Teresa Lozano Long Institute of Latin American Studies
Teresa Lozano Long Institute of Latin American Studies

CANCELLED: "Beyond NAFTA?: Forging a U.S.-Mexico 'Knowledge Region' through Collaboration in Higher Education"

Tue, March 4, 2014 | 2nd Floor Conference Room, Benson Latin American Collection, SRH Unit 1

4:00 PM - 5:30 PM


Sergio Alcocer, Undersecretary for North America, Mexican Foreign Ministry
Kevin O'Reilly, Director, Office of Mexican Affairs, U.S. Department of State

On May 2, 2013, President Barack Obama and President Enrique Peña Nieto announced the United States-Mexico Bilateral Forum on Higher Education, Innovation, and Research. In essence, this forum pledges a collaborative investment in higher education by both countries. The ultimate aim is to provide a growing 21st century workforce with better economic prospects and to boost economic prosperity.

The forum emphasizes mutual interest and exchange. It seeks to expand shared opportunity on all fronts. This includes broadening access to higher education (with a principal interest in the STEM fields) for previously underserved populations. In Mexico especially, there is vast potential in this area: currently only 30% of the university age population attends an institution of higher education. The recent boom in Internet use in Mexico coupled with improvements in online educational opportunities (including President Nieto’s plan for a national virtual university) could make widespread participation in higher education possible. On another front, both countries want to increase joint research opportunities and facilitate the flow of new information—most importantly that which relates to education and learning. The U.S. and Mexico also intend to promote student exchange programs. In the 2010-2011 academic year, 13,713 Mexican students traveled to the U.S. to study, while 4,167 U.S. students traveled to Mexico to study. Both presidents want to see these numbers lifted by addressing obstacles such as transfer credits, tuition rates, and security concerns for students. In particular, this initiative meets with Obama’s “100,000 Strong in the Americas” plan to increase student exchange throughout the hemisphere.

This ambitious initiative, in the words of Undersecretary Sergio Alcocer, seeks to move beyond a mere “trade relationship,” to build a “competitive region of knowledge in the new global economy.”

What does this mean and what role can UT play?

Join us for this timely dialogue on U.S.-Mexico relations, trade, and collaboration in higher education with Undersecretary Alcocer and Director O’Reilly.

For more information, contact Paloma Diaz.

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  • Teresa Lozano Long Institute of Latin American Studies

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