Metropolitan Autonomous University (UAM) was founded in 1974, with the aid of the then-president Luis Echeverria Alvarez. This was one of the establishments implemented after the Tlatelolco massacre in Mexico (1968) and several other movements, all of which called for a national improvement in education and comprehensive education reform.
It is spread over four campuses around Mexico City: Azcapotzalco, Cuajimalpa, Iztapalapa and Xochimilco. The fifth is based in Lerma, a conurbated town near Toluca in the state of Mexico.
Split into six academic divisions: basic sciences and engineering, biological sciences and health, communications sciences and design, natural sciences and engineering, social sciences and humanities and sciences and arts for design, UAM offers 75 undergraduate and 75 postgraduate programs.
As soon as it opened, UAM began offering an undergraduate degree in environmental engineering, making it the first Mexican university to do so.
UAM is implicated in a wide range of social enterprise projects, with the aim of supporting and resolving the problems of Mexican society’s most vulnerable. These include stomatology clinics and legal services for those who cannot afford them, a research and training centre in Chiapas, and the Sierra Nevada Project, with the goal of reconfiguring traditional production practices into sustainable operations that can be maintained long-term.
On-campus facilities and opportunities include foreign language centres, a library, several bookshops, medical centres and sports grounds.
It is highly selective in its admission policy and relies on entrance examinations and past academic records. Between 20-30 per cent of those who apply are accepted to study.