Today President Obama and President Pena Nieto announced the formation of a Bilateral Forum on Higher Education, Innovation, and Research to expand economic opportunities for citizens of both countries and to develop a 21st century workforce for our mutual economic prosperity. The Presidents reaffirmed their belief that greater educational opportunities will further our shared goals in all areas of the rich and extensive partnership between the United States and Mexico.
Through the High-Level Forum on Higher Education, Innovation, and Research, the U.S. and Mexican Governments will encourage broader access to quality post-secondary education for traditionally underserved demographic groups, especially in the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields. They will also expand educational exchanges, increase joint research on education and learning, and share best practices in higher education and innovation.
This forum will build upon the many positive educational and research linkages that already exist through federal, state, and local governments, public and private academic institutions, civil society, and the private sector. It will bring together government agency counterparts to deepen cooperation on higher education, innovation, and research. It will also draw on the expertise of the higher education community in both countries.
The United States and Mexico have a long history of educational collaboration. More than 18,000 Mexican and U.S. university students study in each other’s countries annually. The Mexico-U.S. Commission for Educational and Cultural Exchange (COMEXUS) oversees the Fulbright-Garcia Robles Scholarship Program, the flagship program in U.S.-Mexico academic exchanges, through which more than 4,000 Mexicans and Americans have participated in bilateral exchange programs since 1990. Fulbright and other exchange students from Mexico contribute to President Obama’s hemisphere-wide goal of seeing 100,000 Latin American and Caribbean young people studying in the United States and 100,000 young Americans studying across the Western Hemisphere. Through U.S.-Mexican public-private partnerships such as Jóvenes en Acción (Youth in Action), Mexican public high school students build leadership, English, and communication skills, learning ways to serve their communities. In addition, federal and state officials from Mexico and the United States work together to improve the quality of education for migrant students in both countries.