|UTPA President Robert S. Nelsen, pictured left, signs an articulation agreement with Universidad Autónoma de Tamaulipas (UAT) President José Leal Gutiérrez. The institutions have had an articulation agreement in place since 1989. In August 2012, the leaders of both institutions renewed that agreement, which allows for students and faculty to collaborate on research and participate in exchange programs.|
“It is a parent agreement held for three years that allows collaboration, research opportunities, as well as faculty and student exchanges between the two institutions,” said Pamela Garza, program coordinator of International Programs at UTPA.
The first articulation agreement between UTPA and UAT was signed in 1989 by then-UTPA President Dr. Miguel Nevárez and UAT President Dr. Jose Leal Gutierrez. The agreement was signed by the presidents of each institution as a means to develop strategies for both universities. The re-signing included current UTPA President Dr. Robert S. Nelsen.
“UAT would like to build a relationship with the current administration and the re-signing of this articulation is the symbolic starting point for the new bond both presidents of each respective university will create,” Garza said.
The articulation agreement supports one of the University’s goals: to implement international initiatives among student groups, faculty and agencies within the Texas-Mexico border communities.
“One of our main goals has always been to open relations with Mexico,” said Garza. “Although we cannot approve certain program participants to go into Mexico at this time, we are still discussing and working toward other options, such as online and video learning, video conferencing and using different archives via database or Internet for research.”
Once the current travel ban is lifted from Mexico, this agreement will give UTPA students the opportunity to attend UAT at the same price they would attend UTPA or the normal tuition rate a UAT student would pay, whichever offers the lower tuition price. Currently, UAT students are allowed to attend UTPA for the in-state tuition rate a Texas resident would pay to attend UTPA, Garza said.
“UAT students get to study at UTPA and only pay resident tuition instead of what an international student would pay,” said Garza. “And the UTPA student body gets to interact with students and professors from UAT and share ideas.”
In addition to students from both institutions being able to attend either university, most classes will be transferable from UTPA to UAT and vice versa.
“Most classes can be transferable, but students must submit a request and transcript to each university’s registrar's office before enrolling,” said Garza. “They will then review and contact the other university’s registrar's office to work out the details as to what course at the home campus would be its equivalent.”
Garza also said the articulation agreement supports additional benefits for students and faculty.
“Faculty from UTPA will get to partner in research opportunities, teach a semester at the other institution and get to teach UAT students either at UTPA or at UAT. One of the best things about this agreement is that it also opens the door for faculty exchanges, as well as study abroad opportunities for students interested in doing something different,” she said.
Additionally, Garza said, the articulation agreement between both UTPA and UAT provides linkages with other universities in Mexico and in other countries around the world, helping UTPA to grow even more in the field of international education.