International Relations


University Development Cooperation (CUD) is understood as the activities carried out by the university community aimed at social transformation, in favour of peace, equity, human development and environmental sustainability in the world, a transformation in which institutional and academic strengthening plays an important role.

The CUD is the expression of the solidarity and commitment of the university, helping to create a citizenship committed to sustainable human development. Through the CUD, the university community is involved in building a more just and sustainable world, from its basic areas of action: education, research and university extension.

This is set out in the "Code of Conduct for Spanish Universities with regard to Cooperation for Development", a text created and approved within the CRUE Commission for Internationalization and Cooperation in 2005, and which has been ratified internally by almost all Spanish universities.

The UPCT adhered to the "Code of Conduct for Spanish Universities in the field of Development Cooperation" in a Governing Council agreement of 7 November 2011.

Since the 1990s, universities have assumed a growing role in development cooperation, creating solidarity structures to make it effective and have implemented a wide range of activities aimed at fostering solidarity among the various sectors of the university community, from teaching and research to cooperation projects per se, including technical assistance with other institutions, educational cooperation or awareness-raising activities.


Since the Second Master Plan for Spanish Cooperation, universities are considered actors in development cooperation and are therefore represented in the Council for Development Cooperation at both national and regional level. In relation to the state Council for Development Cooperation, the University Coordination Council appoints two representatives from Spanish HEIs to the Council, who, by agreement of the CRUE's Internationalisation and Cooperation Commission, are the persons who hold the presidency and secretary of the Cooperation Working Group.

The Observatory for Spanish University Cooperation, OCUD, is linked to this working group.

The Spanish universities are also part of all the Committees of the Council, the Monitoring Committee and PACI (which they currently chair), the Policy Coherence Committee, and also part of the working groups that have been set up within the Council: Education for Development (which they chair), Gender, Post-2015 Agenda, Evaluation and Monitoring; Innovation and Research for Development; Economic and Productive Sector. Participation in these groups is done through the Rectors Conference (CRUE) in the Internationalization and Cooperation Working Group.

Public and private universities, as actors in the Spanish cooperation system, report to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on their performance in this area, through the annual monitoring survey with the supervision, guidance and coordination of the OCUD.


Within their natural areas of activity, Spanish universities, individually and as a whole, develop different types of actions linked to development, which are theoretical and practical Training linked to Development Cooperation, research for development and development studies, inter-university cooperation and strengthening of HEIs in developing countries, dissemination, awareness and mobilization activities, and action programs and projects on the field.

  • 1. Training measures are considered to be those involving a credit burden and/or aiming at the attainment of a recognized qualification.

    Degrees and postgraduate courses linked to Development Cooperation, credit-bearing subjects and courses, training of trainers, internship programs developed specifically in this field, final degree projects, etc.

  • 2. Research actions: both development research and development studies.

    Doctoral thesis related to development cooperation, Research papers, dissertations, Research awards, Chairs, Observatories, Expert Networks, etc.

  • 3. Inter-university cooperation aimed at institutional strengthening of HEIs in partner countries.

    Joint research cooperation - University networks - Technical cooperation for the improvement of curricula or degrees (university curriculum development) - Transfer of knowledge and skills: training of university trainers - Training, technical assistance and exchange of university managers - Support for equipment: improvement of infrastructure and equipment of higher education institutions.

  • 4. Dissemination, awareness, mobilization and Education for Development actions that contribute to make known, raise awareness and mobilize the university community on development and cooperation problems and promote a supportive citizenship committed to the fight against poverty and the promotion of sustainable human development.

    Conferences, talks-debates, colloquiums, workshops, courses, seminars, forums and other events for reflection - Preparation of teaching materials and publications - Awareness and mobilisation campaigns - Volunteer programmes (without credit) - Fundraising and aid campaigns - Prizes for dissemination and awareness activities...

  • 5. Action programs and projects

    Calls for financial support for Development Cooperation programmes, projects and actions - Development programmes and projects - Applied research projects related to development cooperation (they may have a research component or bias within them, but do not have the research format as such) - Technical assistance and consultancy activities for various cooperation agents.

  • 6. Promotion, management and coordination of CUD policies and programs

    Major events (meetings and congresses) of prospective, planning or global evaluation - Activities of Coordination and concertation of cooperation policies - Systems of monitoring, evaluation, and quality assurance of CUD policies - Activities of management and internal promotion of CUD activities not classifiable in other areas.


In May 2018, Spanish universities committed themselves to generate and transfer knowledge according to the objectives of the Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development. Within the framework of CRUE Spanish Universities, a consensus was reached on the joint contribution of universities to the 2018-2020 Action Plan promoted by the Spanish Government to work within the framework of the Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development approved by the UN. By sending this document to the High-Level Group designated by the Executive to coordinate the actions aimed at fulfilling the Agenda 2030, the university community reinforces its commitment to this international initiative, which for the first time speaks of the need for quality Higher Education for all.