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The global financial meltdown is also affecting students and in times of increased uncertainty, education proves the best investment. This is the underlying motivation for a new programme announced by the Mexican Public Education Secretariat in conjunction with the National Association of Universities and Institutions of Higher Education (ANUIES) and the Mexican Federation of Private Institutions of Higher Education (FIMPES). The plan calls for a joint effort between public and private higher education institutions to reduce fees, increase scholarships for thousands more students and offer discounts on tuition and other fees. With this effort they hope to prevent students from dropping out or postponing their college education for economic reasons. Public universities make up for 87 percent of the 2.5 million students enrolled in higher education institutions in Mexico. About 600 000 of those students live under the poverty line.
While ANUEIS, whose members include the 128 leading public universities and 24 private institutions, pledged to reach an agreement within three months, FIMPES, representing Mexico’s top private institutions has refrained from making any commitments. The government, for its part, has already revealed a 2.7 million increase in budget for national scholarships.