Universidad Tecnológica de Tijuana Receives 100,000 Strong in the Americas Innovation Fund Award

Santander Bank-Sponsored Competition to Fund ILMEXUS: Building a Binational International Logistics Workforce.

Tijuana/San Diego: The U.S. Department of State, Partners of the Americas, and NAFSA: Association of International Educators announced the winners of the Santander Bank, N.A.-sponsored competition of the 100,000 Strong in the Americas Innovation Fund. [The winners will be celebrated at an event in Newport, Rhode Island at Salve Regina University, one of the eight grant winners. The official announcement of the Study Abroad Program will take place in Tijuana, on November 22nd at Universidad Tecnológica de Tijuana (UTT) in the framework of its International Week’s Inauguration.]

The goal of 100,000 Strong in the Americas, President Obama’s signature education initiative in the Western Hemisphere, is to increase the number of U.S. students studying annually in the Western Hemisphere to 100,000, and the number of Western Hemisphere students studying in the United States to 100,000 annually by the year 2020. The initiative is aimed at enhancing hemispheric competitiveness, increasing prosperity, and preparing a more globally competent workforce.

To increase study abroad between the United States and the Americas, Universidad Tecnológica de Tijuana (UTT), Mexico, has elaborated with its strategic partner, Southwestern College (SWC), USA, in alliance with the productive sector, the US General Consulate in Tijuana and the Mexican General Consulate in San Diego, a study abroad program that will contribute building a binational international logistics workforce in the Cali-Baja Mega-region, allowing students from both universities to:

  1. Attend a part of their curricular courses at the partner university without having to stay during a complete period abroad;
  2. Take courses specific to the partner university’s program without conflicting with the attendance to mandatory courses at their home university, thus giving them the opportunity to obtain a double degree;
  3. Do a binational internship in one of the supporting companies, under the condition of having attended the required courses at both universities.

This innovative program helps both countries by:

  • Taking advantage of the geographical proximity to reduce the cost and make it accessible to students who couldn’t otherwise afford a traditional study abroad;
  • Linking the program’s content to the regional companies’ needs to give a strong incentive for both students and companies;
  • Directing the program at US community colleges, whose students are underrepresented among the global US students population studying abroad;
  • Presenting a strong potential of growth through the extension of the program among the Mexican technological universities.

During the pilot phase of the program, sponsored by the 100,000 Strong in the Americas Innovation Fund, 30 UTT and SWC students will study abroad at the partner university.

The 100,000 Strong in the Americas Innovation Fund is a public-private collaboration of the White House, U.S. Department of State, Partners of the Americas, and NAFSA: Association of International Educators announced by Secretary of State John Kerry in January 2014. Since then, 78 Innovation Fund grants have been awarded to teams of 168 higher education institutions from 20 countries in the Western Hemisphere. Follow the Innovation Fund on Twitter and Facebook via #100KStrongAmericas.

The mission of Partners of the Americas is to connect people and organizations across borders to serve and to change lives through lasting partnerships. These partnerships create opportunity, foster understanding, and solve real-life problems. Inspired by President Kennedy and founded in 1964 under the Alliance for Progress, Partners is a nonprofit, non-partisan organization with international offices in Washington, DC. Learn more at www.partners.net or via Twitter @partnersamerica.

With nearly 10,000 members, NAFSA: Association of International Educators is the world’s largest nonprofit professional association dedicated to international education. Learn more at www.nafsa.org and www.connectingourworld.org and on Twitter at @NAFSA and @ConnectOurWorld.


Santander Bank, N.A. is one of the country’s top retail and commercial banks by deposits and a wholly owned subsidiary of Banco Santander, S.A. – one of the most respected banking groups in the world. With its corporate offices in Boston, Santander Bank’s more than 670 branches and nearly 2,100 ATMs are principally located in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Delaware. The Bank’s 9,400 employees are committed to helping our more than 2.1 million customers make progress toward their financial goals with the support of our call centers, interactive online banking platform and easy-to-use mobile app. Madrid-based Banco Santander (NYSE: SAN), serves more than 117 million customers in the U.K., Europe, Latin America and the U.S. Through its local affiliates, including Santander Bank, Banco Santander is the largest corporate contributor to higher education in the world, investing over $165 million annually in colleges and universities across more than 20 countries, including the U.S. For more information on Santander Bank, please visit www.santanderbank.com.

Universidad Tecnológica de Tijuana (UTT) is one of the 120 Mexican technological universities. Created in 1998 and counting with 30 Technician and Engineering academic programs and over 3,600 students. UTT is committed in changing the life of its students by providing them the skills need for a successful professional career. It counts with an employability rate of 92% in Engineering within the first six months, with a unique employability model providing workforce skills certificates to all its graduates. It is the first Mexican technological university in receiving the 100k Strong in the Americas Innovation Fund award, and has earned various other significant awards during the last years: the Baja California Quality Award in 2010 and 2015, being the first educational institution in receiving the award twice; a special award from CONOCER, the Mexican official workforce skills certification organism, as the best Mexican university in the field of workforce skills certifications; the Great Place to Work award in 2015, as the 3rd best Mexican company to work in. Learn more at www.uttijuana.edu.mx or via Twitter and Facebook @uttij.

Established in 1961, Southwestern College (SWC) is the only public institution of higher education in southern San Diego County, serving approximately 400,000 residents of communities including Bonita, Chula Vista, Imperial Beach, National City, Nestor, Otay Mesa, Palm City, San Ysidro, Sunnyside and Coronado. The College District offers more than 300 associate degree and certificate options. In 2016, the Campaign for College Opportunity named Southwestern College one of California’s Top 10 High Achieving Colleges for the number of Associate Degrees for Transfer awarded to the California State University system. More information at www.swccd.edu.