North American Academic Links Expand

THE United States-Canada-Mexico academic connection is broadening and deepening, according to recent surveys in each country.

More than half of the US universities with linkages expect to expand programs in the next three years, according to a 1993 survey by the Institute of International Education in New York.

A separate study in 1992 by the National Association of Universities and Institutions of Higher Education in Mexico City shows that more than half of the 34 Mexican universities with ties to the US and Canada have set up new programs in the past several years.

A 1993 Canadian study by the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada shows similar trends. About half the links with US institutions are two to four years old. Almost 30 percent of the Mexican connections are a year old or less. A majority of the Canadian respondents cited NAFTA as bolstering exchanges in the next three years.

Among the obstacles to expanding ties cited in the surveys was lack of funding, lack of information on the process, and logistical and administration problems.

The US survey shows that 182 US universities have links to Mexican schools and 109 have agreements with Canadian institutions. Fifty-six had ties to both Canadian and Mexican universities. Questionnaires were sent to 3,440 US universities and colleges. A total of 1,219 responses (35 percent) were received.

The Mexican survey of 77 institutions produced 34 responses. Thirty Mexican schools reported having 193 exchange agreements with US institutions. There were 22 reported agreements with Canadian universities.

The Canadian study combines a survey of 89 institutions (20 responded) with a annually updated data base. It shows 36 Canadian universities have a total of 68 exchange agreements with US schools and 33 agreements with Mexican institutions.

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