A new Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the UK and Mexico that will support greater academic collaboration and institutional partnerships was signed last week, by the British Council and Mexico’s National Council for Science and Technology (CONACyT).
The UK and Mexico have a long term tradition in academic collaboration. The UK is currently the second most popular overseas destination for Mexican students, with 1,970 students coming to the UK in 2011/12. However, collaboration between the two countries has been mostly focused on mobility of postgraduate students.
The new MoU will expand collaboration in a number of areas that will increase human research capabilities and capacities in the UK and Mexico, as well as the understanding and alignment between academic sectors in both countries to make mobility, academic and enterprise collaboration easier. The MoU will also help to extend understanding of joint priorities for research and innovation, and increase the number of opportunities for long term relationships leading to joint-research collaborations. It will strengthen UK’s position as a preferred partner for research, and will enable Mexico’s researcher base to position themselves as partners of choice within the UK sector.
The British Council’s new global Researcher Links programme has been specifically endorsed by the Mexican agency. CONACyT and the British Council will jointly invest in a programme of support for early career and mature researchers that builds on the strength of both countries in priority areas like Nanosciences and nanotechnology for advanced manufacturing (automotive / aeronautics); Biotechnology for agriculture, food industry and health; Health Care Sciences and Technology; and assessment of Research.
The MoU was signed during a roundtable discussion hosted by the British Council with key UK academic institutions. Lena Milosevic, Country Director for the British Council in Mexico, said “I’m very pleased that this MoU was signed, it signifies a huge window of opportunity for the UK and Mexico sectors to engage at a whole new level that should bring many shared benefits. The British Council has been involved in many projects that have supported collaboration in different strands of Education across the world. This programme will bring opportunities for early career Mexican researchers to build long term relationships with their counterparts in the UK, whilst building research capacity for both Mexican and the UK academic sectors”.
Dr. Julia Tagüeña, CONACyT’s Assistant Director for Scientific Development, attended the roundtable. Dr. Tagüeña said: “The MOU with the British Council is extremely important in driving forward our agendas in terms of developing young researchers and their international links, as well as wider international collaboration. This agreement would provide major opportunities for much greater links with the UK.”