Academics representing universities across Mexico and the U.S. came together to strengthen educational partnerships and expand opportunities between the two countries at the U.S. Mexico Bilateral Forum on Higher Education, Innovation, and Research Colloquium in Mexico City.
The forum, led by the U.S. State Department and the Mexican Secretariat of Foreign Affairs, focused on improving student language learning, increasing research opportunities and developing greater bilateral exchange between Mexican and U.S. universities.
The University of Texas at Austin has close ties with several universities in Mexico and is eager to continue these robust partnerships. U.S. ambassador to Mexico Christopher Landau recognized the university as one of a handful in the U.S. committed to building educational opportunities and lasting connections with Mexico since the forum was established in 2014.
“The ties formed by this academic mobility bring us closer as neighbors,” Landau said in his remarks at the forum. “The Department of State is encouraged to see that Mexico is one of the top ten sources of foreign students in degree programs in the United States, but wants to see the numbers increase. We likewise want to see more U.S. students and faculty choosing to study, teach, and conduct research in Mexico.”
Dr. Michael Smith, director of the English Language Center, represented UT at the colloquium and says he hopes to see UT deepen its involvement and communication with universities in Mexico.
“We have a lot to learn from each other,” Smith said. “Mexico is our closest neighbor and we’re both really important to each other academically and economically.”
Smith says one objective resulting from the forum was the need for more academically-focused English language program opportunities for Mexican university students. Texas Global has seen six cohorts of Mexican students from the Proyecta 100,000 program attend one-month English sessions and hopes to offer longer-term programs to non-UT students in the future.
The Proyecta 100,000 program was an initiative produced by the colloquium in recent years based on the 100,000 Strong in the Americas Innovation Fund, a U.S. State Department program supporting educational partnerships between the U.S. and countries in Latin America. The initiative has awarded 232 grants to teams of 477 higher education institutions in 25 countries and 49 U.S. States since it was created in 2014, and recently announced the opening of its latest grant competition.