About the UNAM and the access to higher education in Mexico City

038n1soc-1Heir to the Royal and Pontifical University of Mexico - founded in 1551, the Universidad Autónoma de Mexico (UNAM), is the oldest and largest public University in Latin America. This 2015, UNAM appears once more, in the ranking of the 100 best universities in the world; occupying the number 75.

In addition to this important recognition, on 30 March this year, the University announced the signing of a cooperation agreement with the Sorbonne of Paris (one of the oldest and most prestigious universities in the world). The agreement creates, in one of the campus of the Sorbonne, a Centre for Mexican Studies

"A centre of this kind here in Paris, I am sure that the relationship of Mexico and France will benefit with concrete actions for a sector that is essential to both countries: our young people", stated before the press José Narro Robles, rector of the UNAM.

But, In reality words from the rector shows the reality of the situation of young Mexicans?

UNAM has faced for years a large number of young people who try to enter the institution; This number of candidates, thanks to the Mexican demographic profile, increases exponentially in each new period. The implementation of modalities of open and distance education have managed to overcome this problem.

This year, such results were reflected during the first competition for admission to Bachelor's degree for the 2015-2016 cycle, during which 13,000 young people more than in 2005 were able to enter the institution. However, on the other hand, 117 thousand candidates were outside any form of study; waiting for the second period; which is expected, only, to select 9000 more applicants.

Therefore, once the second selection period, 108 thousand young people will be outside the UNAM and, if we combine this future situation, critic environment politico-economic surrounding Mexican families; a bleak panorama in sight for next aspiring Mexican, eternal State to reach the first world.

Well designated Humberto Muñoz García, emeritus researcher at the Institute of social research of the maximum House of studies, and Manuel Gil Antón, scholar of the College of Mexico, the need that the Mexican State put in place more public choices of quality for this level of education.

The two scholars remind us that 40 years ago that no federal administration has created a quality public higher education institution in the area Metropolitana of the city of Mexico. On the other hand, a significant and alarming has been growing low cost - private institutions which have represented a beneficial business and very poor quality.

educacion_como_derecho"Rather than generate new public higher education, the Mexican State options you agreed give recognition of official validity changarritos (private schools) where boys continue their studies. "It is a policy where the State transferred its responsibility (to provide education) families and generates a market with high profit margin to the merchants of education, because these schools capture much of the demand for those who have been rejected" said Anton Gil.

The worst of this dynamic, is that (as always) affect to those young people of scarce resources; forcing them to choose between abandoning their studies or pursue a poor education.

Most of the young people are in this dilemma, but suit you the economic model driven by the latest federal administrations? Thanks to the latest reforms, Mexico is among the countries with lowest unemployment rate; but also with one of Latin America's lowest salaries and minimum wage.

Hector Alejandro Santos
Ambassador PEDH for education in Mexico.