Education in the field of sustainable tourism and ecology in Norway and Guatemala

Pictures from Guatemala
Pictures from Guatemala

The University of South-Eastern Norway and Universidad del Valle de Guatemala work together to foster graduate student mobility and academic development in the field of higher education in each country within the field of sustainable tourism, culture and ecology, with funding support through the NORPART programme for 5 years.

About the project

The partner institution in Guatemala is Universidad del Valle de Guatemala (UVG), which is a private institution located in Guatemala City with around 3000 students. UVG is one of the most prestigious universities in Guatemala. In Latin-America in general there is a positive trend in terms of economic development. However, this situation is not applicable to Guatemala. The country’s economy is still based on agriculture and export of raw materials, and the income distribution is very skewed (2% own 80% of the land). Poverty is high and the rate of people with higher education is in general low and especially among the indigenous population. In Guatemala 60% of the population is indigenous (majority Maya). For Guatemala in general it is therefore essential to strengthen international cooperation in higher education, and in the project we put high emphasis and priority on creating mobility opportunities for indigenous students. UVG already, as one of the few universities in Guatemala, works with scholarships that grant youth from indigenous and low income families access to higher education at their institution.

The project is based on a long-term institutional and academic cooperation, it is well planned and anchored in strategies and priorities at both institutions, and with a strong management team. A number of concrete results are outlined, and in total more than 55% of the budget is dedicated student mobility activities. The remaining funds are allocated to activities necessary to create an efficient framework for the mobility. With its interdisciplinary and cross-sectoral cooperation both within and between the institutions and with partner organizations, the cooperation will have a major benefit for the development of the fields, institutions and persons involved.

Project Goals

In accordance with the priorities of the NORPART program, the overall aim of this project is to increase the relevance and quality of higher education in the cooperating countries within the field of sustainable tourism and ecology.

The project therefor has three goals, which are strongly interlinked. The first goal is to enhance student mobility between Guatemala and Norway at Masters and Ph.D. level, and therefore through Ph.D. collaboration, student exchange and study visits, field work, internship or work placement and summer schools between the two institutions. In order to cater for increased student mobility UVG and USN need to work with adjusting and synchronizing their curriculum and enhance academic and internationalization capacity according to international standards.

The second and third goals are therefore: to foster academic development at UVG and USN through mobility, curriculum development, and academic capacity building; and to strengthen the internationalization processes at UVG and USN through mobility, training for trainers, and administrative capacity building.


The project is financed by NORPART  (Norwegian Partnership Programme for Global Academic Cooperation) in the period 2016-2021, supporting academic partnerships and student mobility with an emphasis on Master and PhD level between the two partner institutions in Norway and Guatemala.

Contact persons at USN