VILLA—Victoria Institute for Links with Latin America
VILLA is a cross-disciplinary institute aiming to encourage Victoria University’s expanding links with academics, diplomats and policy makers in Latin America.
VILLA was established in 2008, prompted by:
- Rapidly increasing research interest in Latin America a growing number of student exchange agreements with the region
- The blossoming of New Zealand-Latin American political, economic and cultural relationships in recent years
- A call from Latin American ambassadors for an entity in Wellington that addressed their educational and academic needs
The institute acts as a virtual node for interactions across all faculties at the University with counterparts and interested parties in New Zealand and Latin America. It is hoped particularly that these interactions will stimulate collaborative research, not only on topics relating to New Zealand-Latin American relations and in Latin American studies, but across all disciplines and programmes with an interest in working in the continent.
To facilitate the study and realisation of political, economic, cultural and educational relations between VUW and Latin America.
What does Villa do?
- Organises an annual international conference together with occasional seminars and symposia to raise the profile of Victoria’s engagement with Latin America, including presentations by Victoria VILLA associated staff outside of the university.
- Broadens and deepens networks within Victoria concerned with studies in, on and/or with Latin America and seeks to expand these networks beyond Victoria where appropriate. Engages in and encourages research on, in and/or with Latin America through the research associate network and beyond. Stimulates, encourages and disseminates Latin American studies within the University. Produces PBRF linked outputs based on this research and on the annual conference.
- Encourages the recruitment of Latin American postgraduate and undergraduate students, as well as other postgraduate students that wish to study in, on and/or with Latin America. Informally assists interested students to find a department/programme for their research.
- Promotes the VicOE in Latin America and helps maintain and potentially expand links with universities there.
- Promotes the exchange of faculty between Victoria and Latin American universities during sabbaticals and other such activities.
- Applies for external funding in order to fulfil the broader objectives of VILLA, and expands its research and networks in order to stimulate PBRF related outputs.
- Liaises with the embassies of the Latin American countries and provides support where appropriate for activities and functions which fulfil the goals of VILLA.
- Provides a link between Victoria and non-academic institutions (such as business fora, NGOs etc) that are concerned with issues in Latin America—especially where this stimulates research.