Mexican Universities Eye U.S. Expansion

Career College Central summary:

  • The Universidad de Colima in Los Angeles offers mostly remedial education in reading, writing and math to about 100 adult Mexican immigrants. But a handful of students there are also 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.
  • Several Mexican universities are considering stepping in to offer accredited university classes in California and other states to serve primarily an immigrant population that lags far behind others in college education.
  • Nearly 34 million people in the United States identify themselves as Mexicans or of Mexican origin, but only a dismal five out of every 100 have university degrees, compared to about a third of immigrants in general, according to the Migration Policy Institute.
  • In California, 10 percent of Hispanic immigrants ages 25 and 26 have completed at least a two-year degree, compared to the state average of 36 percent, according to a report to be released later this year by the institute. Latino youth—both immigrants and those born in the United States—have the lowest rate of college attainment in California, researchers found. Even those Hispanics who do enroll in American colleges and universities are 50 percent less likely than whites to earn a bachelor’s degree by age 24, the Pew Research Center reports.
  • 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 Public Opinion Research, 40 percent of Hispanics said the American higher-education system was meeting their needs only somewhat well or not well at all.

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