New Publication | Building on Early Success: Next Steps in U.S.-Mexico Educational Cooperation

By Angela Robertson and Duncan Wood

USA and MexicoLaunched in 2014, the U.S.-Mexico Bilateral Forum on Higher Education, Innovation, and Research (FOBESII) seeks to “expand opportunities for educational exchanges, scientific research partnerships, and cross-border innovation to help both countries develop a 21st century workforce for both our mutual economic prosperity and sustainable social development.” It aims to promote binational cooperation in higher education and research, especially regarding important areas for innovation in the United States and Mexico, by promoting programs for student mobility, academic exchange, research, and innovation in areas of common interest to contribute to the competitiveness of the region.

Cultural and educational exchanges help to create connections between the people and institutions of the United States and Mexico via exchange programs, scholarships, grants, and joint research.  Increasing educational exchanges and strengthening workforce development and innovation, particularly in STEM areas, will allow the United States and Mexico, and North America as a whole, to compete in global markets. Thus, FOBESII has the potential to build a more prosperous future for both the United States and Mexico.

Nonetheless, this short paper argues that, while FOBESII has done much to expand educational exchanges, increase joint research, and promote innovation, it has yet to achieve its stated goals and continues to face serious challenges. We argue that to overcome these challenges, future initiatives must focus on advancing private sector engagement, workforce development, and improving public communication and outreach. FOBESII continues to be a relevant and important initiative, but it is in urgent need of restructuring and redirection if it is to make a significant contribution to bilateral affairs and regional competitiveness.

Read the paper…

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‘Invisible’ Children: Raised in the U.S., Now Struggling in Mexico

11/13/16 NPR Ed

Student by flickr user RightIndexChildren and teenagers of Mexican descent make up one of the fastest-growing populations in the nation’s public schools.

That’s a well-known statistic, but less known is that, in the last eight years, nearly 500,000 of these children have returned to Mexico with their families. Nine out of 10 are U.S. citizens because they were born in the U.S. That’s according to Mexican and U.S. government figures compiled by researchers with the University of California system, and the Civil Rights Project at UCLA.

These families have returned to Mexico because of the economic downturn in the U.S. Many others were deported and had no choice but to take their U.S.-born children with them.

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High Demand for Bilingual Schoolteachers Has Educators Crossing U.S.-Mexico Border

10/3/16 Fox News Latino

When 36-year-old Jan García from Monterrey, Mexico, went to study for a bachelor’s degree in education in Minnesota 15 years ago, she quickly realized that her professional future lay in the classroom.Yet her dream of teaching English to elementary school children in Mexico was complicated by the country’s highly-politicized public education system which refused to recognize her qualification.

Now, however, García sees a new route to fulfilling her dream. She is currently planning to study her master’s degree in Teaching English as a Second Language (TESOL) at a U.S. university and pay her way by teaching in the public school system where demand for Spanish-speaking educators is growing.

Nearly half a million U.S. citizens are enrolled in Mexican schools. Many of them are struggling

09/14/16 Los Angeles Times

4016878387_6c06622439_oTwo decades ago, a team of U.S. and Mexican researchers descended on Dalton, Ga., to study the growing number of Mexican immigrants who had come to work in the city’s carpet mills.

Victor Zuñiga, a sociologist at the Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education, was interested in what the demographic shift meant for local schools, so he sat down with a teacher who told him something he couldn’t get out of his head.

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Child labour in Mexico

08/20/16 Al Jazeera

education - school children“Education for everyone” has been a popular slogan since the Mexican revolution over 100 years ago.

But according to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, eight out of 100 Mexican children who enroll in elementary school, do not show up for classes.

While barely 50 complete middle school, 20 graduate from high school, 13 get a bachelor’s degree, and only two become graduate students.

A study released by UNESCO last year says the children who don’t attend school are mostly working. The report reveals that at least 21 percent of all Mexican youth between the ages of seven and 14 drop out of school – that’s around 651,000 children.

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Mexican Billionaire Carlos Slim’s Foundation Launches Free Online Educational App

06/16/2016 Forbes

slimAs part of his philosophy that philanthropic foundations do not solve poverty but knowledge does, Mexican telecom tycoon Carlos Slim Helú launched Aprende.org, a free online educational platform aimed at expanding opportunities to anyone with a smartphone and an internet connection, his foundation announced Wednesday.

“This is an important achievement for Mexico and can be a model for other nations,” Slim said during a press conference at his Museo Soumaya in Mexico City, according to Uno TV, Slim’s online TV news channel.

 

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Mexico to Rely on Financial Tools to Boost Investment

9/2/2015 Wall Street Journal

financeMEXICO CITY—Days before Mexico’s government unveils the most austere budget in years because to falling oil prices, President Enrique Peña Nieto has decided to rely on new financial tools to boost investment in such key sectors as education, infrastructure and energy.

“Mexico will be developing innovative financial instruments that will allow us to capture more capital flows…and to direct them to infrastructure projects,” said Mr. Peña Nieto in his annual state of the nation address Wednesday at the National Palace.

In his speech, Mr. Peña Nieto said the government will be issuing education infrastructure bonds to obtain from investors around $3 billion in the next three years to help improve public schools. The funds will complement education budgets.

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