Marist International Network of Institutions of Higher Education (HEIs)

About us 

The Marist International Network of Institutions of Higher Education (IES) currently consists of 27 institutions which, in line with the provisions of the General Board of Administration of the Institute of the Marist Brothers, in Rome, seek to create connections with synergy and develop action in the areas where they conduct their missions.

Founded in 2004, this network’s goal is to create opportunities for partnerships, training and joint projects, in an effort to maximize its actions in higher education in more than 10 countries.

Our History

A dream that has come true

Saint Marcellin Champagnat began the Marist endeavor early in the 19th century with the purpose of educating children and teenagers as a way to recognize and love Jesus Christ. Back then, the small Marist schools that were established at the parishes and small communities in the countryside of France, saw a major increase in numbers. This demonstrated the success of the mission of the religious who came to form the Instituto dos Irmãos Maristas das Escolas (F.M.S. – Fratres Maristæ a Scholis). Soon, the mission crossed borders and spread to many countries, through the educational and evangelizing work of Marist Brothers in its own schools, in regional communities and other institutions.

Linha visual da Rede Marista Internacional de Instituições de Educação Superior
Linha visual da Rede Marista Internacional de Instituições de Educação Superior

Early in the 20th century, a dream comes to life. The Marist education, which already had a history at primary and secondary levels, realized that its strength and power of transformation needed to take a step further. With a bold vision, Brothers and Laymen realized that the Marist education project needed to be present in higher education as well.


grupo de reitores e dirigentes das instituicoes de ensino superior da rede marista de ies
Registro da VIII Assembleia da Rede Marista Internacional de Instituições de Educação Superior, em Lima, abril de 2019.


First steps

The founder of the Marist mission, Saint Marcellin Champagnat, taught us that one of the foundations of our way to educate is to be there for each other. At the time, gathered around a table, the Brothers listened to each other in the search for better actions to take towards the success of their mission. Later in the future, this legacy would be one of the inspirations that led a group of people linked to Marist institutions of higher education to join forces and share experiences.

Despite being embraced by the Marist charisma, and relying, in some way, on the work of the Marist Brothers and Laymen, the connection of these Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) was not strong enough to represent the mutual purposes or any joint work to be further developed. The different fronts of action, culture and language as well as geographical distances, for a period, kept all institutions apart. Some of these institutions did not even know about the beautiful opportunities that the joining of forces with other Marist institutions could provide.

It was early in the 2000s, that an initiative designed to bring together representatives of different Marist HEIs from all over the world to talk and share experiences came to life. The first meeting occurred in 2004, on the campus of Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Paraná (PUCPR), in Curitiba, Brazil. At the PUCPR meeting, it was decided that, a new edition of the meeting would occur every two years.

Currently, the Marist International Network of Institutions of Higher Education (HEI) consists of 27 institutions from more than 10 countries.

Our history’s chapters

The 8th Meeting of representatives of the Network took place in Lima, Peru.

2004 – 2006: Getting to know one another

In November 2004, representatives of 21 Marist HEIs joined the 1st Meeting. The event gave all institutions an opportunity to introduce themselves and share some of the academic and managerial practices in their different realities. At that moment, the network was yet to become a reality.

2006 – 2008: The Network, a possibility

In the city of Guadalajara, Mexico, the representatives of Marist HEIs joined the 2nd Meeting in 2006. The main topics of discussion were: the possibility to create a network of Marist HEIs; the creation of a document about the Marist mission in higher education; and the probability of offering a Marist training and development service open to the entire Institute.

2008-2010: The Network, a construction 

The cities of Salamanca and Alcalá de Henares, in Spain, were home to the 3rd Meeting in 2008. The event gave the representatives a chance to continue working to establish the foundations for a Network that could become a reality. A Council was assembled with the specific goal of creating a normative framework for the Network’s actions. At that meeting, the document Missão Marista na Educação Superior was presented and approved. It was eventually published in 2010. 

2010-2012: Student exchanges

Held in Porto Alegre, Brazil, the 4th Meeting focused on student mobility within the Network. Participants discussed the possibilities and mechanisms to advance student exchanges among Marist HEIs. A preliminary version of the Network’s Statutes was also approved at this meeting.

2012-2014: A constitutive milestone

The 5th Meeting, held in Mexico City, was mostly focused on formally establishing the “Red Marista Internacional de Instituciones de Educación Superior”. The Network’s Articles of Incorporation and the Statutes were drawn up and registered at the 117 Notary Public’s Office, in the Federal District of Mexico.

2014-2016: Marist HEIs – Meetings around fire

With this motto, the representatives of 23 Marist HEIs met at the 6th Meeting, which took place in Koronadal, Philippines. The focus of the discussions was on how to promote an understanding of the Marist mission in higher education with an eye to the future. Projects devoted to Children’s Rights were presented with the goal of creating a program in that field. The Network’s statistical data were also presented.

2016-2018: The Network in the light of the 200 years of the Marist Mission

In Poughkeepsie, USA, the 7th Meeting of the Network’s representatives was held. The discussions and reflections were marked by the project New Models for the Institute and by the invitation for Marist HEIs to prepare for the 200 years of the Marist Mission.

2018-2020: Building bridges in a fragmented world

The 8th Meeting of representatives of the Network took place in Lima, Peru. The representatives expressed their desire for changes that would lead to the expansion of the internationalization of the HEIs. The Meeting was joined by Brothers and Laymen dedicated to working to strengthen the Network. The Network’s 16-year history allows participants to know the characteristics of the Marist HEIs. The need to develop mechanisms for sharing and developing mobility programs among them proved to be urgent. The 9th Meeting is expected to take place in 2021, at the Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Rio Grande do Sul, Porto Alegre, in Brazil. 

To know more about the institutions that belong to the Marist HEI’s access the menu below.