Visit from Cuba to enhance internationalization

A delegation from The University of Havana visited UiS to discuss Norwegian/Cuban conference and how to increase the numbers of Norwegian exchange students to Cuba and vice versa.

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Gruppebilde av fire gjester fra University of Havana og to UiS-ansatte utenfor en bygning på campus på UiS
From the left: Angela Peña, Heidi Lie Eriksen, Dayana Proenza, Osnaide Izquierdo, Irina Garcia Ojalvo and Siv Oltedal.

“It is nice to have these moments of sharing together,” Angela Peña says.

Along with Osnaide Izquierdo, Dayana Proenza and Irina Garcia Ojalvo, Peña met with Professor Siv Oltedal and Associate Professor In Qualification Heidi Lie Eriksen, project leader of Cuban and Nordic Welfare, during their ten days long stay in Stavanger.

The agenda was to further plan a conference in Cuba in 2023 and develop the exchange agreement between the two parties.

“It is important that Norwegian students come to Cuba. We must make it easier for them to take the leap,” Izquierdo says.

Eriksen believes it is beneficial to enhance the internationalization between Norway and Cuba.

“Social work is originally an international field. The students going to Cuba, get the chance to learn how things work other places and within other systems. In Cuba, there are great social issues that give our students the possibility to gain a different understanding of the social work field and help them see things differently to shift their gaze from what is being done in Norway,” she says.    

Conference to connect across boarders

The conference will be held 27th November – 1st of December 2023 in Havana and is a collaboration between The department of social studies at UiS and The Department of Sociology at The University of Havana. The conference theme will be “Comparative Welfare. Cuban and Nordic Welfare: People`s experience of the welfare system.” 

“Researchers from Norway, Cuba and other countries get the chance to meet, exchange experiences and gain insight in knowledge, ways of thinking and findings that not necessarily are easy to access otherwise. Hopefully it can generate exciting perspectives and co-operations,” Eriksen says.

The early-bird registration deadline for the conference is 15th January 2023 and regular registration deadline is 15th May 2023. More information about the conference will be published on

UiS contributes with podcast equipment

In addition to discuss the conference and ways of improving the exchange situation between the two universities, the representants from Cuba learned how to make podcasts during their visit.

“It is the first time I have used this, and it is very interesting,” says Proenza.

UiS will deliver podcast equipment to The University of Havana, in order for their academic staff to make podcasts for the lectures.  

“This will be very useful, and it is a great possibility for us to improve our teaching,” says Izquierdo.

Peña adds: “The students are going to like this. Sometimes it is not that easy to read, being given the opportunity to listen instead might be easier. Now, I allow the students to record the lectures themselves, but it will be nice to make it more formal,” she says.

Text and photo: Live Kolstad Kvalsvik