HICA– Harmonisation And Innovation In Central America Higher Education Curricula: Enhancing And Implementing A Regional Qualifications Framework

Scientific manager: Prof.ssa Carla Salvaterra






Project typology: Strengthening of relations between higher education and the wider economic and social environment

Unibo structure involved: Area Relazioni Internazionali (DIRI)
Unibo Team: Dott. Filippo Sartor, Dott.ssa Romina Kniaz

Website: www.hica.csuca.org

Budget: 895.875,50 euro 
Unibo Budget : 25.484 euro

Project Duration in months: 36
Start Date: 15/10/2015
End Date: 14/10/2018 

Coordinator: Universitat de Barcelona (Spagna)
Coordinator Regionale: Consejo Superior Universitario


  • Universidad de San Carlos de Guatemala
  • Ministerio de Educacion de Guatemala

Costa Rica

  • Universidad de Costa Rica
  • Universidad Nacional de Costa Rica
  • Instituto Tecnologico de Costa Rica
  • Universidad Estatal a Distancia de Costa Rica,
  • Universidad Tecnica Nacional
  • Consejo Centroamericano de Acreditacion de la Educacion Superior
  • Ministerio de Educacion Publica de Costa Rica

El Salvador

  • Universidad de El Salvador
  • Universidad Don Bosco de El Salvador
  • Ministerio de Educacion de El Salvador



  • Universidad Pedagogica Nacional Francisco Morazan
  • Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Honduras
  • Universidad Nacional de Agricultura
  • Ministerio de Educacion de Honduras


  • Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Nicaragua
  • Universidad Nacional Agraria Nicaragua
  • Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Nicaragua
  • Consejo Nacional de Universidades de Nicaragua
  • Ministerio Educacion de Nicaragua


  • Universidad de Panama
  • Universidad Autonoma de Chiriqui
  • Universidad Especializada de las Americas
  • Consejo de Rectores de Panama
  • Ministerio de Educacion de Panama


  • Asociacion Europea de Universidades


  • German Rector’s Conference (HRK)
  • Fachhochschule Brandenburg


  • Alma Mater Studiorum – Universita di Bologna


  • University College Cork


  • Observatorio de las Relaciones UE-AL

HICA, driven by university associations, universities and ministries in 6 Central American (CA) countries, intends to support the reform, innovation and harmonisation of HE curricula. The project will further develop/implement a regional qualifications framework for Central American HE (‘MCESCA’) – proposed by the prior project Alfa PUENTES – that defines what a student should know, understand and be able to do after each HE cycle, in a CA context.

HICA will complete the MCESCA by defining learning outcomes for pre-bachelor programmes as well as time/credits required for the different HE cycles. This will be done through national focus groups, where different stakeholders will be consulted.

The MCESCA will then be tested and implemented: a pilot for curriculum re-design in the CA partner universities will be carried out, whereby each revises a study programme, defining work-based learning ourcomes that correlate to the MCESCA. European partners will share practice on curricula innovation in support of this.

Then, the pilot outcomes and the MCESCA itself will be promoted widely to regional and national political bodies, employers, accreditation agencies, etc. via national promotion workshops, organised by the associations and the ministries. These will enrich and validate the MCESCA as a tool in the region.

HICA will have diverse impacts: The revised academic programmes will have a catalytic effect, bringing leadership, students and teaching staff together to implement curricula reform. In addition, CA universities will network and reinforce regional cooperation. National associations and the ministries will benefit from a regionally agreed tool that they can use for quality assurance and teaching reforms taking place in their own systems as well as recognition. The European partners will benefit from discussions on frameworks for HE reform in CA, which will provide an important mirror for similar reforms that take place in the context of the Bologna Process.

Co-funded by the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Union