USP At a Glance

Although the anthropological conceptions based on materialism, idealism, individualism and collectivism, live a phase of decline, they still exert a certain cultural influence. Often they understand education as a process of training the individual in public life, in which different ideological currents act, competing with each other for cultural hegemony. In this context, the formation of the person responds to other demands: the affirmation of the culture of consumption, of the ideology of the conflict, of relativistic thought, etc. Therefore, it is necessary to humanize education; that is, to transform it into a process in which each person can develop their deep attitudes, their vocation and thus contribute to the vocation of their own community.

CULTURE OF SCIENTIFIC DIALOGUE

The vocation to solidarity calls us and the people and institutions of the 21st century to face the challenges of multicultural coexistence. In global societies, citizens of different traditions, cultures, religions and worldviews coexist on a daily basis, and often misunderstandings and conflicts occur.

In this virtue we have the great responsibility to provide the formation of good Christians who have an adequate culture of dialogue. The framework of values ​​in which the citizen who has a training in dialogue lives, thinks and acts is sustained by relational principles (science, gratuitousness, freedom, equality, coherence, peace and the common good) that enter positively and categorically in the didactic and formative programs of the institutions and agencies that work for solidarity humanism.

TOWARDS A REAL INCLUSION

First of all, one of the main objectives of USP is to allow each student to feel as an active member in the construction of solidarity humanism. The instruments used should favor pluralism, establishing spaces for dialogue that are finalized for the representation of ethical and regulatory bodies. Solidarity humanism education must have special attention so that the learning of science corresponds to the awareness of an ethical universe where the person acts. In particular, this right conception of the ethical universe has to advance towards the opening of progressively broader horizons of the common good, until reaching the entire human family.

This inclusive process exceeds the limits of the people currently living in the world. Scientific and technological progress has shown in recent years how the decisions that are made in the present are capable of influencing the lifestyles and – in some cases – on the existence of the citizens of future generations. “The notion of common good also incorporates future generations” [3]. The citizen of today, in fact, must be in solidarity with his contemporaries wherever they are, but also with the future citizens of the planet. Since «the problem is that we do not yet have the necessary culture to face this crisis […] and it is necessary to build leaderships that mark the way, seeking to attend to the needs of current generations, including everyone, without harming future generations», then the specific task that solidarity humanism education can perform, is its contribute to building a culture based on intergenerational ethics.

We have proposed, as an educational vision, to take care of the humanity of the future, with whom we must be in solidarity making responsible decisions. It is even truer with respect to academic training, because it is through it that the necessary competences are provided to make the definite decisions for the balance of human-social, natural, environmental systems, etc. [4]. The topics developed in the university and continuing education courses, as well as that abbreviated basic education, in this sense, are conceived according to a decisive criterion for evaluating their quality: sustainability with the demands of future generations.

Human societies, communities, peoples, nations are the fruit of the passage of history, where a specific identity is revealed in continuous elaboration. Understand the fruitful relationship between the historical evolution of a community and its vocation to the common good.

NETWORKS OF COOPERATION AND VIRTUAL EDUCATION

We converge educational and research initiatives towards the ends of solidarity humanism, with the awareness that “they should not remain dispersed or isolated, and even less opposed for reasons of prestige or power.” We build virtualized cooperation networks, from an educational, school and academic point of view; it means activating inclusive dynamics, constantly searching for new opportunities to introduce different subjects into the teaching and learning circuit, especially those who find it difficult to take advantage of a plan training appropriate to your needs. Recalling also that education remains a scarce resource in the world, considering that there are sectors of humanity that suffer from the lack of suitable institutions for development.

We give priority to cooperation in scientific research, preferring the organization of collective research in all areas of knowledge, the results of which can be corroborated by the scientific objectivity of the application of suitable logics, methods and techniques, as well as by the experience of solidarity made by researchers. It is about promoting the formation of integrated research groups among teaching staff, young researchers, students, and cooperation between academic institutions located in an international context.

In many places an education is requested that overcomes the difficulties of the processes of cultural massification, which produce the harmful effects of academic leveling, and with it, of consumer manipulation. We can help overcome these challenges as we offer decentralization and specialization. Virtualization and connectivity have facilitated the conception of a network not only of research but – above all – of service, where we interact sharing new discoveries, «temporarily exchanging teachers and providing everything that can contribute to greater cooperation and help mutual scientific »[6]

In summary, we can say that USP is in tune with learning for people, the planet, prosperity and peace.

THE EDUCATION OF THE HUMAN PERSON

We have adopted two general principles from the Second Vatican Council, valid for all educational systems: The first is called the universal right to education: “All men, of any race, condition and age, as participants in the dignity of the person, they have the inalienable right of an education that responds to the own end ». – The second principle is: «But true education aims at the formation of the human person in order to its ultimate end and for the good of the various societies, of which man is a member and of whose responsibilities he must take part once he has arrived to maturity ».

For us, education is, therefore, an eminently humanizing activity. We do not intend only to transmit the cultural / scientific heritage, although this transmission is essential for social progress [7]; We try to awaken in each student their virtualities, their capacity to know themselves, to take charge of themselves, to build themselves in the most harmonious way, despite the character defects and the wounds of existence, to become a being of freedom , responsible for their actions and their future, who is financially self-sufficient and capable of managing their own individual or cooperative business. In short, the education we propose aims to ensure the transition from virtuality to virtue.

