Partnerships between universities in the United States and Mexico are on the rise, and bode well for economic growth and enhanced cultural ties. This phenomenon involves more than simple exchanges or language programs, and includes cooperation for graduate degrees in a range of disciplines.
“There are different types of programs,” says Dr. David Pijawka, an urban planner at Arizona State University (ASU) in Tempe, AZ. “Many are supported by foundations in Mexico that think it is really important to send graduate students to American universities.”
Pijawka was active in a three-year program in which ASU and the Instituto Tecnológico de Sonora (ITSON) partnered to support Mexican graduate students in their thesis and dissertation work. The model, which was built around research agendas within specific disciplines, helped formed the basis for other programs.
“The Mexican funders send people who are well-known in their subject areas,” says Pijawka. “Most return to Mexico and become professors. They also develop long-term partnerships with American universities that last well beyond their return to Mexico.”