Education in Mexico

mexico flagGiven that Mexico is a very large and populous country, with a population mostly between the ages of 15 and 25, it is only natural that the country is home to numerous higher education institutions. Mexican higher education institutions fall into many different categories: there are the public federal universities, the public state universities, the public technological universities, the public “polytechnic” universities, the public intercultural universities, the institutions that educate people looking to become professors, and finally, the public research centers. These are the main educational systems found in the country, though some exist which have similar names and different programs. Some universities follow the educational system offered by the SEP (public education secretary), generally organized by the central government; others are independent from the government, the most famous one being the UNAM (National Autonomous University of Mexico), which has its own educational program.

Population between 12 and 29 by group of ages according to their educational-occupational situation

With such variety and diversity in Mexican higher education systems, one may assume that all the younger share of the Mexican population attends university. Unfortunately, this is not the case: in fact, most people don’t follow superior studies, and many stop their education before getting into high school, either due to financial difficulties or simply because they lack motivation. Also, as minors, some young people may be forced to work by their parents, and therefore do not even consider trying to attend university. Besides this, the universities lack sufficient space for all the potential students, a significant obstacle for those who are actually motivated to study and to go to university. Today, there should be 10 million young people between ages 19 to 23 attending higher education; in reality, only 25% of that number (2,5 million young people) actually attend a higher education institution. Most of those not attending university either didn’t finish elementary or high school, or did complete high school but decided not to continue their studies.

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by Wendy T.