Global education experts from different countries share experiences to boost internationalization opportunities online.
By Susan Irais | CONECTA National News Desk - 01/23/2024 Photo Daniela Iturbe

How does online learning enrich universities? How can we boost the opportunities for online internationalization?

These were the questions answered by Diego Quiroga, Rector of Universidad San Francisco de Quito; and Thomas Schneider, Chief Executive of the Association of Pacific Rim Universities (APRU), during Tec de Monterrey’s IFE Conference 2024.

The conversation was moderated by Tecnológico de Monterrey’s Vice Rector for Internationalization, José Manuel Páez.

These specialists were part of the Global Learning: Sharing the Vision for Online Internationalization panel, where they shared their experiences of their respective universities and consortiums.


Thomas Schneider, Diego Quiroga, and José Páez during the IFE Conference.
Panel global learning durante IFE Conference

What online education is and when to use it

Global collaboration is not about uploading a class online; it’s about doing something together, about working in multicultural teams,” explains José Manuel Páez Borrallo.

This learning option enables people from different countries to come together at a low cost, but with the same benefit as a face-to-face stay: working in multicultural teams.

According to Thomas Schneider, some of the benefits of online education include:

  1. Enabling greater capacity
  2. Efficiency, flexibility of scheduling
  3. Reducing the cost for students (this also lowers carbon emissions because they don’t take planes)
  4. Multilateralism: bypassing country tensions
  5. Boosting internationalization opportunities

According to Diego Quiroga, this should be used when it has an added value, such as when it is related to international collaboration.


“Global collaboration is not about uploading a class online; it’s about doing something together and in multicultural teams.”- José Manuel Páez


It should also focus on solving the world’s most important problems, such as the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for global health, water scarcity, sustainable cities, clean energy, and sustainability.

Quiroga cited two formats that have worked in Quito, Ecuador: completely online and hybrid.

  • Completely online: although teams work 100% online, solutions are applied in real environments at different companies.
  • Hybrid: mixes online classes and face-to-face ones, where people who interact remotely for most of the course meet face-to-face at a strategic moment.


Participants on the Global Learning keynote panel.
Global learning IFE Conference

Boosting online internationalization opportunities

According to the panelists, although the best way to promote online education is through international partnerships, they insist that you need to know your partner in depth before entering into one to make the most of it.

For example, Tec de Monterrey and Universidad de San Francisco de Quito are members of APRU, an association of 60 universities, 200,000 professors, and 20 million students.

So far, APRU has developed more than 300 courses for 14,000 students in more than 100 universities.

Thomas Schneider advises that online education should be included on syllabuses to boost it further.


“The IFE Conference is a festival to celebrate ideas, learn, connect, and inspire.” - Juan Pablo Murra


It’s also important to provide the appropriate tools to ensure quality. Some of the steps he recommends to promote Global Learning are as follows:

  • Join consortiums with different universities around the world.
  • Train professors and make sure they have the right platform.
  • Increase the number of English language courses to enable students to participate in multicultural classes.
  • Leverage this type of learning to fund research, with each university providing part of the funding and including students in the research.
  • Complement online and face-to-face classroom experiences, so that both supplement each other.
  • Create common platforms (standardize) for asynchronous experiences.
  • Collaborate more in Latin America and in African and Asian countries, which share similar problems.



About IFE Conference 2024

More than 3,200 people registered for the 10th edition of the IFE Conference, formerly known as the International Conference on Educational Innovation (CIIE), entitled Education in the Age of Artificial Intelligence.

José Escamilla, associate director of the Institute for the Future of Education, noted that Artificial Intelligence has been an important topic in the world of work and education.

“The world of education is impacted twice as much because the future of the workplace is changing, and we have to change what we teach in universities so that people are prepared.

“Artificial intelligence transforms education and the way we learn; it presents us with very important challenges that we are going to address at the conference,” he says.

During the event, activities will focus on the challenges and opportunities for education and the workplace in the context of advances in artificial intelligence.

The event will be held from January 23 to 25 in a hybrid format. 169 institutions from 30 countries will take part. The face-to-face part will be held at the Monterrey campus.

According to the Tec’s Rector for Higher Education, the Institute for the Future of Education’s annual event, organized by the IFE, is a space that aims to address the challenges of education, such as access, equity, new technology, and educational models.

“The IFE Conference is a festival to celebrate ideas, learn, connect, and inspire,” says Murra.






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