The Business Year

Dr. Rolando M. Guzman

Rector, Instituto Tecnológico de Santo Domingo (INTEC)

Dr. Radhames Mejia

Rector, Universidad APEC (UNAPEC)

What values does your university promote that set it apart from other institutions? ROLANDO M. GUZMAN We are especially committed to a moral obligation to contribute to the development of […]

What values does your university promote that set it apart from other institutions?

ROLANDO M. GUZMAN We are especially committed to a moral obligation to contribute to the development of the Dominican Republic, not only through our scientific activity, but also through the promotion of solidarity and social responsibility. We do not see INTEC as just an educational institution; we think of INTEC as a development machine, which is a different approach.

RADHAMES MEJIA UNAPEC’s nature is rather different than the rest of higher education institutions in this country; it was established by a group of businessmen without profit motive, who aimed at contributing to the social and economic development of the Dominican Republic. Since we have clear, business-oriented origins, we have always been a pioneering institution in terms of aligning the university and the private sector. In this area, we are the only institution that has taken the risk of undergoing an international certification and recognition process; an assessment and monitoring team from a US-based agency certifies our courses and programs.

What is the profile of your student base?

RMG INTEC’s students differ notably from the average student in the Dominican Republic, because we have implemented a strict selection process. That being said, we welcome students of any background. In some sense, this is a challenging institution, but at the same time it provides a friendly environment for any dedicated individual. We are a technological institution, which has strong programs in Engineering, Health, Business, the Humanities, and Basic Sciences. That is not a contradiction, but an opportunity for complementary relations. Engineering, for example, is a perfect complement to health as a discipline, and our mathematics program complements our engineering courses. Our academic structure is well synergized.

RM Overall, our students come from the middle- and mid-low social classes, and that has been a characteristic feature of our institution since our first day, because we never favored elitism. We always maintain tuition fees that make our courses accessible to these people, but, at the same time, our courses are flexible for students, because we know that many of them have to reconcile work and study. In this context, we have, over the years, developed a very extensive and strong program of scholarships and financial support for our students. For example, the businessmen that established UNAPEC, in their efforts to make higher education more accessible in the country, also set up a credit foundation for students—an institution that provides funding support to those who cannot afford tuition fees.

Can you tell us about your partnerships with established international institutions?

RMG We have strong partnerships with many of the most prestigious universities in the US, Europe, and Latin America. The basis for these partnerships is the quality of the education we provide, and our determination to practice internalization is a cornerstone of our institutional strategy. This also enables us to attract the best international students. The figures are still low, between 2% and 3% of INTEC’s population, but this will continue to increase.

How would you assess the development of the higher education system in the Dominican Republic?

RM For the first time in the country’s history, the government allocates 4% of national GDP to primary and secondary education when, traditionally, it had only reached 2%. UNAPEC is an active player in this entire process, not only regarding higher education, and we are vocal members of a nationwide association and organization that promotes higher education standards in the Dominican Republic.

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