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DO24_HE_INTEC_PIC

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC - Health & Education

Julio Sánchez Mariñez

Dean, INTEC

Bio

Julio Sánchez Maríñez has been Dean of INTEC since January 2021. He has a distinguished career blending academia and consultancy. With a PhD in organizational studies, his expertise spans educational management, teaching, and consulting in sectors ranging from academia to private and governmental organizations. His publications cover leadership, higher education, talent management, and other critical topics, reflecting his extensive knowledge and experience.

"We want to attract and cultivate talent from anywhere we can, though we want to start nationally."

Julio Sánchez Mariñez, Dean of Santo Domingo Institute of Technology (INTEC), talks to TBY about supporting the private sector, nurturing talent, and growth areas.

How does INTEC support the private sector and this generation of graduating adults?

We have defined a new institutional strategy for 2023-2027 with an updated and anticipated curricular offering. Our first initiative is to strengthen INTEC’s DNA. All degrees must have a consistent STEM base. Students, even medical or social sciences ones, need to understand the cloud, sensors, and the IoT. There is also STEAM, which includes arts and humanities. Our second initiative is a unique offering of degrees that are new to the country’s market. We started mathematics for actuaries in the last 15 years, which have proven to be valuable to the health and insurance sectors. We have been leaders in software development in the country. We have also helped to develop bio technologies. In the five years, INTEC has launched programs for logistics and transport, biomedical engineering, cybersecurity, and financial engineering. We have a program offering that meets the needs of the nation. They are not new in the international market, though INTEC is the only one offering it in the country and some even in the region. The third initiative is providing greater flexibility to programs. We are unique in the country in terms of our offerings of disciplinary concentrations or minors. We develop minors for students together with industry. For example, medical devices is a booming industry in the country, and we developed a minor in medical devices it by looking at what is needed in the specific industry together with Dominican Plastics Industry Association (Adiplast). We also have a non-official curriculum for soft skills where students work on projects, some of them are done with industry. We call this experience the Learning Factory where students learn to develop and test their persuasive communication, teamwork, and problem-solving skills. This program is supported with 30-plus years of experience from Pennsylvania State University.

How does INTEC aim to attract and nurture talent internationally?

We want to attract and cultivate talent from anywhere we can, though we want to start nationally. INTEC, with only one campus, attracts talent from all over the country. We have students from every province. 25% of our students come from outside Greater Santo Domingo, and we want to continue to cultivate and support this diversity. Around 5-7% of our students are international. During our last graduation ceremony in October 2023, we saw students from 13 countries, most from the Greater Caribbean. We also had some students from India and other countries from elsewhere. However, we are not satisfied with these figures and hope to double them thanks to our strategic plan. INTEC is the only university certified for federal loans for North American students and citizens who want to study here, for example US citizens who are second or third-generation Dominicans. We are working hard to accredit all our degrees to international standards to attract more foreign students. All our economics and business degrees are accredited by the International Accreditation Council for Business Education (IACBE). For five years, we offered the only internationally accredited medicine degree. Now, others offer it as well, but we were the first, and we now have two for medicine. INTEC also received a visit from the most relevant accreditation council in engineering. Our psychology degree is the only one in the country accredited internationally, in this case by the Mexican National Council for Teaching and Research in Psychology (CNEIP). By 2025, we hope to have our quality insurance system certified by European Higher Education Area (EHEA).

What key areas is INTEC focusing on?

We are working hard on three main aspects. The first is a technological model, which requires us to work closely with the national productive sector. We are proud to have cultivated these relationships. In the greater Santo Domingo area, there are four industrial estates—PIISA, Parque de las Americas, San Isidro, and Parque Duarte—and 30% of the technical staff of these parks come from INTEC. We are a relatively small university with great results. We have over 40 laboratories, and a dozen of them are twinned with the entrepreneurial sector or international companies. For example, we have a plant biotechnology laboratory with TheGreenCell, a North American company as well as the only domotics laboratory twinned with EATON, another North American company. There are many other such projects as INTEC is the preferred partner for the private sector. We have been recognized with a quality award from Plastics Research and Training Center (CCIP) and are the recipient of the National Observatory for Solid Waste. We also want to be leaders in research. INTEC is a leader in the country, with 12 patents on products. No other university in the country has more than four. However, we are still far from where we want to be. Our students are already working on projects and prototypes to find solutions to real problems. Some of them are working on functional prototypes. In sum, our main areas of focus are to partner with the entrepreneurial and governmental sectors for project development, use research to solve academic and scientific problems, and linking studies to applied research.

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