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Queen Mary strengthens links in Latin America

Senior academics from Queen Mary University of London’s School of Law visited Chile, Uruguay, Argentina and Colombia from 20-29 April to meet with alumni, offer holders, funding partners and prospective partner institutions.


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Queen Mary visited Santiago as part of a nine-day trip to Latin America
Queen Mary visited Santiago as part of a nine-day trip to Latin America

Four alumni receptions were held in Santiago, Buenos Aires, Montevideo and Bogotá over four consecutive evenings. In Montevideo, Queen Mary hosted its first ever joint alumni and offer holders reception.

“A privilege to meet with our alumni”

Commenting on the receptions, Professor Valsamis Mitsilegas, Head of the Department of Law and Academic Lead for Internationalisation at Queen Mary, said: “It was a privilege to meet with our alumni, and I was thoroughly impressed by the level of the students and their commitment to and enthusiasm for Queen Mary.”

The Montevideo reception was mainly attended by Law graduates. Santiago Theoduloz, who completed his Master of Laws (LLM) in 2016-17 and attended the reception, said: “The LLM programme was a fantastic way to enhance my knowledge of the discipline in an international environment, which I have now brought back to my home country.

“I highly recommend the Queen Mary LLM to lawyers in Uruguay. It was an experience that opened up many opportunities for me, and it was incredible to meet and become friends with lawyers from all over the world. I was able to learn from the best practitioners and academics in the arbitration field, and at the same time enjoy of living in the great city of London. The LLM programme is challenging and designed for lawyers who want to continue their legal education at a prestigious university like Queen Mary, ranked as the best law school in London."

"The event that took place at Montevideo and all Queen Mary alumni events are an opportunity for the alumni and prospective students to get to know one another, and I am confident that Queen Mary’s alumni community in Uruguay will continue to grow. It is an honour for us that Professor Mitsilegas travelled to Uruguay to visit us and that the university interests itself so much in our country.”

Scholarships meetings

In Colombia, the delegation met with COLFUTURO, a non-profit foundation that financially supports Colombian citizens to access high-quality postgraduate study programmes abroad. COLFUTURO will visit Queen Mary on 10 May to extend its existing agreement, meaning that Colombian Masters students can now benefit from COLFUTURO funding across all Queen Mary faculties.

In Chile, the delegation met with the country’s largest scholarships provider, CONICYT, where 49 per cent of awardees undertake scholarships at UK universities.

The International Office also attended a two-day exhibition in Santiago, meeting offer holders for 2018 and prospective students for 2019 entry.

Building networks

The delegation met with prospective partner institutions in all four countries to discuss potential exchange programmes and networks in the fields of criminal justice and immigration reform. This included a visit to PUC de los Andes in Chile, which has the leading law school in South America. Following the visit, Queen Mary hopes to establish a formal partnership focused on student exchange, programme development, and PhD and staff mobility.

In Montevideo, Professor Mitsilegas met with the British Ambassador to Uruguay. “Uruguay is re-joining the UN Human Rights Council, so it was extremely valuable to discuss this with the Ambassador, and the ways in which UK universities can help to shape policy”, he said. He added: “I believe that the most valuable areas will be in human rights, criminal justice and immigration law. The Ambassador has also very kindly offered the Residence as a platform for future Queen Mary events in Montevideo, so we very much look forward to returning to the city.”

Studying an LLM in London

Lee Wildman, Head of International Student Recruitment at Queen Mary, delivered a talk at Universidad Externado in Colombia for around 40 prospective Law students about the opportunities to study an LLM in London. He was joined by Maximillian Rodriguez, who graduated from Queen Mary’s Centre for Commercial Law Studies in 2003 and now divides his time between teaching at Externado and being a partner in a Colombian law firm.

In Argentina, Queen Mary’s School of Law held a joint conference at Universidad Torcuato di Tella from 23-24 April that focused on international economic law, international criminal law, human rights and democracy and law, and global health and bioethics.

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