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U.S.-Mexico Report Catalogues Academic Ties, Provides Roadmap for Future

April 17, 2017


​While academic ties have long been part of the U.S.-Mexico relationship, recent years have seen a particular focus on this area and on a variety of new policies and initiatives aimed to expand and enhance cross-border higher education engagement. The considerable resources and attention devoted to increasing such collaboration, coupled with a rapidly shifting political environment, make this a critical juncture for the U.S.-Mexico higher education relationship.

A new report released by ACE’s Center for Internationalization and Global Engagement (CIGE), U.S.-Mexico Higher Education Engagement: Current Activities, Future Directions, provides a comprehensive assessment of academic ties between the two countries and a roadmap for future collaboration.

Supported by Banco Santander/Universia, the report includes a broad inventory of existing collaborative activity, an examination of trends and challenges, and data-based recommendations for policy and practice.

The paper’s inventory of existing U.S.-Mexico collaboration–which is extensive but not exhaustive–catalogues activity in six key areas: student mobility, faculty mobility, curriculum and teaching, research and Mexico-focused research centers at U.S. institutions, institutional outposts, and public engagement.

Based on the inventory data, CIGE researchers identified trends and challenges, yielding the following key conclusions that summarize the current U.S.-Mexico higher education engagement landscape:

  • Although an array of institutions are represented, bilateral collaboration is notably concentrated in particular subsets of the U.S. and Mexican higher education systems.
  • Student mobility is a cornerstone of U.S.-Mexico engagement, but issues of sustainability, safety, access and reciprocity are key concerns.
  • There is substantial engagement with Mexico among the U.S. professoriate, but responsibility lies largely with individual faculty members to undertake collaborations, research and other projects. 
  • Administrative structures and support are vital for Mexico-focused activity at U.S. institutions.
  • There is limited coordination among U.S. institutions around their engagement with Mexico.

The report compiled data-based profiles of key institutions active in U.S.-Mexico collaboration to develop policy and programmatic recommendations, concluding that to further strengthen bilateral relationships, institutions must: focus on sustainability; build upon existing connections; diversify partners and participants; and engage in advocacy.

To see the full report, click here.

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