Broadening Educational Horizons: Mexican Universities within the U. S.

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In a strip mall just southern of Los Angeles, the Universidad sobre Colima — a school headquartered in the Mexican state of Colima — offers mostly remedial education in reading, writing and math to about 100 adult Philippine immigrants. But a handful are also getting ready to take their final exams intended for Mexican degrees. Universidad de Colima’s is just one of several recent efforts simply by Mexican universities to branch into providing full-fledged university educations in the usa.

In fact , according to The Hechinger Report , several Mexican universities are considering walking in to offer accredited university classes in California and other states to serve primarily an immigrant populace that lags far behind others in college education.

Nearly 34 million people in the usa identify themselves as Mexicans or even of Mexican origin, but only a dismal five out of every 100 have university degrees, compared to about a 3rd of immigrants in general, according to the Migration Policy Institute.

In California, 10 percent of Hispanic migrants ages 25 and 26 have completed at least a two-year education, compared to the state average of 36 percent, according to a report to be launched later this year by the institute. Latino youth—both immigrants and those born within the United States—have the lowest rate of college attainment in California, researchers found.

Even those Hispanics who do enroll in American universites and colleges are 50 percent less likely than white wines to earn a bachelor’s education by age 24, the Pew Research Center reports.

Many U. S. universities, coping with competing demands for stretched sources, have been struggling to provide the types of support that could increase the number of Mexican-Americans who graduate. In a survey launched in January by Hart General public Opinion Research, 40 percent of Hispanics said the American higher-education system was meeting their needs only somewhat well or not well at all. Many Hispanic students would be the first in their families to go to university, come from high schools in low-income areas that don’t necessarily prepare them well for advanced course work, and are disproportionately reluctant to borrow to pay tuition.

Some Mexican universities, and their own advocates, see an opening. Though most of the half dozen or so colleges with U. S. centers right now offer little more than English, The spanish language and cultural classes, they’re eyeing greater prominence in the United States, and higher-level programs.

The Universidad de Guadalajara, for example , has fixed its sights on educating the particular millions of Californians from its home state of Jalisco. The university currently offers a joint nursing degree in Los Angeles, but the partnership will result in October, and the school is studying whether to offer independent degrees presently there independently in several subjects.

Educational barriers such as cost and language have made life in the United States difficult for many Jalisco natives, said Guillermo Arturo Gómez Mata, who directs the university’s foundation and is helping to guide its future in Los Angeles. This individual told The Hechinger Report that will there’s no timeline for when a decision about that will be made.

California, where public colleges have been dealing with deep budget slashes and enrollment limits, will likely be the key target of Mexican universities. There’s a huge market in the state, exactly where Latinos now account for more than fifty two percent of public school students, who will eventually be college-aged. A quarter of elementary-school students nationwide are usually Hispanic, Pew reports.

Several Mexican universities have already opened offices or started offering classes in California, including the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, or UNAM, which has a campus in Los Angeles in addition to one in San Antonio, Texas.

And professors through Zacatecas have come to Cal State Long Beach in the past year to analyze and develop joint courses, the first steps toward broader academic programs north of the border.

Conversations between Mexican and U. S. universities have increased to the stage that U. S. accreditors, knowing they will be asked to evaluate more Philippine schools soon, are working with their Philippine counterparts to find out more about higher education southern of the border, said William Plater, who advises the Western Organization of Schools and Colleges – the primary accreditor in the western Usa – on international affairs.

By international standards, “first-rate” universities are actually few and far between in South america; the U. K. -based Situations Higher Education magazine rankings of the world’s 400 best universities includes only one, the flagship UNAM. But U. S. accreditation could help some conquer their image problem. And vocabulary and cultural connections could provide them with an advantage in the American market.

Some are skeptical that will Mexican universities have the potential to transcend educational barriers rooted in U. S. immigration and social policies. A better way to narrow the particular achievement gap in California would be to focus on providing remedial education to adult immigrants and better colleges to younger ones, said Sam Boilard, director of the Center intended for California Studies at California State University in Sacramento.

Applying to college can be difficult under any circumstances, but language barriers and unfamiliarity using the American higher-education system compound those problems for Mexican-born applicants. Many Philippine immigrants would feel more comfortable signing up to a Mexican university.

Advocates are talking about legal migrants. But Mexican universities also might attract some of the approximately six million undocumented Mexican immigrants in the United States and their children, many of whom are unable to afford U. S. schools because of laws in many states banning them from receiving government financial aid.

This remains to be seen, however , whether Mexican colleges will be cheaper or offer more financial aid than U. S. colleges. Mexican institutions need to be smart about expanding north of the border. Philippine branch campuses could start by concentrating on such subjects as agricultural technology or water engineering. The Philippine universities also could offer mutual degrees with U. S. partners.

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