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Visits by IU leadership to Mexico open path for new two-way academic opportunities

Collaborations already underway with Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico

  • June 23, 2015

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- A recent trip to Mexico City by Indiana University Vice President for Research Jorge José and Vice President for International Affairs David Zaret has become a first step in implementing new collaborations with one of the most prestigious universities in Latin America and other leading institutions in Mexico.

Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, hosting the first visit of any IU vice presidents to Mexico, will now serve as an inauguration point for productive and long-term collaborations. The first began last month when a doctoral student in the IU Bloomington College of Arts and Sciences' Department of Anthropology became part of a new exchange program that will allow for a one-year visit to conduct field research and work alongside Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México researchers.

“A very promising aspect of this new collaboration is building on longstanding connections between the Ostrom Workshop at Indiana University and UNAM’s Institute of Social Research,” José said. “Lin Ostrom’s work and her students have been extremely influential, so much so that UNAM biannually awards an Elinor Ostrom International Award on Collective Governance of the Commons.”

José said those connections will also include student and faculty exchanges and research partnerships, along with a proposed exploratory meeting among IU and Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México faculty to be held at UNAM's Institute of Social Research.

José and Zaret visited Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México and other Mexican scientific research organizations during a trip in April. While at the university, they signed the agreement initiating an academic exchange program including students and faculty.

Zaret and José also met with leaders of the Mexican equivalent of the National Science Foundation, CONACYT, which sponsors agreements with other leading universities in the U.S. in order to substantially increase collaborations between U.S. and Mexican universities. They also met with Undersecretary of State Sergio Alcocer, who manages a key program in this effort, the Bilateral Forum on Higher Education, Innovation and Research, known as FOBESII. The program was inaugurated in 2013 by U.S. President Barack Obama and Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto.

The goal of FOBESII is to increase the number of Mexican students studying in the U.S. by 100,000 each year, and the number of U.S. students studying in Mexico by 10,000 each year. The agreement between IU and Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México enables IU to contribute to the FOBESII effort in different ways.

The final stop on the trip by José and Zaret was to El Colegio de México, a leading social sciences research university that is expected to be a key partner for exchanges with the IU Bloomington College of Arts and Sciences, the School of Global and International Studies, the School of Public Health, and the School of Public and Environmental Affairs.

Considered a global institution with 95 percent of its undergraduates studying abroad, Zaret said El Colegio De México was a perfect example of the opportunities that lie ahead for IU in Mexico.

“To build and further develop robust connections to these institutions, there will be new meetings between IU Bloomington school and campus administrators and their counterparts in Mexico during the 2015-16 academic year to explore new opportunities for IU students and faculty,” Zaret said.

Related Links

Indiana University Vice President for Research Jorge José

Indiana University Vice President for Research Jorge José

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Vice President for International Affairs David Zaret

Vice President for International Affairs David Zaret

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Steve Hinnefeld