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Educational exchange between B.C., Mexico students expanded

By Richmond Sentinel

Published 12:23 PDT, Thu June 30, 2022

A new partnership with Jalisco and Guanajuato state governments will give more British Columbian students opportunities to learn in Mexico.

The province is enhancing academic partnerships between Mexico and B.C. through the signing of two memoranda of understanding (MOU) between the Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Training, the Ministry of Education and Child Care, and Jalisco and Guanajuato.

"The flow of post-secondary students, educators and ideas between British Columbia and Mexico increases innovation, which supports economic and social prosperity for both regions," said Anne Kang, Minister for Advanced Education and Skills Training. "Thank you to the BC Council for International Education for building this partnership, and I look forward to the benefits that expanding collaboration among students and faculty will bring to our province and the Mexican states."

Next steps after signing the MOUs include developing opportunities for international student movement, reciprocal study placements in schools and post-secondary institutions, as well as developing institutional partnerships between the province and Mexican states. The agreements help information exchange between institutions about their educational policies, quality assurance, and student and teacher exchanges.

"By signing the first two K-12 education MOUs between B.C. and Mexico, more students can gain new life experiences and develop intercultural skills through their studies in a different country," said Jennifer Whiteside, Minister of Education and Child Care. "The partnerships with Mexico build on our agreements with other countries and represent a shared commitment to giving students opportunities to learn and live in new places, while they also provide invaluable and ever-lasting benefits to host families, schools, and communities."

Jorge Enrique Hernández Meza, Guanajuato's Minister of Education, said: "Guanajuato bets on international co-operation and collaboration to enhance the talent of students and teachers. The alliance with the Canadian government and the B.C. province will allow us to keep generating the best opportunities for the academic community of Guanajuato, promoting the training of talents, developing mind-manufacturing (mentefactura), and promoting good practices in educational matters.

"Through education, we make people's aspirations come true, and, if we have allied institutions in other countries, we can go beyond dreams. In Guanajuato, we have invested in international collaboration and the construction of value alliances for a competitive, innovative, and global ecosystem that helps our students and teachers to have the best opportunities for their development in Guanajuato, Mexico, and the world."

There are also opportunities for student and teacher exchanges at the secondary and post-secondary level for professional development, study programs, English-language training for teachers, and curriculum development.

"International co-operation represents a unique opportunity to promote the development of intercultural skills at school communities, strengthening inclusion and respect for diversity through reciprocal recognition of our cultural and linguistic richness," said Juan Carlos Flores Miramontes, Jalisco's Minister of Education. "This memorandum of understanding is an ideal framework to plan activities to promote exchange, interaction, and mobility to build new bridges between Jalisco and British Columbia."

By sharing ideas, projects and policies in co-operation with Mexico through MOUs, the province continues to seek opportunities to enhance B.C.'s economy and share in talent recruitment and development.

Mexico's post-secondary education system is the second largest in Latin America after Brazil. About 27 per cent of Mexicans aged 25 to 34 attend post-secondary.

Students from Mexico studying abroad rose from more than 11,000 in 2010 to more than 18,000 in 2014. Students studying abroad in Mexico increased from 7,500 to almost 13,000 in the same period.

Mobility is mainly taking place at the bachelor's degree level in the social sciences, business administration, and law. The top five destinations for outbound Mexican students are Spain, the United States, France, Germany, and Canada.

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