DAVID NOEL RAMÍREZ PADILLA
I think we have a very important responsibility, because a lot of other universities constantly observe what is happening at Tecnológico de Monterrey, and we pioneer many programs. We have a responsibility to constantly improve our academic quality and technology because we have the opportunity to influence and impact other universities in Mexico. It is important to expand public universities in Mexico, because many students do not have the opportunity to attend private universities. For this same reason, Tecnológico de Monterrey developed its TecMilenio University, which allows people to access high-quality education at lower prices. We hope to promote higher quality throughout Mexico’s higher education system by the example of what we do every day. A lot of private universities have opened up in recent years with their only goal being to make money, which is sad. And what is even sadder is that their quality is often very poor. We are a non-profit institution; all of our revenues are reinvested in education and research. I think the government needs to regulate the quality of academic institutions more stringently, and establish uniform accreditation requirements. Mexico also needs a better system for student financial aid. In my opinion, it is also important for this country to invest in applied research; this country does not have enough money to fund theoretical research. Our focus needs to be on development.
ENRIQUE A. GONZÁLEZ ÁLVAREZ
We are heavily focused on high academic quality. Our teachers are committed to education, and are well prepared and well trained. We are also concerned with integrating our students into society and preparing them to develop professionalism. Our students should be socially responsible before being successful entrepreneurs. I think that our approach to education makes La Salle one of the most accredited universities in Mexico. We run mandatory professional training directly in-company. Normally, our students have to spend at least the last semester putting into practice what they have learned during their studies. We provide the opportunity for students to work for the companies, institutions, and organizations we partner with. This is a fundamental part of our educational model. During this training the students receive important knowledge that they will need during their lives. At the end of the training, the students are also evaluated according to their performance over the period. The current government has ensured universal access to primary education since 2008. Although access to quality and well-recognized higher education institutions is still low, Mexico has achieved incredible results in its higher education system over the past few years.
JOSÉ MORALES OROZCO
One of the greatest challenges Mexican institutions of higher education face is how to link higher education with the country’s development needs and industries. We are doing our best to make our programs more pertinent and to respond to the real needs not only of the market, but of the country, in terms of development. Our university is not serving the market; it’s serving the country. The program for which we see the highest demand is media and communications. The Universidad Iberoamericana was the first university in Latin America to offer such a program, and almost 1,300 of our students are studying media and communications. The second-most popular program is architecture; we have the most prestigious architecture program in the country. Third is law, followed by industrial engineering and psychology. These are the five largest programs that are directly responding to the country’s needs, but at the university we have 35 undergraduate programs and 33 post-graduate programs. We believe it is socially responsible to be an active agent in social transformation, especially working with indigenous, suburban, and migrant people. We are also focused on defending human rights and the environment. This is part of the transversal educational vision we have at our university; these values must be present in all of the university’s activities. This is one of the reasons why the university exists.
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