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UTSA leads delegation visit to Mexico to expand workforce development ecosystem, announces first international dual degree program with Tec de Monterrey

UTSA leads delegation visit to Mexico to expand workforce development ecosystem, announces first international dual degree program with Tec de Monterrey

Tec de Monterrey Rector David Garza and UTSA President Taylor Eighmy renewed the long-term cooperation agreement between the two institutions during the university's recent trip to Mexico.

OCTOBER 3, 2023 — UTSA President Taylor Eighmy recently led a delegation of academic leaders and public and private industry leaders to visit Mexico’s flagship university Tecnológico de Monterrey to expand the collaborative ecosystem between the two universities, promote bilateral investments, and advance workforce and economic development opportunities for both countries.

The delegation included leaders from UT System, UT Health Science Center San Antonio, Alamo Colleges District, Southwest Research Institute, greater:SATX, Spurs Sports and Entertainment, H-E-B Mexico, Silver Ventures, Weston Urban LLC, Weston Ventures Inc. and The Gambrinus Company.

The UTSA component included 16 UTSA representatives, making it the largest delegation UTSA has sent to Tec de Monterrey. Eighmy was joined by UTSA Interim Vice President for Research, Economic Development and Knowledge Enterprise JoAnn Browning, Vice Provost for Global Initiatives Lisa Montoya, Founding Director of the School of Data Science David Mongeau, Carlos Alvarez College of Business Dean Jonathan Halbesleben, Interim Dean of the Margie and Bill Klesse College of Engineering and Integrated Design Eric Brey, and College of Sciences Dean David Silva, among other key UTSA faculty scholars and administrators.

“UTSA is committed to internationalization and providing access to educational opportunities that prepare our students to be citizen leaders for the global environment.”

The delegation presented cross-collaborative initiatives to develop a plan to capture the momentum around the growing economies of San Antonio, South Texas and Northern Mexico. As recently illustrated by an opinion piece in the San Antonio Express-News, the “South Triangle” presents immense opportunities to build a prosperous academic and economic future for faculty, staff, students and industry partners at both universities and within the regions they serve. 

“As a premier public research university, UTSA is committed to internationalization and providing access to educational opportunities that prepare our students to be citizen leaders for the global environment,” said Eighmy. “Even more, UTSA’s location as the seventh largest city in the country, and a key player in the South Triangle, creates immense opportunities to maximize regional private and public partnerships to drive both economic and workforce development for San Antonio, South Texas, Mexico and beyond. 

The visit by the UTSA-led delegation intentionally coincided with a larger visit to Monterrey by San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg and other representatives, including various Chambers and Port San Antonio, from the City of San Antonio. The group’s visit celebrated the 70th anniversary of the San Antonio-Monterrey sister city agreement, reaffirmed the two cities’ long-standing relationship and bolstered the Texas-Mexico economic corridor.

To recognize the historic visit, ongoing economic, academic and research collaborations between UTSA and Tec de Monterrey, and especially the dual degree program which represents a significant milestone in Texas-Mexico cooperation in the fields of education and cybersecurity, Texas Governor Greg Abbott signed a proclamation declaring September 29, 2023, as Texas-Mexico Cybersecurity Awareness Day.

First international dual degree program

During the visit, Eighmy and Tec de Monterrey Rector and Executive President David Garza renewed the long-term cooperation agreement between the two institutions and signed a program agreement establishing a dual master’s degree program in cybersecurity. This is UTSA’s first international dual degree program.

The new dual degree program will allow students to take high-quality courses at both institutions and earn two degrees: a Master of Science in Information Technology degree with a concentration in cybersecurity from UTSA and a Master in Cybersecurity from Tec de Monterrey. Students will have a unique opportunity to learn cybersecurity from a global perspective, benefit from a unique study abroad opportunity, earn two degrees from world-renowned programs and be able to work in both countries.

“The dual master’s degree in cybersecurity is the first of several dual degree programs we are exploring with Tec de Monterrey, giving students the opportunity to earn two degrees, in two countries, in the time it usually takes to earn one," Montoya said. "This opportunity brings immense benefits to our students as well as to the companies looking for top talent."

In addition to the signing ceremony, the two institutions officially launched a new collaborative program that will support innovative, early-stage joint research among the institutions’ faculty and students. Representatives also met to continue planning existing and future collaborations. 

UTSA’s current collaborations with Tec de Monterrey span three UTSA colleges, 10 academic departments, the university’s core research labs, the School of Data Science and the UTSA Institute of Economic Development. The two institutions’ joint work addresses important questions in data science, cybersecurity, quantum, health and biology, advanced materials, and economic development. Through this alignment, the institutions aim to prime the next generation of leaders in these fields in both the U.S. and Mexico.

A long-standing partnership

UTSA and Tec de Monterrey have enjoyed a relationship dating back to the first affiliate agreement signed between the institutions in 1997. In 2014, the institutions entered a formal 10-year cooperation agreement to give students and faculty the opportunity to participate in education, research and cultural exchange programs between the two institutions.

In 2017, the partnership was again rejuvenated by a commitment to foster joint research and faculty exchanges in the areas of cybersecurity, big data analytics, cloud computing and nanotechnology, among others. Since then, the two institutions have developed or explored several active partnerships and special programs, joint research, and student and scholar exchanges.

A few examples include:

  • Two programs spearheaded by the Carlos Alvarez College of Business at UTSA in which students and faculty at Tec de Monterrey receive training from UTSA faculty in accounting and data analytics, respectively.

  • Trilateral agreement on quantum computing between UTSA, Tec de Monterrey and Arizona State University to explore and apply for funding for joint projects in research and training. An offshoot of this agreement includes the Quantum Collaborative, which is a research group dedicated to uniting quantum technology research efforts and developing a prepared workforce.

  • A summer research immersion program, whereby 15 Tec de Monterrey students will travel to UTSA in the summer of 2024 to participate in some of the exciting research taking place within the UTSA School of Data Science.

To learn more about the joint research and special projects between UTSA and Tec de Monterrey, visit the UTSA-TEC Partnership webpage.
Learn how to apply to UTSA’s M.S.I.T. Cyber Security concentration.
Learn more and apply to Tec de Monterrey’s Master in Cybersecurity.

More about the dual degree program

The UTSA/Tec dual degree program in cybersecurity is projected to begin in Fall 2024. Students who wish to obtain the dual degree must apply and be admitted to both institutions. To fulfill the dual degree requirements, students complete 18 hours of required courses at UTSA, 18 hours of courses at Tec de Monterrey and a research essay that will be jointly advised by faculty members from both institutions.

Students will begin the program at their home university then travel to the partner institution to complete their course work.

Kimberly Maldonado

UTSA Today is produced by University Strategic Communications,
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of The University of Texas at San Antonio.

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