The new Institute for the Future of Education at the Tec will work on the development, transfer, and expansion of innovations around the world.
By Ricardo Treviño | National News Desk - 12/18/2020

Designing an ecosystem that provides solutions to the challenges faced in education around the world is the raison d’être of the new Institute for the Future of Education at Tecnológico de Monterrey.

This was explained by José Escamilla, associate director of the institute, who pointed out that it will work to disseminate and transfer the educational innovations that are made there.

Education has to prepare people so that they can reinvent themselves faster and faster (...) this implies providing them with skills such as learning to learn, using technology, and working as part of a team,” said the director in an interview for CONECTA.

The institute was launched during the 7th International Conference on Educational Innovation, where the Tec’s interest in promoting education as a vehicle for development and connection was discussed.

The Institute for the Future of Education will be a space where we can all connect and create, because innovation is a process that requires the best talent from around the world, explained José Antonio Fernández, Chairman of the Tec’s Board, at the virtual event.


El instituto busca ayudar a que las personas puedan reinventarse para el futuro.


At the launch event, David Garza, rector and CEO of the Tec, pointed out that the new institute will be able to expand programs and strategies that were already in process.

“We have been working on educational innovation for a long time, but now we want to do it with a greater impact as well as strengthening our research in education,” he shared.

“We also want to innovate and encourage entrepreneurship so that a startup or business can emerge that continues to contribute to the education ecosystem as a result of the work we do,” added Garza.


Approach and focus of the Institute for the Future of Education

The new institute will focus on the needs of higher education and the importance of  Lifelong Learning.

Escamilla pointed out that outreach, inspiration, and mentoring will be pursued in order to support the creation of disruptive projects focusing on higher education issues.

He emphasized that lifelong learning is an increasingly important topic.

“We also realized that it is an area in which there is very little research and development. Adult education is very important for both the country and the whole world,” he explained.

“The institute’s aim is to create a new future for education which will improve the lives of millions of people,” Escamilla shared.

In order to be able to achieve this, he explained that the creation and transfer of knowledge at the Institute for the Education of the Future is based on three pillars:


1. Transformation

Platforms will be created that are open to research that innovates on educational issues.

Also, focus will be put on these innovations translating into entrepreneurship, licensing, consulting, and continuing education programs.


2. Collaboration and interdisciplinary work

The institute will promote collaborative work between different educational institutions, the private and public sectors, as well as society with in general.


3. Making it happen

The creation of knowledge, research, innovation, and entrepreneurship will be promoted to achieve a whole ecosystem that improves the quality of education.


“The institute’s aim is to create a new future for education which will improve the lives of millions of people.”


Activities already underway

The Institute for the Future of Education will take leadership of initiatives that Tec de Monterrey has already begun, in order to increase its ranking in the global arena.

Similarly, new activities will begin to be implemented in the short term.




- Tec21 Model

In 2012, Tec began the first steps in renewing its educational model, evolving it to include training focused on real challenges that allow participants to learn and acquire of life skills.

In 2019, the first cohort began on programs that fully apply the Tec21 Model. Among other characteristics, this offers flexibility in terms of how, when, and where to learn; inspiring teachers; and providing a memorable university experience.


- Experimentation

Each year, more than 1 million dollars are invested to fund 130 teacher-led projects on issues of educational innovation.


- Research

In the last two years, more than 300 articles have been published in journals, registered on the Scopus database, and have been presented at international educational conferences.

“This has placed the Tec as the university with the most publications in the last five years of any around the world,” said Escamilla.


- Educational innovation transfer

Work has been done on the intellectual property of educational innovation projects. There is also an incubator and an accelerator which promote the creation of educational startups.


- Open innovation

The annual TPrize competition supports educational projects to help close the education gaps in Latin America. The winners are given mentoring and follow-up for two years.


- International Conference on Educational Innovation (CIIE)

For seven years, CIIE has been a space that brings together experts, academics, and organizations that share educational innovations from around the world.

“Last year, we had almost 3,800 participants from more than 20 countries. It is now the most important Spanish-speaking conference,” Escamilla said.


- Educational Innovation Observatory

This promotes free resources such as webinars, interviews, news, and provides a weekly newsletter publicizing educational trends.

“Its mission to share the best practices on this subject with teachers and managers worldwide. There are more than half a million followers and 200 thousand subscribers to the weekly newsletter,” the director shared.


Next steps

There are many new activities that the Institute for the Future of Education will launch in the short- and medium-term, such as:


- Excellence laboratory

Researchers from other regions of the world will join the institute to address topics such as the applications of artificial intelligence, data science in education, lifelong learning, and cognitive science in education.

“We want it to be a publication leader because of its relevance and because of its potential to revolutionize education and the way people learn,” said Escamilla.


- Educational Innovation Data HUB

“We will provide the data that the institution generates to researchers both inside and outside the Tec for their research (...) we have this data, and we want to make it accessible to almost anyone,” explained the director.

This will also help to create a better connection between Tec professors and professors from other institutions.


- Living Lab

At this laboratory, it will be possible to test ideas, technologies, and methodologies, and understand how they work and how to improve them so they can have an eventual impact on other universities around the world.

“We want the Tec to have a laboratory that allows us to do pilots, experiment, and test new ideas in education. We call it the living laboratory because this is where we will work with our teachers and with our students,” Escamilla pointed out.


The associate director of the Institute for the Future of Education at the Tec concluded that the work carried out there will translate into greater value for society.

“Higher education and lifelong learning can lead to greater economic impact, the creation of international talent, and the improvement of people’s lives, which in the end is the most important thing,” he said.


You can see the launch of the Institute for the Future of Education in the following video:





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