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Free Higher Education in Mexico in 2022: What’s in it for International Students?

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Key Takeaways:

  • Mexico is set to approve a bill launching its gradual transition to free higher education beginning in 2022. The bill orders the State to make changes leading to the strengthening of higher education in Mexico.
  • With the prospects of free higher education in Mexico, many Mexican students may opt to study in their home country instead of studying in the United States.
  • Free higher education in Mexico in 2022 will make it a more accessible study destination for thousands of international students.

Mexico is set to approve a bill launching its gradual transition to free higher education beginning in 2022, Telesur reported in March 2021. 


Through the modification of the General Law of Higher Education (GLHE), the bill ratifies the free and compulsory conditions of university education.


The bill orders the State to implement many changes concerning the strengthening of higher education in Mexico. These include teacher training, strategies for student safety, and technological integration. The bill also includes programs to address gender stereotypes and violence in Mexican higher education institutions (HEIs).


Adela Piña, chairwoman of the Lower Chamber’s Education Commission, emphasized that the bill was formed through negotiation. It is also expected that lawmakers will pass it without any changes.


The bill guarantees that all Mexican students will land a place in higher education. For many low to middle-income families, this is a fantastic opportunity to study in top-notch universities.

international students in mexico

But how will this change and shape international education in Mexico? Moreover, how will this impact the international student demand in the country? Discover how free higher education in Mexico will set new sails for international students in 2022:

Higher Competition in Mexico

The World Education News and Reviews (WENR) named Mexico as one of the four key sending markets in Latin America. Alongside Brazil, Venezuela, and Columbia, Mexico accounts for over seven percent of international enrollments in the United States.


As per the WENR, Mexico is the 10th leading country of origin for international students in the United States. Many factors drive Mexican students to study in the United States, one of which is the close proximity that allowed Mexican students to enjoy cheaper housing while paying in-state tuition fees.


With the promise of free education in 2022, Mexican students may prefer to study in their home country. This can mean increased competition for international students coming from other parts of the world. 


Between 2000 and 2016, the tertiary student population in Mexico doubled from 1.92 million to 3.6 million. With such a high student population, it may be hard for international students to land a spot in Mexico.

Better Access to Quality Education

On the bright side, free education in Mexico offers many opportunities to international students. This means that they’ll have more affordable options other than expensive study destinations.


Though little has been reported yet on how international students can benefit from this change, the effects remain clear. Foreign students will start looking into Mexico to pursue higher education with the prospects of free studies.


If they choose to study in Mexico, they can enjoy top-notch education but at an affordable price. After all, Mexico landed on the 31st spot on the 2018 QS Higher Education System Strength Rankings (HESS).


QS Top Universities also reported that the majority of the top universities in Latin America are in Mexico. In the 2019 QS Latin America University Rankings 2019, 63 Mexican universities made it to the list.


The prospect of free higher education in Mexico starting in 2022 puts forward many opportunities for both international and Mexican students. Stay in the know with current news and updates on international education by browsing through our stories on our website.

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