U.S. Ambassador Anthony Wayne met with deans of public and private universities in Mérida, Mexico, on May 25 to promote the exchange of students and teachers between the United States and Mexico.
During the meeting, they discussed the efforts and interest of both governments in student exchange programs, including President Barack Obama’s 100,000 Strong in the Americas Initiative, which seeks to promote increased international educational exchanges between the United States and Latin America, the Caribbean, and Canada.The goal of the initiative is to reach 100,000 annual exchanges in each direction.
Ambassador Wayne highlighted the importance of the U.S.-Mexico Bilateral Forum for Higher Education, Research, and Innovation, which promotes prosperity in the region through student exchange.
The group also discussed barriers to student exchange, including misconceptions about the security situation in Mérida or the cost of education in the United States. It also explored how to mobilize more private sector support to fund students of limited means.
"I appreciate the valuable opportunity to talk to such a distinguished group on a subject that is vital for the prosperity of our countries,” said Ambassador Wayne, “and get your views on how we can work together to support our future leaders while learning from each other through study in the neighboring country. Mérida, with its excellent security and numerous universities, is a city with a great potential to send and receive students. I look forward to working closely with our partners in Mérida to build on their successes."
Ambassador Wayne also congratulated the Autonomous University of Yucatan and Anahuac Mayab University, for winning a grant competition from the 100,000 Strong Initiative.
The United States is proud to work with its partner, Mexico, to promote academic exchanges which benefit both nations and the world.