University of Lethbridge explores partnerships with universities in Mexico

Trip also explores research and graduate student opportunities

University of Lethbridge President Dr. Mike Mahon will travel to Mexico to further dialogue with indigenous universities and to explore opportunities for partnership with CONACYT (Mexico's National Council for Science and Technology) February 11 to 14.

"Working with indigenous universities in Mexico will help the University better serve its aboriginal student body," says Mahon. "Strategic research opportunities, student/faculty exchanges, the sharing of best practices and planning successful strategies to better serve aboriginal communities are just some of the outcomes that are possible by working in tandem with our Mexican counterparts."

Mahon will also meet with CONACYT senior executives. CONACYT's mission is to promote and strengthen the scientific and technological modernization of Mexico, through the formation of high-level human resources, promotion and support of specific research projects and dissemination of scientific and technological information.

The trip also includes a meeting with officials from the Federal Ministry of Education.

In March 2012, Mahon travelled to Mexico with representatives from eight Canadian universities (including six Presidents) to hold an inaugural meeting with 10 indigenous universities. Initiated by Dr. Brian Stevenson, the President of Lakehead University in Ontario, the meeting included several other university presidents who had a prime focus on aboriginal education or a long-standing commitment in this area.

The meeting was targeted to university presidents and rectors due to the importance of a high level, bilateral discussion regarding indigenous education. Roundtable discussions were held and led by panelists of both nations to create a foundational understanding of the challenges in aboriginal higher education in Canada and Mexico.

Expanding the internationalization of the U of L is a key strategic direction that can be found in the 2009-13 strategic plan. Also, in an open letter released last year to the University community entitled the University of Lethbridge – Alberta's Destination University, Mahon reconfirmed internationalization as a key priority for the U of L.

The University of Lethbridge has a long-standing commitment to Blackfoot and other First Nations Metis and Inuit (FNMI) education that is articulated in the many programs and services across its campus. It the first university in Canada to establish a Department of Native American Studies and President Mahon has made a strong commitment to furthering aboriginal education in southern Alberta. Further information on strategic initiatives at the University of Lethbridge may be accessed at