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The official visit of President Barack Obama to Mexico in early May culminated in the announcement of a new education partnership between the two countries. President Obama and President Pena Nieto announced the launch of a Bilateral Forum on Higher Education, Innovation, and Research which will bring together government agency counterparts to deepen cooperation in the related areas. The Forum will build upon the existing educational and research linkages at the level of federal, state and local governments, public and private academic institutions, civil society, and the private sector to develop a shared vision on educational cooperation.
More specifically, the issues of a broader access to post-secondary education, particularly in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), academic mobility, joint research on education and learning, and best practices in higher education and innovation top the agenda of the Forum. For this purpose, the new political platform will rely on the expertise of higher education communities in both countries.
In practical terms, the U.S. government’s “100,000 Strong in the Americas Initiative” has been mentioned in the press as a possible channel to enhance academic mobility between Mexico and the United States. The question of whether the activities of the new platform will go beyond bureaucratic discussions and, if yes, how they will be supported financially remains largely unclear.