April 30, 2014

New regional council focuses on Mexico

Advisory group mobilizes university's International Strategy

Under the strategy, the university has committed to increase diversity of students on campus, increase cross cultural competencies, advance educational and research partnerships, and boost international development efforts. To reach these objectives, the University of Calgary has established six countries/regions of emphasis to focus its efforts on: China, Germany, Mexico, the Middle East, Tanzania and the United States.

“Internationalization is a key priority for us,” says Janaka Ruwanpura, vice-provost (international). “Through the regional councils, we can identify and concentrate our energy and resources on the best opportunities in the countries and regions of emphasis.”

Mexico Regional Advisory Council outlines strategic development areas

The University of Calgary has strong ties with Mexico through 16 institutional and four research agreements with higher institutions from Guadalajara and Mexico City, amongst others. It has welcomed about 50 Mexican students to undergraduate and graduate studies, and sent a similar number of Canadian students to Mexico on study abroad programs in 2013. As the seventh largest oil producer in the world, Mexico shares interests in energy innovation that can form the basis for collaborations in research and training. The convergence of geographic proximity, trilateral agreements, and the strength of ongoing collaborations in Latin America make Mexico a country of emphasis for the University of Calgary. However, because of these opportunities and the speed at which its economy and higher education system is developing, we will need to be focused and strategic to capture opportunities and strengthen and develop our collaborations. 

The newly formed council, chaired by Dru Marshall, provost and vice-president (academic), includes faculty members from key research areas, prominent business leaders active in Mexico, and student representatives. The participants identified several priority areas: energy, education, environment, urbanization, infrastructure, and governance. These will form the basis for the strategic framework the council will develop to further shape the University of Calgary’s presence in Mexico.

“We’re very proud of the many ties we have with Mexico,” says Marshall. “It’s a natural fit and we have unique expertise to help address many of their growth challenges, and we know that our partnerships will be mutually beneficial.”

Members of the Mexico Regional Advisory Council:

  • Dru Marshall, provost and vice-president (academic)
  • Janaka Ruwanpura, vice-provost (international)
  • Anne Katzenberg, professor, Faculty of Social Sciences
  • Stephan Randall, professor, Faculty of Arts
  • Bev Sandalack, professor, Faculty of Environmental Design
  • Susan Smith, professor, Faculty of Nursing
  • Pedro Pereira, professor, Schulich School of Engineering
  • Harrie Vredenburg, professor, Haskayne School of Business
  • Sharon Friesen, professor, Werklund School of Education
  • Michael Doyle, chief executive officer, Canpetro International and Madison Gas
  • Joe Restoule, principal and owner, Restoule Risk Management Ltd.
  • Carlo Dade, director, Centre for Trade and Investment Policy, Canada West Foundation
  • Karl Johannson, executive vice-president and president, Natural Gas Pipelines, TransCanada
  • Roberto Villarreal, graduate student, Faculty of Environmental Design
  • Ximena Espana, undergraduate student, Faculty of Law
  • Carlos Vargas, University of Calgary International representative