Friday, December 4, 2015

MOU between UTRGV and Universidad Autónoma de Tamaulipas promotes strong collaboration

EDINBURG, TEXAS – DEC. 4, 2015 – A new Memorandum of Understanding signed Dec. 3 between The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley and the Universidad Autónoma de Tamaulipas, the state university of Tamaulipas, Mexico, will provide new collaborative opportunities to students, faculty and staff at both border institutions.

The MOU, signed by UTRGV President Guy Bailey and Universidad Autónoma de Tamaulipas Rector C. P. Enrique C. Etienne Pérez del Río, provides for cooperative efforts to promote academic interchange of faculty and students, joint research projects, exchange of academic publications, reports and other information, and collaborative professional development, among other activities as approved by both institutions.

Bailey said the signing formally continues a relationship that has been in place for more than 25 years.

“Our institutions share much in common. We both have medical schools and both of our medical schools will be dealing with similar kinds of issues,” Bailey said. “There is a synergy there. Also, each of our universities have programs that are attractive to faculty and students. So faculty and student exchanges are very strong. Finally, many of our students have connections across the border. This is a great opportunity for us to build for the future.”

Pérez del Río, who became his university’s rector in 2014, said he aims to lead his university from being “good” to “excellent,” and to produce graduates who not only are qualified, but also have strong values.

“We have established three goals or three areas of action – academic quality, research and internationalization of the institution,” he said, and cited some of their recent international awards and certifications for academic endeavors. “I am very proud to offer our university to you. We can do many great things together.”

The academic heads of both universities – Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. Havidán Rodríguez and UAT’s Secretario Académico Dr. Marco Aurelio Navarro Leal – also spoke at the ceremony.

“We look forward to continuing to collaborate, expand and strengthen our partnerships,” Rodríguez said. “One of our core priorities is to become a gateway to the Americas. We are working hard to strengthen and expand our international programs to become a much more global institution.”

Navarro Leal said the border relationships that already exist in terms of families, the economy and growth already make this a strong region, and that there will be growing opportunities for students to fill needed positions in areas like technology and the space industry. Research will be important in medical technology, he said, and in meeting the countries’ common challenges of maintaining clean air and water.

“We need to start working together in terms of how we are going to prepare our students to face these new challenges,” he said.

The Universidad Autónoma de Tamaulipas, based in Cd. Victoria, Tamps., has the highest enrollment in the state of Tamaulipas, serving about 40,000 students in 26 academic units, colleges and schools located in Reynosa, Matamoros, Nuevo Laredo, Tampico, Cd. Mante and Valle Hermoso. In addition to a medical school, it also has research and knowledge transfer centers.

The UTRGV Office of Global Engagement hosted the MOU ceremony, which was attended by deans and academic leaders from both institutions. The OGE oversees International Programs and Partnerships, International Admissions and Student Services and the Language Institute.

Dr. Dennis Hart, UTRGV associate provost of the OGE, said UTRGV is looking for strategic partnerships.

“We want partners that are aligned carefully with our goals and our needs and where we can fit with them,” he said. “What we are hoping for here is an effective relationship with our medical schools, our business schools and other schools, as well. They are a strategic partner.”

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