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Universidad Anahuac: Meet the Rector

San Bartolo Naucalpan by MaxVargasM via Wikimedia Commons

Located in Naucalpan de Juárez, Mexico, the Universidad Anáhuac México is ranked in QS Latin American University Rankings 2020 and is one of the top 20 universities in Mexico.

To learn more about Universidad Anáhuac México and what it offers international students, we spoke to its rector, Dr. Cipriano Sánchez García.

Can you tell us a little bit about your career and how you became the rector of the university?

I'm a Catholic priest, so my academic background is in philosophy, theology and humanities. I have a master’s in theology and a PhD in philosophy. I also worked as director of family care in the Archdiocese of México, have a radio program at Radio Centro, and a TV Show at TV Azteca.

In 2014, I was appointed as vice Rector of the Anahuac North campus and one year later I became Rector. Later, we merged the South and North Campus of Anahuac in Mexico City, so now I am responsible for both. I am also a member of the government board here in Mexico.

What is the main mission and pillars of the university?

Anahuac's mission is to be engaged in the integral formation of young people through investigation, internationalization and social responsibility. Academic excellence is also very important to us, so we do a lot of work around accreditation and are very proud to be part of the QS rankings. We are very engaged with the concept of positive action leaders, which means we are focused on helping individual development that will be a positive changing force in Mexican society.

How important are international students?

The international dimension is very important to us, even in this very difficult time when we have to rethink how we engage with international students. We believe that being international is also a mindset; believing your initiatives, ideas and your projects can reach many places.

Mexico is a very attractive place for international students, because it's rich in cultural and historical elements, and is often thought of as the door to Latin America.

Mexico City is one of the most important political, cultural, educational and financial centers of America. So, being here in Mexico and in our university, students are also part of a global community.

What is the university’s strategy to attract more international students?

We are working on three very important initiatives. The first one is that we are starting two programs that will be taught completely in English: Global Management and Engineering Management.

The second is our summer schools for engineering, law, communication, economics and tourism. In the summer schools we aim to offer students three experiences: the academic experience of studying in an institution of excellence, the cultural experience of living in Mexico, and the opportunity to do some social responsibility work. We also offer programs for students interested in learning Spanish while also studying another subject.

Which channels are you using to promote the university?

We have a very active internationalization department which helps us build strong relationships with international firms and universities. We are also currently translating our website into English to help people that are interested in learning more about our courses. The university also has many MoU’s and partnerships with international institutions, and we are also part of an international network, which helps us have more visibility in other countries. In addition to that, offering online programs is also very important to us, since sometimes international students are not able to physically attend a long course.

How well do you think Mexico is promoting the country and its institutions to international students?

At the moment, with the economic situation in Mexico, it’s not so easy for the government to help with this promotion, but there are some institutions such as CONACyT (Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnología), that is responsible for the promotion of scientific and technological activities in Mexico.

There are many universities in Mexico, such as Instituto Tecnológico e de Estudos Superiores de Monterrey and the Universidad de Guadalajara that are making very important efforts to attract students to Mexico, but I believe we need to be more organized in this aspect. This is also why we are very interested in our participation in international rankings, to promote the academic excellence of our universities.

What's the future for Latin America internationalization and attracting international students?

I believe the main question here is the academic excellence we are offering to our students. I can only speak for Mexico, but I believe it’s very important to make students proud of graduating from a Mexican university. Our human and ethical values, as well as our social responsibility are also very important in that sense and can increase the number of students choosing to remain in Mexico to study and also the number of international students interested in studying here. Another strategy is to offer shorter courses that are also less expensive. This can help students from more regions come to Mexico as well. I also believe that you don’t need to have the same amount of incoming and outgoing students. The most important thing is the experience you offer to students.

What message would you like to send to students visiting the QS site and might be interested in studying at Universidad Anáhuac?

You can reach us through our website. It’s very important for us, that foreign students want to study in Mexico understand what Anahuac can offer. We want to create a community of great leaders, but also of better people. Our goal is not just to feed your brain with information, but to help you grow as a citizen so you can make a difference in the world. The most important thing for us at the university is to combine academic excellence with personal excellence.

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Written by Niamh Ollerton
Niamh is Deputy Head of Content at QS (TopMBA.com; topuniversities.com), creating and editing content for an international student audience. Having gained her journalism qualification at the Press Association, London and since written for different international publications, she's now enjoying telling the stories of students, alumni, faculty, entrepreneurs and organizations from across the globe.  

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