The National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) finds itself at odds again with the Public Education Secretariat (SEP) after Secretary of Public Education Aurelio Nuño Mayer, said that there will be no additions to the budget in order for universities in Mexico to support deported students from the United States.
UNAM rector Enrique Graue Wiechers said that there are two figures to take into consideration. First, is the number of deported people that may end up in the national university system, which last year was 2,000 out of the 220,000 total deportations.
The second, and separate figure, is the number of “DREAMers,” which are 600,000. “They are all students, and while we hope they might not get deported, we have to consider any possibilities of added pressure on our education system,” Graue Wiechers said.
The numbers given by Graue Wiechers directly contrasts with the ones given by Nuño Mayer. On Thursday, Mayer said that “there are 100,000 DREAMers, and even if they all get deported, which is unlikely, there is still enough capacity in the system to accommodate them.”
Graue Wiechers also said that there is a program in place in order to transfer credits from foreign institutions. “We have partnerships with 130 universities in the United States which would allow us access to student records and information,” he said.
The other aspect to consider for deported students, are scholarship programs which according to Graue Wiechers “UNAM will have no problem with.”
On Thursday, the National Association of Universities and Institutions of Higher Education (ANUIES), presented the program “Puentes” (Bridges), which will consist of a website where students can find the broadest selection of higher education in the country and have direct access to the institution of their choosing.
The goal of this program is to provide access to 400 institutions, however, it will have the same limited budget as the country’s universities and therefore it will rely on solidarity, goodwill and trust.