MIT J-WEL Welcomes Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México as Newest Higher Education Collaborative Member | MIT J-WEL

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MIT J-WEL Welcomes Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México as Newest Higher Education Collaborative Member

The Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México to collaborate on implementing large-scale hybrid education models through engagement with J-WEL

UNAM logo
CAMBRIDGE, MA, December 14, 2020 — The Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM) joins the MIT Abdul Latif Jameel World Education Lab (J-WEL) as the newest member of the Higher Education Collaborative and the second Mexican university to join J-WEL. 

UNAM, a public research university that boasts over 360,000 students, is the largest university in Latin America and the top-ranked university in Mexico. UNAM will use its experience in online and blended learning, which includes teaching the four million plus learners who have taken any of its 103 Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) on Coursera, to integrate and implement a hybrid education model using a state-of-the-art educational framework to serve its large student body.

As its classes are already online due to Covid-19, this plan aligns with their current teaching and learning practices. UNAM’s transformational goals will be supported through participation in J-WEL and J-WEL events. To guide this work, UNAM will collaborate with J-WEL on curriculum mapping and online education research.

“UNAM’s vision to incorporate the science of learning and student-centered practices in blended and online learning align perfectly with the five strategic areas we’ve identified as key to transformation in higher education, as well as with our interests here at MIT,” explained Julia Reynolds-Cuéllar, Associate Director for J-WEL Higher Education. “UNAM’s knowledge and unique experience will also be of significant value to MIT and the J-WEL community, providing important insight and deepening our connections with Latin America. We couldn’t be more excited about the possibilities to come.”  

UNAM Central Library

Melchor Sánchez, Coordinator of Open University, Educational Innovation and Distance Education at UNAM, commented:

“The enormous educational and technical challenges that emerged during the pandemic have tested Mexican universities’ capabilities for adaptation. UNAM has risen to these challenges and managed to continue providing quality education to our students, implementing a variety of strategies on several fronts. I am certain that working with MIT and the J-WEL community will yield many useful products.” 

Through J-WEL membership, UNAM joins a community of 33 other schools, universities, non-profits, government agencies, and companies addressing the world’s most pressing education challenges and exploring opportunities presented by new educational technologies, effective practices, and emerging scientific understandings of learning. Other members of the Higher Education Collaborative include Universidad Iberoamericana (Mexico), the Central University of Technology (CUT, South Africa), Universidad Mayor (Chile), and Seikei University (Japan).

Throughout October, UNAM representatives joined over 200 other practitioners and educators from around the globe to participate in the second J-WEL Connections, a member-only virtual gathering that provides participants with first-hand access to MIT innovations and practices, while also serving as a platform for J-WEL and its community to connect and learn from one another. UNAM representatives will join the J-WEL community at the next J-WEL Connections in March 2021.

An initiative of MIT and Community Jameel, J-WEL promotes excellence and transformation in education at MIT and globally by engaging educators, technologists, policymakers, societal leaders, employers, and employees. Through in-person and online collaborations, workshops, research, and information-sharing events, J-WEL member organizations—including schools, universities, NGOs, government agencies, and companies—work with MIT faculty and staff to address global opportunities for scalable change in education.

Top image: UNAM logo
Bottom image: UNAM Central Library (2017), by José Miguel García Fernández, Wikimedia Commons.