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Arizona State University President Michael Crow was among the officials participating in the official launch of the Bilateral Forum for Higher Education, Innovation and Research, which was held May 21 in Mexico City. Also participating in the launch was U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Jose Antonio Meade, Kerry’s Mexican counterpart.
All members were in Mexico to discuss growing ties between the U.S., Mexico and other Latin American countries in education and innovation.
Goals of the event included increasing student mobility, consolidating links among researchers and developing joint research and innovation projects. The forum was part of an agreement signed by President Obama when he visited Mexico in May 2013.
The forum was designed to increase the amount of university-to-university connections, including academic exchanges for students, professors and researchers, and innovation and technology transfer. One of the goals outlined in the Obama agreement was to increase the number of students who travel to study abroad from the U.S. to Mexico and from Latin American countries to the U.S. to 100,000.
Secretary Kerry said during a press briefing on the visit that it was very helpful because participants worked together to set “a real agenda, a real set of objectives that will see more students from America study here in Mexico and more Mexicans study in America, that will see us have more research and innovation projects where we create the jobs and the opportunities of the future.”
“We share a border and many common interests with Mexico,” President Crow said. “It’s natural that we seek stronger ties through education, research and innovation so we can help each other prepare for the challenges and the changing nature of the advanced workforce of the 21st century."
Crow was accompanied at the forum by Arizona Regent Greg Patterson and ASU adviser Rafael Rangel Sostmann, former president of Tec de Monterrey – one of the leading universities in Mexico.
The forum was attended by several officials from higher education, including Janet Napolitano, who heads the University of California System and is the former U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security and former Governor of Arizona.