Culture as a way to strengthen the educational dimension of the university training process


Culture as a way to strengthen the educational dimension of the university training process


La cultura como vía para fortalecer la dimensión educativa del proceso de formación universitaria



Elizabeth Leal García1, Xiomara Martínez Neira2, Nancy Rodríguez Fernández3

1 Villa Clara University of Medical Sciences. Cuba. E-mail:
2 Villa Clara University of Medical Sciences. Cuba. E-mail:
3 Villa Clara University of Medical Sciences. Cuba. E-mail:




The process of university training demands to strengthen the work in the cultural and ideological field; the sociopolitical conditions of today's world, mediated by a ferocious neoliberal globalization that proposes the monopoly of information and communications with messages of a pretended "unique" culture, consumerist and full of mediocrity, constitutes a challenge in the comprehensive formation of students. Villa Clara University of Medical Sciences, through the university extension, focuses on a cultural proposal that defends the Cuban culture, the best of universal culture that is expressed in a strengthening of values. The objective of this work is to socialize the set of actions carried out in the aforementioned institution and its social impact, as a way to strengthen the cultural dimension of the university training process of health professionals.

MeSH: culture, education, medical, undergraduate, social values.


El proceso de formación universitaria demanda potenciar el trabajo en el campo cultural e ideológico; las condiciones sociopolíticas del mundo actual, mediatizado por una feroz globalización neoliberal que propone el monopolio de la información y las comunicaciones con mensajes de una pretendida cultura "única", consumista y llena de mediocridad, constituye un desafío en la formación integral de los estudiantes. La Universidad de Ciencias Médicas de Villa Clara, a través de la extensión universitaria, se centra en una propuesta cultural que defiende lo cubano, lo mejor de la cultura universal, y se expresa en un fortalecimiento de los valores. El objetivo de este trabajo es socializar el conjunto de acciones que se realiza en la referida institución y su impacto social, como vía para fortalecer la dimensión cultural del proceso de formación universitaria de los profesionales de la salud.

DeSC: cultura, educación de pregrado en Medicina, valores sociales.



The cultural policy of the Cuban Revolution aims to face the sociopolitical conditions of today's world, mediated by a fierce neoliberal globalization that proposes, among other things, the monopoly of information and communication with messages of a pretended "unique", consumerist and full of mediocrity culture. These unidirectional messages are aimed at guaranteeing the increasingly broad control of the planetary population in a certain way of thinking and acting, turning it into a passive and uncritical recipient. Confronting this situation, the best way of facing it is the cultivation and respect of national and local cultural values, based on a humanistic ethic, through which a protagonist participant, and critical audience can establish a true and creative dialogue with contemporary culture and dealing with all kinds of manipulations.1,2

In the Cuban social model, culture is an irreplaceable instrument of transmission of ethical values that act in human growth and recreation of the soul, offers spirituality and emotional relaxation; in times of severe shortages in the economic sphere, culture is the universal value, the most legitimate way to purify and enhance the creative aspirations of the human being.3,4

It is vital to stimulate the contemporary vision of the raison d'être as a nation, with a broad projection that helps to identify more and more with what is proper, identity. In the Cuban historical conditions, the challenge posed to culture is to make its people one of the most cultured in the world, as a revolutionary, humanistic and dialogical alternative to spiritual impoverishment, globalized skepticism and an imposed banality, sustained and disseminated by the most powerful technology. It implies a colossal effort of all the potentialities of the country; institutions, artists, intellectuals, promoters, instructors, researchers, academics and specialists in the subject.5

Villa Clara University of Medical Sciences is moving towards a new stage in the application of a cultural management model, in which the university extension advisors of each faculty and university sites should continue to guide the formative process based on socio-cultural animation as a proposal of permanent education, where actions aimed at students and workers are integrated, based on the application of socio-cultural diagnoses.

The objective of this work is to socialize the set of actions carried out in the aforementioned institution and its social impact, as a way to strengthen the cultural dimension of the training process of health professionals.

