Fall Symposium

Cuba: Education and Globalism in a socialist context

When: 26 - 27 September 2018

Hotel: Courtyard Washington Embassy Row

Registration Fee: $199 

The participants of AACRAO’s February 2018 research trip to Cuba found a country with a deep commitment to education as the heart of a nation’s social, political and economic life. Free public education for all is central to the culture. Since 1959, almost 1.5 million Cuban professionals have graduated from 50 universities and 126 municipal colleges, making Cuba the country in Latin America and the Caribbean with the highest number of college graduates, and the highest college enrollment rate. In addition, 60,000 foreigners from 129 countries have graduated from different Cuban universities, including 34,000 doctors.

The US Education system is undergoing tremendous social pressure to increase degree attainment, renew its connection to workforce development and consider trends such as free community college.  The intentionality with which Cuban society approaches the topic of education has lessons to be shared. Cuba is beginning to see both the positive and negative impacts of the growth of tourism as an economic and social driver, highlighting the need to balance community needs, workforce planning and individual desires for economic success. 

There is much we can learn from each other.  

Symposium Day 1 - Advocacy & Education on Capitol Hill

Space Limited. RSVP Required for Senate access and badging

Higher Education & Workforce Development: Cuba, a Case Study

Join AACRAO for a unique opportunity on Capitol Hill and attend a Congressional briefing in the Capitol.

Where: Capitol Hill, S115,

When: 3:00-4:30pm

NOTE: Enter through U.S. Capitol North Door: Members, Staff & Business Entrance.  Arrive at 2:30 to allow for security and check in.  Program will begin at 3:00 pm


After 60 years of socialist governing, how does the US system compare with that of Cuba?

The first trip of its kind in nearly 50 years, participants in a February 2018 research trip to Cuba found a country with a deep commitment to education as the heart of a nation’s social, political and economic life. Considering the current conversations surrounding the connection of post-secondary education and career and workforce outcomes here in the United States, this briefing will compare the US and Cuban systems, especially focusing on areas concerning the collaborative aspects of education and workforce development.

Through its EDGE program, AACRAO is the leading comparative international education organization for the US, providing placement guidance for foreign educated students and professionals for higher education and USCIS employment visa applications. The last published research of its kind was in 1971.  A lot has changed; there is much we can learn from each other.


Christopher Adams, Assistant Director, Office of International Services, Indiana University
Patrick Leahy, Senior International Credential Analyst, Michigan State University
Aleks Morawski, Director of Evaluation Services,Foreign Credits Inc.

Melanie Gottlieb, Deputy Director, AACRAO


Symposium Day 2 - At the Courtyard Embassy Row

Cuba: Education and Globalism in the Socialist Context*

Hear the most recent research on Cuban Education and further explore three emergent themes from the AACRAO Cuba Project, with presentations from trip participants and other professional experts on:

  • The pathways from secondary to post-secondary education and factors of student choice
  • The intersection of planned workforce development, economy, and globalization
  • Domestic and international educational mobility
*Based on 2017 education research conducted by AACRAO, with the support of TAICEP, during The Cuba Project.