International Education

Higher Education in Mexico

Mexico's comprehensive higher education system includes public and private universities and other institutions that provide a wide variety of programs at all levels. Schools range in size from a few hundred students to over 200, 000 students at the largest university. Admission to universities is based on secondary school grades and entrance exam scores and can be competitive at some schools. Tuition at public institutions is minimal but can be quite high at some private institutions. The Secretary of Public Education is the primary institution that oversees higher education although public universities operate autonomously and even oversee private institutions at times. Teacher training schools and public technological schools are overseen by other federal and state agencies. Accreditation of institutions is provided by the Inter-Institutional Committees for Evaluation of Higher Education while some specific programs are accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Higher Education. Types of Schools and DegreesHigher education in Mexico includes federal and state public institutions as well as private institutions. The types of institutions can be categorized as universities, polytechnics or teacher training schools. Over 80 percent of higher education students attend public institutions of which there at least two in each of the 31 states. There are also over 40 private universities and institutes. The degrees offered at Mexican universities and institutes conforMto the Bologna agreement which standardized degrees across Europe. Degrees include three and four year bachelor's degrees, one year specialization diplomas, two year master's degrees and research-oriented doctoral degrees. The National Autonomous University of Mexico, with over 200, 000 students, is the largest university in the country. It conducts 50 percent of Mexico's scientific research. It is based in Mexico City but has satellite campuses and research centers across the country. It is the highest-ranking Spanish-speaking university in the world. International StudentsInternational students are welcome to study in Mexico as full-degree students, through study-abroad programs or through an exchange program at their own school. Students who want to attend a full-degree program will be admitted on a competitive basis based on entrance exams scores and secondary school transcripts. Students should speak fluent Spanish since almost all courses are taught in Spanish. Some schools do offer courses taught in English which appeal to English-speaking international students who have not mastered Spanish as well as other students who want to improve their English skills. The number of international students who study in Mexico is fairly low with most students coming from South America, although the number of students attending from other parts of the world has been increasing in recent years. Tuition for foreigners is very reasonable at public universities but varies at private universities with some charging very reasonable tuition and others charging as much as private universities and colleges in the US. About MexicoMexico is the 11th most populous country in the world with approximately 111 million people as of 2009. It is located in North America, bordering the United States, Guatemala and Belize, the Gulf of Mexico and the Pacific Ocean. Mexico is a popular tourist destination with its many beach resorts and ancient ruins drawing over 21 million tourists each year. It is widely known for its coastal climate, spicy cuisine and unique culture. Mexico is a Spanish-speaking country with the 13th highest Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in the world and a rate of growth that is predicted to make it the 5th largest economy by 2050. Its major industries include aerospace, electronics, tobacco and automotive. ResourcesSecretary of Education (Spanish language)Visit Mexico - Official tourisMwebsite