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Qualifications deal to boost UK-Mexico mobility

Mexico and the UK have signed a mutual qualifications recognition agreement which stakeholders say will increase bilateral student mobility, enabling up to 170,000 students to use their qualifications in either country for work or study.

The agreement was signed signed in the presence of the Prince of Wales and President Enrique Peña Nieto of Mexico. Photo: British Council.

"I am completely sure that the agreement will increase substantially the academic mobility which will strengthen the knowledge and labour exchange of both countries”

The treaty will also make it easier to create transnational partnerships and initiatives, and is expected to pave the way for similar agreements between the UK and other Latin American countries.

“It sets a standard for equivalent agreements in Latin America and elsewhere around the world”

“I am completely sure that the signing of an agreement on mutual recognition of awards will increase substantially the academic mobility which will strengthen the knowledge and labour exchange, as well as the economic development of both countries,” said Ambassador Socorro Rovirosa, Director of International Relations for Mexico’s Ministry of Public Education.

The agreement will help to plug skills gaps in both the UK and Mexico in sectors such as energy, environment and healthcare by enabling qualified scientists, technicians and managers to work across both countries, according to the British Council.

“At the moment if a Mexican student studies a degree in a UK university that qualification is not recognised back in Mexico – and similarly if a UK student studies in Mexico they can’t then use their qualification here when they get back,” explained John Bramwell, the British Council’s Director of Education and Society for the Americas.

“[The new agreement] also sets a standard for equivalent agreements in Latin America and elsewhere around the world, creating a true step-change in international academic collaboration for the UK, and with the UK,” he added.

Mexico and the UK have established a joint commission, supported by the British Council, to discuss the implementation of the treaty.

It is expected to complete its design work in October 2015, after which discussions on new partnerships could begin immediately.

Provost of Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Eduardo Barzana, said that the agreement is “vital” to the internationalisation of Mexican universities.

“It will enable UNAM and other universities to pursue our objectives of establishing a presence in the UK as well as supporting mobility and progression for our very best innovators and scientists,” he commented.

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