While Trump administration officials assess prototypes for a wall along the US-Mexico border, University of Texas officials are strengthening ties and building bridges south of the border.
Opening a new office in Mexico City at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), Mexico’s largest university, the University of Texas at Austin has pledged to expand collaborations with Mexican educational and scientific organisations in the coming years.
Dan Jaffe, UT’s vice-president for research, also signed an academic and research agreement with Mexico’s oil and gas regulatory commission, the Comisión Nacional de Hidrocarburos, on 16 November this year as part of an agreement to support Mexico in the sustainable development of its hydrocarbon resources.
UT’s office at UNAM will house the University of Texas at Austin – Mexico Institute, a non-profit organisation established to promote the university’s research both locally and internationally. Staff stationed there will work with researchers in both Mexico and Texas to pursue projects in science, technology, engineering and maths as well as scholarly and cultural studies.
“Mexican students, researchers and institutions are vital as the University of Texas addresses important issues that affect both Mexico and Texas,” said Gregory L. Fenves, president of UT Austin. “For decades, UT has worked closely with Mexican scholars, as well as with public and private-sector stakeholders on educational programmes and research.
“By opening this office, the university plans to become an even closer partner with Mexico, building on existing relationships and developing new ones to expand opportunities in education and research.”
The latest partnership follows more than 50 years of research collaboration programmes between UT and Mexican institutions.