As preconditions to the application of the actions each faculty carries out its plan of activities that must respond to the cultural policy of the Cuban Revolution, to the diagnosis of the students, and to take into account the agreements of the VIII Congress of the University Student Federation (USF), to intensify university cultural life. This plan will integrate the actions of the faculties, the student residence, USF, Student Federation of Secondary Education (SFSE), the Young Communists League (YCL) and the National Union of Health Workers (NUHW), the honorary professorship and the History room as a cultural institution.

Here are some of the actions applied:

  • Planned activation of extension projects aimed at community socio-cultural development.
  • Perform in each faculty the festival of amateur artists, with initiative and creativity of the administrative structures. SFSE, USF.
  • Schedule participation in the base festivals and other levels with the technical support of the professors of the Department of Educational Work and University Extension of the Faculty of Medicine.
  • Identify the talents that make up the movement of amateur artists of workers in order to develop the base festival, as a guarantee of their participation in events of other levels.
  • Coordinate with the cultural institutions of the territory cultural activities advised and/or executed by specialists of the different artistic manifestations.
  • Schedule activities where the artistic talent of the USF, SFSE and the workers of the areas present their works, making them coincide in the same activity.
  • Ensure the presence of students and faculty workers in the conferences of prestigious provincial and national personalities (intellectuals, scientists, artists, athletes, etc.) that should be developed at the central level in the university.
  • Conceive activities based on reading and critical reflection through contests, events, literary gatherings, literary workshops, and the like.
  • Promote the practice of Cuban popular dances in the university community.
  • Scheduling spaces for the debate and reflection of certain programs or audiovisuals that circulate and are consumed in the so-called "packages".
  • Develop the cultural communication system based on the dissemination and access to the culture of the territory by the university, and vice versa.
  • Guarantee the visibility of the university and cultural life of careers in the web pages, intranet, social networks and university based radio.
  • Propose to students of all careers elective or optional courses related to national and universal artistic-literary appreciation.
  • Coordinate the presentation and sale of books at the university during the International Book Fair.
  • Develop the University Book and Reading Festival (UBRF).
  • Incorporate teachers and students in activities of the Community, Health and Family project (Cosaf) for socio-cultural development in risky and disadvantaged communities.
  • Rescue the university cinema club to guarantee the participation of amateur film makers in the festivals.
  • Encourage the participation and support of members of the "Hermanos Saíz" Association in cultural spaces of the University.
  • Provide training courses on cultural promotion to teachers.
  • Promote the inclusion of the university in the plan of national tours that arrive in the province.
  • Encourage the link of the honorary professorships with the similar ones of the "Marta Abreu" Central University of Las Villas or other universities in the country.
  • Promote the participation of students as visitors to the different museums and galleries of the locality.
  • Coordinate guided visits and other activities to the History Room "Dr. Ricardo Jorge Oropesa" to promote knowledge about the history of the university.

The application of these actions has had a positive impact on the educational and cultural environment of the university, which is evident in the massiveness of traditional patriotic marches, increased attendance at cultural festivals, 49 prizes have been obtained at the provincial festival of amateur artists of the USF, the first place in the National Scientific-Student Forum was ratified, the Cosaf community project continues to be activated in the peripheral area of Caracatey and the Capiro-Santa Catalina Popular Council, the response of professors and students to face epidemiological contingencies, and several lectures have been given by personalities of science and culture such as Abel Prieto, Luis Morlotte, Pedro Pablo Rodriguez, Ramon Silverio, with high level of satisfaction; all this has generated an environment of cultural exchange and apprehension of values in students, whose participatory role has strengthened youth organizations in university life.

In all, Villa Clara University of Medical Sciences works in a systematic and coordinated way with the cultural institutions of the province and carries out a set of activities that contribute to strengthen culture, all under the challenge of the accelerated use of communication and information technologies, and subversion on the cultural level, by the models of consumption that are imposed in society today.


Declaration of interests

The authors declare no conflict of interest.



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Submitted: November 3 2016.
Accepted: November 27 2017.



Elizabeth Leal García. Villa Clara University of Medical Sciences. Cuba. E-mail:

Copyright (c) 2017 EDUMECENTRO