Kevin Stitt, Governor of the State of Oklahoma, United States, visited the Monterrey campus to learn about projects and exploring alliances between the government and universities in Oklahoma and Tec de Monterrey.
On November 4, 2021, Stitt and members of his government and University of Oklahoma executives visited the Rector’s Building on Monterrey campus.
“Something I think we in Oklahoma should also do is challenge our universities to solve the problems of business, governments, and non-governmental organizations.
“We’re very focused on creating the workforce of tomorrow. I think you’re already doing it, and it’s something we can take from you,” Governor Stitt said.
Also present during the visit were David Garza, Rector and Executive President of the Tec; Juan Pablo Murra, Rector of Undergraduate and Graduate Studies; and Mario Adrián Flores, Vice President of North Region campuses, along with other directors.
Seeking partnerships for the education of the future
The leaders from the two universities and the government of Oklahoma met to learn about the Tec’s initiatives and projects in areas such as educational innovation, research, and student mobility.
David Garza began the presentation with a journey from the beginnings of the Tec in 1943 to the most recent international rankings that place the Tec at number 1 among private universities in Mexico.
Scott A. Fritzen, Associate Provost for Global Engagement at the University of Oklahoma highlighted the Tec’s work in designing an educational system for the future.
“We’re very focused on creating the workforce of tomorrow. I think you’re already doing it, and it’s something we can take from you.” – Kevin Stitt
During the visit by the Oklahoma delegation, Juan Pablo Murra explained that the Tec21 Model is based on 4 pillars:
Flexibility, Inspiring professors, Memorable university experiences, and Challenge-based learning, allowing students to have experiences with real organizations and enter the work world with previous experience.
“Your university is very consciously trying to create the future of higher education and add it to your systems, culture, practices, and DNA,” Fritzen said.
“Educating leaders and entrepreneurs and preparing them for technology that hasn’t been invented yet is something that impacted me,” added Kevin Stitt.
Similarly, Scott Fritzen highlighted the alliances between the Tec, governments, and universities to solve social problems with initiatives such as DistritoTec, in which the Tec is taking action together with the government to improve public spaces.
“I would like to express my appreciation for what they’re doing and emphasize our intention to collaborate, from exchanges to research alliances,” Fritzen said.
International mobility opportunities
Governor Kevin Stitt pointed out that Oklahoma and Mexico have similarities in family values and entrepreneurship, as well as other areas, so he said that the visit to the Tec can be an incentive for new alliances and projects.
“We need to create more partnerships for the University of Oklahoma and Oklahoma State University to send more of their students here. We want to invite more of your students to come to our universities,” Stitt added.
The Governor also highlighted the work of the Tec in ensuring that around 30% of its students have international experiences.
Garza also mentioned that they will also seek to increase the options for a greater exchange of professors between the Tec and Oklahoma universities.
“Of course, we’d be excited to have more of your students, but I think it’s a good opportunity to have that partnership in the faculty area as well,” Garza said.
“Having these experiences is important to open one’s mind and get to know other cultures. I’m personally excited to be here. The hospitality you’ve shown us has been incredible,” Stitt said.
Learning about educational innovations at Tec de Monterrey
After the talk at the Rector’s Building of Tec de Monterrey, the representatives of Oklahoma State University and the University of Oklahoma learned about some of the campus facilities.
They saw projects such as holographic projection, in which a teacher appears life size to several online distance learning groups, where the groups can interact as if the teacher were present.
Also on the tour taken by the members of the delegation was the use of Virtual Reality for areas such as medicine, architecture, and other applications.
“We need to create more partnerships for the University of Oklahoma and Oklahoma State University to send more of their students here.” – Kevin Stitt
Another project was the Virtual Campus, in which students, professors, and tutors can interact at an online campus, where they can visit facilities and have classes or meetings as if it were a face-to-face space.
The university representatives also learned about DistritoTec, the urban initiative in conjunction with state and local governments to improve public spaces around the Monterrey campus.
To end the visit, they toured the campus library, where they interacted with students and experienced some of the Day of the Dead festivities, ending the tour at the Rectory Building mural, created by the artist Jorge González Camarena.