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Nine US and four Catalan universities aim to promote international masters programmes together

The Consortium for Advanced Studies of Barcelona (CASB), made up of 9 of the most important universities from the United States and 4 Catalan public universities from Barcelona, is considering implementing international masters degree programmes and summer courses together. 300 American students have already come to Catalonia to study through the CASB. According to the American universities, the Catalan language is not an obstacle but an added value to the cultural and social experience of studying in Barcelona.

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09 April 2013 05:03 PM

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ACN / Clara Roig

Barcelona (ACN) - For five years, the Consortium for Advanced Studies of Barcelona (CASB), formed by nine universities from the United States and four Catalan centres, has been working to encourage the exchange of students, scholars and public researchers between the different centres. Although so far those who have most benefited from the programme have been the 300 American students who have come to Catalonia to study, the CASB is thinking about other initiatives such as international masters degrees in both countries as well as summer courses. The flow of researchers from Catalonia to the United States has been very active, and this is another issue CASB wants to promote without leading to a brain-drain. According to the American universities, the Catalan language is not an obstacle but an added value to the cultural and social experience of studying in Barcelona.


CASB unites representatives from the Universitat de Barcelona, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Universitat Politècnica and Universitat Pompeu Fabra, as well as the north-American universities of Brown, Chicago, Northwestern, Stanford, Columbia, Cornell, Duke, Harvard and Princeton.

The president of CASB, Kendall W. Brostuen from Brown University, said that despite the two systems being very different, there is \u201Cgood will\u201D on both sides to go forward and hopes more exchanges with professors should be involved. However, Brostuen is more reticent about joining degrees. On this subject, the Deputy Vice-Chancellor of International Policy at the Universitat de Barcelona, Maria Castejón, talked about the possibility of creating degrees which could be run partly in Barcelona and partly in the US, underlining that all universities are \u201Cflexible\u201D. Brostuen thinks that researchers\u2019 mobility is very important nowadays, and this should not entail a brain-drain.

Catalan language, an added value

The nine North American universities agree that the Catalan language is an added value to the exchange experience, and the interest of American students to come to Barcelona is increasing more than ever. The similitude between Spanish and Catalan makes it easy for foreign students to learn the Catalan language.

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  • A student hall at UPC's Castelldefels Campus (by B. Cazorla)

  • A student hall at UPC's Castelldefels Campus (by B. Cazorla)