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A U.S. delegation of 24 independent college and university presidents, including Nebraska Methodist College, and five cabinet-level officers from U.S. institutions met with their Mexican counterparts for the Higher Education Summit March 29-31 in Guadalajara, Mexico.
The meeting was organized by the Council of Independent Colleges (CIC) and the Mexican Federation of Private Higher Education Institutions (FIMPES) and generously supported by Santander Universidades and Universia. The summit, “Reaffirming the North American Spirit of Collaboration in Higher Education: Creating Bridges of Communications” emphasized the importance of international exchange in today’s “America First” political climate.
As a result of the Summit, participants aimed to provide enhanced exchange opportunities for students and faculty members in both countries; provide students with increased access to internships in Mexico and the United States; and allow faculty members and students to collaborate in shared research projects and development programs.
“The summit was extremely valuable as the opportunity to meet and connect with our Mexican higher education colleagues and now new friends will lead to many exceptional opportunities through this partnership,” said Dennis Joslin, president and CEO of Nebraska Methodist College. “The most immediate opportunities include summer immersion experiences to the campuses of our new Mexican partners for NMC students enrolled in the Spanish for Healthcare Professionals Minor. Additional opportunities can be established for service learning, mission and clinical work over the summer or semester travel abroad options for students at all degree levels and academic programs.”
Joslin noted as the partnership grows, Mexican students will also travel to NMC as well as bi-directional travel of faculty to explore various pedagogy applications and joint research opportunities.
“Our new friends represent a great opportunity for a long-term partnership that will complement the academic endeavors currently underway in both countries and serve as a solid experience for international travel and study for countless students,” Joslin said.
The Summit follows three years during which delegations of Mexican private university rectors participated in CIC’s Presidents Institute, the largest annual gathering of college and university presidents in the U.S.
The U.S. presidents and their Mexican colleagues visited and met with campus leaders of three Mexican higher education institutions: Instituto Tecnológico de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey, Universidad Panamericana, and Universidad del Valle de Atemajac. Participants also met with the U.S. Consul General in Guadalajara, Tanya C. Anderson, and with local, state, and national Mexican officials, as well as additional university rectors.
The U.S. delegation and Mexican university rectors discussed student and faculty exchange programs, articulation agreements, global leadership, visa issues, and undocumented students.