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ERIC Number: EJ996425
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012-Apr-8
Pages: N/A
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0009-5982
Losing American Students, Mexican Universities Struggle against a Scary Image
Ambrus, Steven
Chronicle of Higher Education, Apr 2012
Like most Mexicans, Eugenio Yarce has been deeply affected by the violence between drug cartels and the Mexican army, which has filled news coverage with accounts of kidnappings, assassinations, and torture. But for Mr. Yarce, deputy rector for outreach here at the private Autonomous Popular University of the State of Puebla, or Upaep, the bloodletting has taken an added toll. Responsible for overseeing international programs, he has lost 20 full-time and 130 summer students from the United States in the past year and a half. That has become a dishearteningly familiar story for Mexico's colleges and universities, which have found themselves struggling to defend their safety record amid negative coverage of Mexico in the American news media and grim travel warnings from the U.S. State Department. Between the 2005-2006 and 2009-2010 academic years, the number of American undergraduate and graduate students studying in Mexico dropped 29 percent, to 7,157, according to the most recent "Open Doors" report from the Institute of International Education. Mexican institutions say not only that they are receiving fewer applications from students in the United States, but also that they are able to send fewer students north as exchange programs are canceled. A survey of 30 institutions last May by the Mexican Association of International Education found that 86 percent had experienced a decline in enrollments by international students and 23 percent had had exchange programs canceled. The overwhelming portion of that reduction appears to have been a result of cancellations by students and universities from the United States. Officials of the university fear the withdrawals could impoverish its cultural and academic atmosphere, given the relatively few opportunities that its middle- and lower middle-class students have for travel. They say they will be looking to create relationships with universities in other countries, adding that they are exploring opportunities in Britain, France, Germany, and the Netherlands.
Chronicle of Higher Education. 1255 23rd Street NW Suite 700, Washington, DC 20037. Tel: 800-728-2803; Tel: 202-466-1000; Fax: 202-452-1033; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Mexico