Representatives from Harvard University traveled to Havana last weekend to sign a memorandum of understanding with the Cuban Ministry of Higher Education. The agreement signals renewed commitment between Harvard’s 12 Schools and the ministry to support faculty and student research and study in Cuba.
The memorandum also enables expanded opportunities for potential collaborative research and cooperation between Harvard and Cuban universities, such as short courses, internships, research visits, publication of research articles, and academic workshops and conferences. The agreement encourages Cuban students to apply for admission to Harvard and programs through normal channels.
The academic partnership was signed Saturday by Mark C. Elliott, vice provost of international affairs at Harvard, and Aurora Fernández, vice minister of higher education in Cuba. Harvard faculty and staff responsible for organizing and preparing for these activities and present at the ceremony at the Hotel Nacional were Alejandro de la Fuente, Robert Woods Bliss Professor of Latin-American History and Economics and professor of African and African American Studies and of history; Jorge I. Domínguez, Antonio Madero Professor for the Study of Mexico in the Department of Government; and Erin E. Goodman, associate director of academic programs at the David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies (DRCLAS).
The agreement designates the Rockefeller Center as the coordinating body for joint activities. The Cuba Studies Program at DRCLAS, co-chaired by de la Fuente and Domínguez, has supported Cuba-related research and study since its creation in 1999. The program regularly hosts visiting scholars from Cuba and runs a regular seminar series in Cambridge. Since 2007, the center has run a study-abroad program in Cuba in the fall semester in collaboration with the Universidad de la Habana.
You can read more about the activities of the Cuba Studies Program here.