New rector of Mexico City’s public university vows not to raise tuition

03/02/2016 The Guardian

UNAM Biblioteca photo by Omar Omar

Incoming head of the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México says affordable higher education is vital in a country rife with inequality.

If there is one thing that animates university students the world over, it’s rising tuition and fees. So, when asked about the potential for increased tuition or fees – with which students at public and private universities in Europe and the US have often had to contend – the new rector of the public Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (Unam), Enrique Luis Graue Wiechers, wanted to be clear: “The fees won’t be changed.”

Graue Wiechers would have reasons to want to be clear: in 1999, when then-Rector Francisco Barnes de Castro pushed through tuition fees for Mexican students of about $75 per semester, the university erupted in protests, classes were cancelled and Barnes de Castro eventually was forced to resign. The strikes and protests lasted almost a full year and only ended when university administrators called in a couple thousand unarmed federal police officers to arrest the remaining protesters in February 2000.

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Carlos Slim Foundation presents Mexican and Latin American Achievements in Health

6/19/15 PR Newswire

latino-healthThe Carlos Slim Foundation celebrated its annual “Awards in Health” ceremony at the Museo Soumaya on Wednesday. Dr. Mercedes Juan Lopez, Secretary of Health for Mexico, Dr. Jose Antonio Gonzalez Anaya, CEO of the Mexican Social Security Institute (IMSS) and Dr. Jose Narro Robles, Dean of the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), joined individuals from the Foundation including Mr. Carlos Slim Helu, Founder, Mr. Marco Antonio Slim Domit, President, and Dr. Roberto Tapia Conyer, Executive Director.

The event highlighted the Foundation’s diverse core health programs and important strides made during their years of operation.Marco Antonio Slim Domit stated that, “the importance of the foundation’s work is found in the benefit that is reflected by people’s health, and by discovering and implementing new and better solutions to social problems.”

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Teachers, Students & Protests – Weekly News Summary: April 26

Coffee by Flikr user samrevelThe Mexico Institute’s “Weekly News Summary,” released every Friday afternoon summarizes the week’s most prominent Mexico headlines published in the English-language press, as well as the most engaging opinion pieces by Mexican columnists.

What the English-language press had to say…

The much lauded Pacto por México was put to the test following the release of an audio recording in which PRI officials are heard discussing how to benefit electorally from a government anti-poverty program. The Los Angeles Times called it “the most serious political crisis of [Peña Nieto’s] young government.” Plans to announce a new reform to Mexico’s banks were postponed as Secretary of the Interior Miguel Ángel Osorio Chong convened an emergency meeting with party leaders.

A small group of masked individuals seized the rectory building inside UNAM’s campus in Mexico City, protesting the expulsion weeks earlier of five students from one of the university’s preparatory high schools who were accused of vandalism. Meanwhile, members of the teachers’ union in Guerrero attacked the local offices of the four major political parties, setting the office of the ruling party, the PRI, on fire. The states of Oaxaca and Michoacán also experienced unrest.

Continue reading “Teachers, Students & Protests – Weekly News Summary: April 26”

Mexico authorities ready to retake occupied university rectory

UNAM Biblioteca photo by Omar OmarLos Angeles Times, 4/23/13

Mexico’s top law enforcement agencies said Tuesday that they were poised to order the removal of a group of masked individuals who have occupied the main administrative building of the national university since Friday. The occupation of the university’s rectory tower is linked to a relatively minor political dispute at one of the campus’ public feeder high schools, yet the incident has struck a nerve at the National Autonomous University of Mexico, or UNAM by its Spanish acronym, which has an enrollment of more than 330,000 students this year.

Students have gathered outside the rectory to vigorously debate the merits of the building’s occupation. Some argue in support of those inside; others say their right to an education is being infringed.

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Event Announcement: Mexico and the United States in 2030

On April 11th, 2012 Ambassador of Mexico to the United States, Arturo Sarukhan, will deliver a keynote speech: “Escenarios de Prospectiva: Mexico-Estados Unidos 2030” (Prospective Scenarios: Mexico-United States 2030) at the Ciudad Universitaria of UNAM in Mexico City.

The event is sponsored by the graduate studies department at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM – Posgrado), the research entity Centro de Investigaciones sobre América del Norte (CISAN) and the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars (WWICS).

Andrew Selee, Director of the Woodrow Wilson Center’s Mexico Institute, will provide commentary along with Clemente Ruiz Durán, Coordinator of the Post Graduate Program of Economics at UNAM.

View the invitation here.

Universities and military are the institutions with the best public image, according to UNAM survey (in Spanish)

CNN México, 8/23/11

Seis de cada diez mexicanos creen que el uso del ejército en el combate al narcotráfico en México es facultad exclusiva del presidente. Y un 57% cree que los diputados deberían autorizar al primer mandatario el uso de las fuerzas armadas para garantizar la seguridad en el país, de acuerdo con la más reciente encuesta nacional de cultura y legalidad realizada por el Instituto de Investigaciones Jurídicas de la UNAM.

Definido como uno de los temas a discutir en el proyecto de Ley de Seguridad Nacional (LSN), solo el 19.1% dijo que la decisión de emplear o no al ejército en actividades contra el narcotráfico deben tomarla el ejecutivo y el Senado en conjunto, mientras que un 16.9% consideró que solo el Senado debería poseer esa decisión.

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Bathed in Light, a Locus of Sadness Begins to Heal

New York Times, 7/17/11

The view from a night flight about to land in this ancient-now-massive metropolis has suddenly brightened. Outside the left-side windows on most approaches, rising from the drab haze of street lights, a web of red and blue lights tower over downtown.

A new building? Nope. Some kind of new neon advertising? Definitely not.

The connected crystals of red and blue light-emitting diodes, or LEDs, are actually public art — an electronic veil for the former Foreign Ministry to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the National University of Mexico, which now owns the 20-story building.

That such a visibly stunning effort is now a landmark after only seven months may not be surprising here in a cityscape with the color and curves of a tortilla. But move closer to the lights, and playfulness suddenly gives way to a remarkable realization: the project sits in the heart of Tlatelolco, a plaza synonymous with Spanish destruction and Mexican dictatorship.

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