Mexican Colleges Look to Expand in U.S. to Serve Immigrants

Matt Krupnick, McClatchy DC, November 4, 2013

In an ethnically themed shopping center called Plaza Mexico just south of Los Angeles, a public university from the Mexican state of Colima has planted its flag.

Alongside the shopping center’s stores and taquerias, the University of Colima offers mostly remedial education in reading, writing and math to about 100 Mexican immigrants. But a handful of students here are preparing to take their final exams for Mexican degrees, just one of several recent efforts by Mexican universities to branch into providing full-fledged university educations in the United States.


In fact, several Mexican universities are considering stepping in to offer accredited university classes in California and other states primarily to serve an immigrant population that lags far behind others in college education.

California, where public universities have been dealing with deep budget cuts and enrollment limits, probably will be the principal target of Mexican universities. There’s a huge market in the state, where Latinos account for more than 52 percent of public school students who’ll eventually be college-aged. A quarter of elementary-school students nationwide are Hispanic, the Pew Research Center reports.

Conversations between Mexican and U.S. universities have increased to the point that U.S. accreditors, knowing they’ll be asked to evaluate more Mexican schools soon, are working with their Mexican counterparts to find out more about higher education south of the border, said William Plater, who advises the Western Association of Schools and Colleges–the primary accreditor in the Western United States–on international affairs.


The days of Mexican campuses in the United States are just around the corner, some said.

“I don’t think it will be five, 10, 20 years” before Mexican universities build U.S. campuses, said Jonathan Brown, a higher-education consultant who’s working with Mexico’s Center for Higher and Technical Education as it decides whether to expand to Sacramento. “I think it will be sooner. In the next few years, we’re going to be 2 million degrees short of what California needs. Who wouldn’t want to go to a first-rate (Mexican) university close to home?”

Nearly 34 million people in the United States identify themselves as Mexican or of Mexican origin, but only 5 out of every 100 have university degrees, compared with about a third of immigrants in general, according to the Migration Policy Institute. About 35 percent of native-born citizens do.


Many U.S. universities, coping with competing demands for stretched resources, have been struggling to provide the kinds of support that could increase the number of Mexican-Americans who graduate. In a survey released in January by Hart Research Associates, 40 percent of Hispanics said the American higher education system was meeting their needs only somewhat well or not well at all. Many Hispanic students are the first in their families to go to college, come from high schools in low-income areas that don’t necessarily prepare them well for advanced course work and are disproportionately reluctant to borrow money to pay tuition.

Some Mexican universities and their advocates see an opening. Though most of the half-dozen or so schools with U.S. centers now offer little more than English, Spanish and cultural classes, they’re eyeing greater prominence north of the border and higher-level programs.The University of Guadalajara, for example, has set its sights on educating the millions of Californians who are from its home state of Jalisco. The university already offers a joint nursing degree in Los Angeles, but the partnership will end in October, and the school is studying whether to offer independent degrees in several subjects.


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  • Alongside the shopping center’s stores and taquerias, the University of
    Colima offers mostly remedial education in reading, writing and math to
    about 100 Mexican immigrants.

    “Remedial education in reading, writing and math” is what Mexicans call a “University,” but what we call an “elementary school.”

    • Critic_of_Leviathan

      Their “doctoral degree” is probably what whites call a kindergarten diploma.

      • To wit, one of my snarkiest one liners ever:

        97% of all Detroit residents hold kindergarten degrees.

        • Critic_of_Leviathan

          See, maybe Head Start does work after all.

  • Extropico

    The Mexican government advocates for its race; we could learn something from them to level the playing field. I’m thinking of establishing AmericaTown in Mexico with affirmative action revenues from Mexican oil reserves.

  • Anglokraut

    Will these school render moot the argument that illegals deserve in-state tuition to American colleges and universities? After all, they’ll have their own schools to go to, and they’ll have the right papers, for a change…since we can’t–oh I don’t know–DEPORT THEM.

  • Evette Coutier

    Koko the gorilla, the gorilla who was taught American sign language, has a reported IQ between 70 to 95 points. If this is true we’d be better off educating gorillas than blacks as their intelligence is the same or higher, and we have not been forced to integrate with monkeys…yet.

    • The Final Solution

      Most blacks in America don’t even speak any known human language.

    • Homo_Occidentalis

      Koko the gorilla, the gorilla who was taught American sign language, has a reported IQ between 70 to 95 points.

      I’m sure all Amreners are already aware that the “facts be rayciss”, but that one just stings.

  • Marc Zuckurburg

    Comprehensive immigration reform is an idea whose time has come.

    Comprehensive immigration reform will raise wages and salaries, strengthen national security, prevent terrorism, enhance our domestic crime-fighting ability, ensure that we continue to encourage the best and brightest to partake of the American dream, enhance our competitiveness and our ability to innovate, and make America more prosperous.

    Make my immigration reform comprehensive, please!

  • The Final Solution

    It won’t be 20 years before California is officially part of Mexico. I would bet money on it. This comes right at the same time as the new PISA scores were released today showing that America has slipped even further in international competitiveness. Mexican colleges will be perfect for the new third world America where most high school graduates need remedial education. California is going to take the entire nation down with it.

    • mikebowen55

      Hell, I wouldn’t bet on it not being part of Mexico in the next twenty minutes. After all it pretty much is demographically.

  • Spartacus

    I have a mexican doctoral degree too. Found it in a box of cereal.

  • JDInSanD

    Mexico only has 118 million Mexicans but the US has 35 FREAKING MILLION of them???

    • ms_anthro

      We pay them to breed.

      • Extropico

        “Free” health care, EBT and Section 8 Housing to immigrants constitute national suicide.

        • Ella

          True, US out-sources the breeding so it is not an intellect threat to the elite,

  • ms_anthro

    Just wait until medical schools are forced by the federal government to accept graduates from Mexican “accredited universities.”

  • borogirl54

    Are these degrees going to be worth anything outside of Mexico or will they entice illegals who get Mexican degrees to go home and find a job?

  • Truthseeker

    There’s an occupation going on, but people don’t even see it.

  • Ella

    It’s another paper mill that will eventually discredit our so-called “competitive” universities. We already finance illegals through student loans in five States so they’ll just add these mills to the approved accredited list.

  • mobilebay

    Will US students be able to attend at reduced tuition rates? I’m betting not. I’m all for ceding California to Mexico if they would take in all illegals in this country and the rest of the states would never have to see to hear them again. We are indeed unfortunate in having that corrupt country on our southern border. Wish the Rio Grande were the Pacific Ocean. It’s sickening to know that our “leaders” are handing us over to a third world country without a fight

  • RHG

    Well, of course this is all part of the “reconquista” and Mexican imperialism, these “schools” will become nothing more then diploma mills churning out worthless pieces of paper in hopes that they can now be used to get their people in more positions of power.

  • Greg Thomas

    Reconquista is alive and well I see. And you thought the Taliban was a threat.