UIC announces partnership with Mexican tech university

UIC Chancellor Michael Amiridis, Juan José Cabrera-Lazarini of Monterrey Institute of Technology, University Trustee Ramón Cepeda and Vice Provost for Global Engagement Neal McCrillis attend a welcome meeting announcing UIC’s partnership with Monterrey Tec.
UIC Chancellor Michael Amiridis, Juan José Cabrera-Lazarini of Monterrey Institute of Technology, University Trustee Ramón Cepeda and Vice Provost for Global Engagement Neal McCrillis attend a welcome meeting announcing UIC’s partnership with Monterrey Tec. Photo: UIC Creative and Digital Services

University of Illinois at Chicago officials announced that the campus has enacted a strategic partnership with the Monterrey Institute of Technology, the leading technological university in Mexico, providing it with a home base in the Midwest.

The school, Tecnológico de Monterrey, which currently has a relationship with UIC’s College of Medicine and College of Engineering, will expand to other disciplines as the relationship between the two universities grows.

Representatives of “Monterrey Tec” (its name in Spanish) were on the UIC campus recently to announce the expanded relationship, which will include a faculty liaison office for a permanent representative of the Mexican university to facilitate an interchange of faculty, students and resources. The Mexican university already has partnerships with Harvard University in Boston and San Jose State University in California but was looking for a home in the Midwest to better support its international collaborations, UIC Chancellor Michael Amiridis said.

“UIC is the logical choice in the Midwest because we are already partnering with their faculty in medicine and engineering, and we are a Hispanic-Serving Institution,” he said. “When you add UIC’s location in a city with one of the largest Mexican populations outside of Mexico, we are the perfect fit.”

Amiridis said the opportunities provided by the partnership will build a stronger relationship between UIC and Monterrey Tec, one of the leading institutions of higher education in Mexico, which serves more than 60,000 students. The school is made up of 31 campuses located across 25 cities in Mexico and 22 liaison offices in 15 countries.

The initial areas of focus will include ophthalmology research, a collaborative program focusing on healthy living in applied health sciences, as well as the creation of a pipeline for student and faculty exchanges across the campus, Amiridis said.

“This initiative is an important bridge we are building to connect us to Monterrey Tec, one of the leading universities in the world. The academic, cultural and economic innovations will benefit both communities and the great cities in which we live,” Amiridis said.

UIC’s Office of Global Engagement is leading the initiative.

Neal McCrillis, vice provost for Global Engagement, said that UIC will serve the citizens of Chicago and the world by “being an international leader in research, scholarship and innovation, and by creating a globally connected campus community which supports faculty, staff and students as they address the challenges and opportunities of the 21st century.”

Among the key elements to the strategy is ensuring that the campus is globally engaged, and international partners are key, McCrillis said.

“By committing Juan José Cabrera-Lazarini to us at UIC for 3-4 years, Monterrey Tec is committing to building up all the elements we need to achieve our internationalization strategy,” McCrillis said.

Carlos Villanueva Sanchez, director of delegations abroad and an associate vice president for Monterrey Tec, said both universities will benefit from the expanded relationship.

“The reason is to strengthen the relationship between the two institutions, which will be accomplished through an exchange of students, professors, joint research projects and many other academic projects that can benefit both regions,” he said.

Cabrera-Lazarini, director of Monterrey Tec’s delegation to the Midwest who will be assigned at UIC, said UIC’s approach fits in seamlessly with the mission of the Mexican university. Cabrera-Lazarini focused on UIC’s mission statement to “Dream Big, Work Hard, Do Good, Give Back” as goals that both schools hold dear.

“I immediately identified with these UIC values,” Cabrera-Lazarini said. “I think it’s a great opportunity for the students here to be reintroduced with their roots and their heritage, and in another sense, we’ll bring Mexican students from Monterrey Tec to UIC.”

Tecnológico de Monterrey is a private university system founded in 1943 in Monterrey, Mexico. It is a comprehensive university offering doctorate, graduate, undergraduate and high school programs in engineering, management, social, arts and human sciences and medicine. 

Tecnológico de Monterrey’s scientific activity focuses on eight main strategic research areas to encourage innovation, knowledge generation and knowledge transfer, with the goal of trying to solve problems in Mexico and worldwide. These eight strategic areas include biotechnology and food; mechatronics and engineering; information technology; sustainability; public policy; business; medicine; and education, the humanities and the social sciences.

Tecnológico de Monterrey’s research program is based on its flagship campus at Monterrey and operates through six schools made up of research professors from the research campuses. The schools include business; social science and government; medicine, engineering and sciences; humanities; education; and architecture, art and design.

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