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Peru 2015 | HEALTH & EDUCATION | INTERVIEW

TBY talks to Brunela Baca Sánchez, Director of Peru for Tecnológico de Monterrey, on how the institution has transformed the education landscape in Peru.

Brunela Baca Sánchez
BIOGRAPHY
Brunela Baca Sánchez is Director of Peru for Tecnológico de Monterrey.

What has Tecnológico de Monterrey's role been in the education sector in Peru?

Tecnológico de Monterrey has been in Peru since 1998, and we came to Peru after having started off in Ecuador in 1996. Our operations in Peru were solely virtual and online until 2003, with our first program being a business degree, and we started with just five students. That number has risen through the years and now we have 90 students. Growth continues apace, which shows that there's a lot of potential in the market here in Peru and demand is very strong. Not all applicants are accepted onto the program, because the requirements are quite high. Whether its our undergraduate or postgraduate courses, certificates, and diplomas, our objective is one and the same; to transform lives. We have many graduates who are in important places in the Peruvian economy today, because people actively seek and want Tecnológico de Monterrey graduates. So I think we're doing things right.

Tecnológico de Monterrey seemed to fill a gap in the Peruvian education sector. What was the situation like before Tecnológico de Monterrey's arrival in Peru?

Before we came along, there was no international dimension when it came to education, no options for studying abroad; the only options were local programs and degrees. Tecnológico de Monterrey offers courses that are internationally recognized, and to complete one of our postgraduate courses you are required to study abroad, be it in Chile, Costa Rica, the US, or in Europe. So we filled a certain need and demand in the country for an international scope to higher education in Peru. Tecnológico de Monterrey changed the higher education landscape, and since then more foreign schools have come to Peru offering similar programs, universities like Adolfo Ibanez from Chile along with INCAE of Costa Rica. They offer an executive MBA that is direct competition for us. In the last three years, various European and US universities have also arrived, albeit more in a virtual sense. In Peru, Colombia, and Ecuador, Tecnológico de Monterrey has positioned itself excellently. In fact, in Colombia and Ecuador, the Tec is seen as the Harvard of Latin America. That's why we came to Peru as well, because of the local potential, and because we're able to leverage our international name and prestige here.

Does being a Latin American-based school uniquely position Tecnológico de Monterrey when compared to North American and European institutions?

Yes. On the one hand, we have all the accreditations for Tecnológico de Monterrey EGADE Business School, all of which are recognized in North and Latin America and Europe. On the other hand, we have partnerships with some of the world's top universities, so if you wanted to do a Master's in China or Europe or the US, you could do it through us. This international dimension is what puts Tecnológico de Monterrey at the top of most Latin American university rankings. Every student already has a certain number of foreign exchanges during the course of their undergraduate studies at Tec. We have, for example, a one-week study trip to the US, and also one to Mexico City. But apart from that, students can also take optional summer courses during Global Network Week, with 500 universities to choose from, and they can take specialized courses in any one of those universities all over the world. An international dimension is very important, especially when it comes to business. Most of our alumni and postgraduate students work in multinational or “multilatina" companies. Therefore, it's important to adopt a global perspective and the have ability to work and live anywhere in the world. This is also true for our academic staff. Our staff is required to at least hold a PhD to give classes, but we also require them to have experience from the business world. Indeed, many have been business consultants or directors at various levels.

How important is Peru for Tecnológico de Monterrey?

Our EGADE Business School is second in Mexico in terms of number of students. To give you some context, the Tecnológico de Monterrey has 26 campuses in Mexico, as well as campuses in Panama, Colombia, Peru, and Ecuador, as well as partnerships with universities in Asia, Europe, and North America. EGADE only has campuses in Mexico, Peru, and Panama. So there are just six EGADEs in the whole of Latin America. Right now we have 175 active students in Peru, and the level of our students is very high, since we have a very rigorous admittance procedure.