The Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU), the Asociación Nacional de Universidades e Instituciones de Educación Superior (ANUIES – National Association of Universities and Institutions of Higher Education), and the University of Guadalajara (UdG), today issued the following joint statement at a meeting APLU hosted at UdG in Guadalajara, Mexico. APLU is an organization of public research universities from Mexico, the United States, and Canada. ANUIES is a national association that gathers the best public and private research universities as well as research centers in Mexico. The University of Guadalajara is one of the leading research universities in Mexico.
“Mexico, the United States, and Canada have long enjoyed strong ties that enable important partnerships and collaborations of many kinds. The countries have deep economic, social, and cultural bonds.
“Our research universities serve as economic equalizers – providing ladders of opportunity to those who aspire to climb them. Our universities seek to unlock new discoveries that save and transform lives and develop new technologies that power economies forward. The work of our institutions has been enhanced through cross-border collaboration and a North American zone of knowledge built on relationships of trust and shared commitments to improving the lives of all.
“Our universities are well-positioned to continue their commitment to advancing our societies through education, research, and engagement. Universities have long been dedicated to workforce development and contributing to the competitive advantage of the region. Our governments can and should continue to rely on universities to lead and support vital collaboration within the North American region.
“Dramatic shifts in trade and immigration policies are testing the bonds of our nations’ long-standing relationships and moving them into unchartered and unsettling territory.
“This troubles us. The need for our countries’ cooperation has never been clearer. Rather than weakened, we are emboldened to work together even more closely. Higher education institutions in Mexico, the United States, and Canada must build even stronger bridges to collaborate on addressing the most pressing problems facing our continent and the world, including complex issues such as trade and migration.
“The challenges we face are shared and must be solved collectively. Human health and security, economic opportunity, access to food and energy, and environmental problems are not bound by borders and neither are their solutions. It is only through deeper bonds and new partnerships that we will be able to tackle these and other challenges successfully and sustainably. Experience has shown that as our universities draw closer the impact of their work is magnified.
“Our nations’ futures are linked, but progress doesn’t just happen. We are determined to ensure that future generations will look back on this period as the time when our collective work reached unprecedented levels in the face of headwinds. Experience tells us that future chapters must be written together. We stand here today committed to authoring a brighter future through education, research, and engagement with our communities, states, provinces, and countries.”