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UL Lafayette signs agreement with Mexican university

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UL Lafayette and a university in Mexico will collaborate on research and development projects and conduct student and faculty exchanges as part of an agreement signed Friday at the UL Lafayette Alumni Center.

A memorandum of agreement was signed by UL Lafayette President Dr. Joseph Savoie; Minister Emilio Alberto de Ygartua y Monteverde, sub-secretary of education for higher learning for the Mexican state of Tabasco; and Lic. Ramón Antonio Rodríguez Laynes, director of the Higher Technological Institute of Centla.

The agreement will foster collaboration between the two university’s related to:

  •     joint educational resource development;
  •     technology research and development, and
  •     commercialization of processes that benefit both countries.

“We look forward to the educational opportunities this agreement will provide, and also the opportunities that are possible through the exchange of information,” Savoie said.

Undergraduate and graduate students from the Higher Technological Institute of Centla, which is in the state of Tabasco in Mexico, could begin enrolling at UL Lafayette as early as the fall semester, said Dr. Mark Zappi, dean of the University’s College of Engineering.

Students with no more than two years of coursework completed at the Mexican university will be able to transfer and finish their degree requirements at UL Lafayette.

The agreement also includes provisions for graduate level programs, and faculty training.

“Initially we will focus on STEM areas,” said Zappi, referring to the acronym for science, technology, engineering and mathematics. “But, there is tremendous opportunity to move beyond STEM into areas such as business and education.”

The agreement is the first of about 15 that will be signed over the next several months with universities in the state of Tabasco that will help to fill workforce demands in the nation’s oil and gas industry, Zappi said.

Tabasco, which is located along the Gulf of Mexico in the southeastern portion of Mexico, is one of that nation’s leading producers of oil and natural gas.

“Over a five-year period, they’re projecting a need for 130,000 energy industry professionals in Mexico,” Zappi said.

After the signing ceremony, the Mexican delegation, which also included Ricardo Fitz Mendoza, sub secretary of government for the state of Tabasco, and Ramses Pech Razo, economic and energy issues advisor for the government of Tabasco, toured UL Lafayette’s Cleco Alternative Energy Center in Crowley.

They also toured the UL Lafayette campus, including research and development labs in the College of Engineering and the Ray P. Authement College of Sciences.

Photo info: (seated, left to right): Ramses Pech Razo, economic and energy issues advisor for the government of Tabasco; Lic. Ramón Antonio Rodríguez Laynes, director of the Higher Technological Institute of Centla; UL Lafayette President Dr. Joseph Savoie; and Minister Emilio Alberto de Ygartua y Monteverde, sub-secretary of education for higher learning for the state of Tabasco. (standing) Dr. Mark Zappi, dean of the UL Lafayette College of Engineering.

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