biased or distorted image. They are not aware of the Arabic and Islamic influence on their own culture.
It is important to note that it is equally important to utilize academic institutions to create warm relationships with people and governments of Latin American countries. This will have an impact on economic relationships because the universities will become a channel for energizing socio-economic relationships between Arab and Muslim countries and Latin America. Two reasons make this especially true:
1st. Latin America is considered a first rate commercial continent.
2nd. The Arab and Muslim communities in these countries have developed their own economic/business activities that can eventually open cross cultural communication.
Thus our decision to establish the main center of learning in the Republic o f Panama was due to its strategic location in between Central and South America; and its dynamic Arab and Muslim community with its unique economic and social status.
The International University seeks assistants from all governmental and nongovernmental institutions to accomplish the goal of maintaining the rights of Arabs and Muslims and establish peace for all humanity.
Establishment of the International University (UIAL)
The International University in Latin America is an independent institution of learning that was established in the Republic of Panama’s second largest city, Colo?n in the year 2003 (law number 32 in 1927).
UIAL enjoys the official recognition and licensing of the Government of Panama Republic for all its academic, educational and scientific activities, inside and outside the Republic of Panama.
All UIAL study programs are scientifically and academically accredited by the Ministry of Higher Education of the Republic of Panama.
Now, new UIAL branch campuses are being established in Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, and Qatar.
Aims and Goals
UIAL seeks to achieve a number of goals:
* To build bridges of civilized, positive interaction between the Arab Islamic culture and other cultures and civilizations, and to accentuate the role of the Arab, Islamic culture in the march towards human advancement.
* To develop knowledge in the different walks and to stress the importance of adopting the methodology of academic thinking and paying attention to the academic and cultural structure of students.
* To contribute towards the development of the educational process and making the best use of the tremendous riches in the world of information technology and telecommunication.
* To pay attention to the development of the academic skills and talents of the university student by means of research and training programs as well as university activities.
* To create a link between the program of study and social issues by writing papers related to issues that are important to societies.
* To co-ordinate and co-operate with other universities and academic and cultural organizations and institutions.
Privileges of Study at UIAL
Study at UIAL offers a unique opportunity for attaining distinctive academic and scientific knowledge, therefore, UIAL gives great care for realizing the following points:
* Study programs are flexible to suit circumstances of all students, without being tied up to hard rules and stiff schedules that curb their gearing capabilities, as is the case with the traditional educational institutions.
* Providing a highly qualified staff of faculty members who supervise students and follow up their study plans and academic attainments.
* Ensuring constant updating and developing curricula to keep in pace with the high speed of the e-learning.
* Providing knowledge in a way that suits all needs of all students, regardless of their home countries or residency, whether inside or outside Latin America, because the focus is on the necessary and qualitative aspects of learning.
* Providing a highly professional cadre of administrators who constantly are in touch with the teaching staff to make the educational process effective, fruitful and benefiting to all students.
* Affordability of tuition fees for all incomes of students, which makes highly standardized education available and accessible to most students all over the world.
A unique privilege of providing UIAL students with recommendation letters:
Graduated UIAL students get a referential code number of a recommendation letter that would be addressed to any institution that requires it directly from UIAL via international mail to that institution, in case the student needs it for getting a job or a position there. This kind of service is intended as a means of constant support that links UIAL with its students even in their careers and beyond graduation.
Other unique privileges:
* Students at final year of high school could join UIAL and present their diploma within one year from registration with UIAL.
* Students who finished 75% of their university requirements could proceed to join higher studies, and present B.A. degree within one year.
* Students who wish to study in parallel to Al-Azhar University study program, could do so after passing some qualifying subjects in Islamic and Arabic sciences.
* Beside the university degrees’ program, UIAL provides an extramural study program, which offers students a free choice of one subject or more, without being tied up to the regular courses of studies. After passing successfully the required exam of this/these subject(s), the student is given a certificate showing that by UIAL.
No academic requirements are needed for this program.