The initiative unites the Tec with international universities to offer students a global learning experience without having to travel.
By Ricardo Treviño | CONECTA NATIONAL NEWS DESK - 12/16/2021 Photo Shutterstock, Alejandro Salazar

Tec de Monterrey has unveiled Global Shared Learning (GSL), an initiative that promotes collaboration between universities to provide their students with international experiences without leaving home.

Through this initiative, Tec students have had the opportunity to enrich their profiles with a global vision, said Patricia Montaño, Director for Innovation and International Networks at the Tec.

“This initiative has been in the making since 2017, in response to a need that we identified in our students to have an international experience when they don’t necessarily have the ability to move abroad,” said Montaño.

In 2021, the program run by the Vice-Rector’s Office for Internationalization at the Tec helped more than 9,000 students, of whom about 5,000 are from the Tec and the rest from international partner universities of the institution.

The initiative was presented at the 2021 International Conference on Educational Innovation (CIIE for its initials in Spanish).


El Tec ofrece opciones para internacionalización en línea.


Mission: training global leaders

Over the years, international experiences have been a distinctive feature of students’ education at Tecnológico de Monterrey, said Juan Pablo Murra, Rector for Undergraduate and Graduate Studies at the institution.

“When asking students how the Tec has made an impact on their lives, we learned that international experiences, the ability to identify themselves as citizens of the world, and having a truly global vision are what set the Tec apart,” he said.

“The Tec’s online internationalization is a model that has had much greater importance during the pandemic and that we have to learn to maintain,” said the rector.

It was reported that the GSL initiative offers a similar academic experience to that provided by the face-to-face format in addition to the institution’s already existing provision of face-to-face internationalization and with no additional tuition cost.

“The GSL is an initiative that includes formats like a full semester where you take a course with professors and students from other universities, weeks of video conferences, and multicultural seminars,” said Montaño.

This initiative also allows Tec faculty to collaborate with colleagues from partner universities in other countries and form networks of teachers working together on research projects.

“The Tec’s tradition in terms of distance education has allowed us to establish very high standards, with teachers who are very involved and very clear about all the mechanisms and models to be able to develop these distance courses,” she added.


Global Learning permite a estudiantes y profesores tener experiencias internacionales


The 6 pillars of Global Shared Learning

Montaño said that the GSL’s pillars lie in the use of available technology to bring the Tec’s international partners into the classroom.

“The GSL initiative includes various online internationalization models, including the GSL Classroom, one of the great pillars that we have worked with in recent years, but there are others that are equally as important, such as GSL Week, which are gaining popularity,” said Montaño.

The pillars of the GSL are:


1. GSL Classroom: a classroom with an international atmosphere

Through this format, students can participate in a Tec course linked to one or more courses, with professors and students from a partner international university through the use of technology.

The program began in 2018. By 2021, the Tec had performed 175 collaborations on undergraduate courses with 103 universities from 25 countries. More than 7,000 students have already benefited from this, almost 4,000 of whom are from the Tec, with 256 participating teachers, of whom 133 were from the Tec.


2. GSL Week: global learning week

These are the two types of experiences offered during the Tec Weeks: Diversity in a globalized world and gender; and Sexuality and violence with international universities through a digital environment.

There were four openings for the model this year. More than 2,000 students participated in this format, of whom 1,110 were from the Tec. 66 teachers also collaborated, of whom 27 were from the institution.


3. GSL Connections: multicultural friendships

This format is in conjunction with the Universitas21 consortium’s institutions, called U21 Global Connections, where students find an online pen pal with whom they can share their culture and exchange experiences.

The format promotes empathy and the development of soft skills in an intercultural environment.


Estudiantes participan en un ambiente multicultural.


4. GSL Micro-internships: global internships from home

Students participating in this model can carry out virtual work placements focused on sustainable issues, which are organized by the Universitas 21 consortium, called U21 Sustainable Micro-internships.

Students on the Tec21 Educational Model can collaborate virtually with their peers from more than 18 countries in multidisciplinary teams, to present solutions to real problems and challenges to international companies that are aligned with the Sustainable Development Goals.


5. GSL Citizenship: citizens with a global vision

The model consists of a leadership certificate for undergraduate students from the universities of the Universitas 21 consortium, called U21 Global Connections.

This program, in which students from 27 international universities participate, has a social and sustainable approach so that students can develop skills through virtual collaboration.


6. GSL Virtual Exchange Programs: training with an international focus

This consists of English courses in a virtual format for students who are from the international universities that are partners of Tecnológico de Monterrey.

“During their first semester, Tec students can have a GSL Week and contact their first university in Latin America; then take one or two GSL Classrooms and work with students perhaps from Canada, and then look for a mobility program to go abroad.

“This allows Tec students to not have just one international experience, but a whole range of them upon graduation, which would be a unique component of Tec graduates,” said Montaño


El CIIE albergó un panel sobre internacionalización en línea.


The vision of partners in internationalization

Leaders from the Tec partner universities reflected on internationalization in a virtual format and its implementation as an alternative during the pandemic.

This happened on the panel Sharing the Vision for Online Internationalization, during CIIE 2021.

Ainhoa Uribe, Vice-Rector for Internationalization at CEU San Pablo University; and Joseph Wong, Vice-President, International at the University of Toronto, chatted with Ignacio de la Vega, Executive Vice-Rector for Academic Affairs, Faculty, and Internationalization at the Tec.

Uribe shared how several distance internationalization models were implemented in the Spanish university for its students, in addition to global classrooms.

“One is what we call Global Campus. We have partners in the United States who offer us online certificates for our students, who can add more study credits in a flexible way and achieve a specialization with another of our partners,” she said.

Also, Wong said that online internationalization allows teachers to broaden their horizons and strengthen their profile by collaborating with their peers from other regions of the world.

“There are many opportunities to continue doing field research with interdisciplinary groups in distant places, such as Thailand or Guatemala; this is possible through these partnerships with teachers from different schools,” he said.

The Tec executive reflected that online internationalization also allows for greater inclusion.

“Digital internationalization is inclusive. This type of provision will be part of our portfolio and is an option in the future of education for the less privileged in terms of resources,” said De la Vega.





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