Recalling the deep meaning of all education, we oppose all tendencies of depersonalization: the technocracy that tries to make the school a time of technical learning, the mercantilism that tries to make the school an immediate preparation for the laws of the market, tyranny which represents, after all, materialism, ideology and religious fundamentalism.

WE ARE INTEGRAL EDUCATIONAL COMMUNITY

The family

We recognize parents as the primary educators of their children and look after the continuing education of all. At the University we are all a great educational family, where the State should not impose its exclusive domain, yesterday in the field of fascism, national-socialism or Marxism, today when the dominant liberalism tends to make the school a kind say market assistant.

The teachers

Education is not the work of an institution, but of an educational community that places itself at the service of the person. This is undoubtedly one of the great affirmations of the USP. The true school is not, in the first place, an institution, but a “center (of life) of whose laboriousness and whose benefits families, teachers, the various associations that promote cultural, civic and religious life must participate at the same time, civil society and the entire human community”.

Church

When we speak of the Church we do so in the name of respect and freedom of conscience and worship. In the proper sense of the spiritual development necessary for humanity. The Church is also a formal educational community. [8].

Freedom

We guarantee and respect the freedom of conscience of each student and teacher.

Our Vocation

Our vocation is scientific, humanistic, Catholic according to the Salesian educational model inherited by Don Bosco. Despite this, we are not a Catholic University, and we lack legal ties to the Salesian Community. We are subject to the Legal framework of the Republic of Panama with powers to operate internationally in most countries around the world.

The Universidad Salesiana de Panamá S.A. is a Public Limited Company duly registered in the Republic of Panama. RUC 155640778-2-2016 DV 75. Notaría 12. Folio Real 155640778 of 12/1/2016. DGI 302000037501 12/12/2016

Legal Representative:

Henry Martin Kurwan / Localitá Marritza 62, 07037 Sorso, SS. Italy henry@salesians.de

PRESIDENT

Henry Martín Kurwahn Bulnes / 范大明 Fang Da Ming.

German citizen, born in Honduras in 1965. He resides permanently in Italy. He is an Entrepreneur, Salesian Cooperator, Professor, Writer and Politician. In 1986 he finished his Degree in Computer Science, and founded his first Computing School. Subsequently, he studied various Specializations that allowed him to dedicate himself to Teaching and Scientific Research from the field of private companies. He is Co-Founder of the Legal Office Alvarenga Kurwahn Teira & Asociados, in Panama City. He is President of the IUSTAO Foundation and Founding director of the Salesian University of Panama.

He participated in German politics as a Candidate for the Hamburg Parliament in the 2011 elections for the DieLinke Party, and in Latin America, as Legislative Delegate before the Education and Technology Commissions, of regional institutions such as Parlatino and Foprel. He has been a member of the Diplomatic Corps accredited in Panama 2013-2019, and Founding President of Lupo Societas Ius Romanum in the Faculty of Law and Political Sciences of the University of Panama 2014-2015.

In the course of all these years, he has taught and received seminars, conferences, diplomas and chairs of various kinds. He has also launched several projects related to Solidarity Humanism, Legal Informatics, Socio-Ecological Innovation, Political-Commercial Relations with China, and Ecesis projects. He has invention patents and various publications among books, magazines and digital newspapers. Currently studying the Laureate and Doctorate of Theology at the Istituto Superiore di Scienze Religiose, Pontificia Facoltà Teologica de la Sardegna.

He is a permanent professor and President of the Salesian University of Panama, Coordinator of AICS Aeroponics Innovation Center of Sardegna, GRETA Global Research of Ecesis & Techno-Environmental Academe Director, Supervising Advisor of the Bartolomeo Garelli School, and Volunteer of the EDEN Project in the Pontifical Mission Societies of Tegucigalpa directed by the Presbyter Jorge Castillo. His languages ​​are Spanish and English, he understands German, Italian and Portuguese as well. Academically, he has the basic knowledge of Simplified Chinese, Mandarin, Latin and Hebrew.

As a Salesian Cooperator, since 1988, he has tried to serve with devotion the educational task in the style of Don Bosco – spiritual and educational experience that is based on reason, religion and love – promoting Solidarity Humanism and dialogue based on science and the reason.

henry@salesians.de

presidencia@usp.ac.pa


Bibliography

[1] Papa Francisco, Discurso a los participantes a la Asamblea plenaria de la Congregación para la Educación Católica, 9 de febrero de 2017.

[2] Papa Francisco, Discurso a los participantes al Congreso mundial “Educar hoy y mañana. Una pasión que se renueva” promovido por la Congregación para la Educación Católica, Roma, 21 de noviembre de 2015.

[3]  Papa Francisco, Carta encíclica sobre el cuidado de la casa común Laudato si’ (24 de mayo de 2015)

[4] Cf. Juan Pablo II, Constitución Apostólica Ex corde Ecclesiae (15 de agosto de 1990), 34.

[5] Populorum progressio, 17

[6] Concilio Ecuménico Vaticano II, Declaración sobre la Educación Católica Gravissimum educationis, 12

[7] Francis George, «Catholic Higher Education and Ecclesial Communion », Origins, 28/35 (18 de febrero de 1999), p. 611 ; cf. Donald Wuerl, «The Institutional Identity of a Catholic University », Origins, 29/15 (23 de septiembre de 1999), p. 234.