Chapter 6. Educational sectors: Specific challenges and opportunities

This chapter builds on the system-wide analysis in the preceding chapters to examine in more depth some of the strengths and weaknesses of two components of Mexico’s public higher education system that face particular challenges. It first examines challenges and opportunities facing the technical sector of higher education (the federal and decentralised Institutes of Technology that now make up the Tecnológico Nacional de México (TecNM) and the Polytechnic and Technological Universities), before turning to the public Teacher Education Colleges (the normal schools). For each set of institutions, the chapter focuses on five key topics: governance; funding; staffing; equity; and the quality and relevance of educational provision and its capacity for innovation. The analysis draws on issues raised during the review visit and available evidence from relevant policy and academic literature, acknowledging the limits to what is possible in the context of this broad review. For both clusters of institutions, we then provide specific recommendations.


6.1. Focus of this chapter

During the review visit, the OECD review team met with management, staff and students from institutions in different subsystems of Mexican higher education, as well as public officials responsible for funding or steering different sectors of the higher education system. The broad focus of the review and time constraints limit the ability of the team to analyse the full range of distinct challenges faced by each type of institution and to formulate detailed recommendations for each subsystem. Nevertheless, different parts of the Mexican higher education system do fulfil different missions and have distinct strengths and weaknesses. In this chapter, we build on the system-wide analysis in the preceding chapters to examine in more depth some of the specific strengths and weaknesses of two components of Mexico’s public higher education system that face particular challenges:

  1. 1. The professionally and technologically oriented sector of higher education: the federal and decentralised Institutes of Technology that now make up the Tecnológico Nacional de México (TecNM) and the Polytechnic and Technological Universities and;

  2. 2. The specialised public Teacher Education Colleges: the normal schools.

Together, these two groups of institutions account for almost a quarter of total higher education enrolment in Mexico. The different institutions and institutional types in the professionally and technologically oriented sector can be seen as Mexico’s answer to the polytechnic or applied science sectors that exist in many other OECD higher education systems. Indeed, some institutional forms are modelled explicitly on similar institutions in other countries. Here, research and postgraduate education, while present, play a minor role and the focus is primarily on training highly qualified technical experts and professionals for the needs of the Mexican economy. The normal schools reflect Mexico’s tradition of concentrating teacher training in specialised institutions - a practice common to some other OECD countries – even though these institutions have now lost their monopoly in pedagogical training. The extensive network of often small institutions faces specific difficulties as it seeks to adapt to a changing policy, regulatory and socio-economic environment.

The sections that follow review the opportunities and challenges facing these two clusters of public institutions, focusing on five key topics: governance; funding; staffing; equity and; the quality and relevance of educational provision and its capacity for innovation. The analysis draws on issues raised during the review visit and available evidence from relevant policy and academic literature, acknowledging the limits to what is possible in the context of this broad review. For both clusters of institutions, we then provide specific recommendations.

6.2. Technical higher education in Mexico

6.2.1. Introduction

Many higher education systems in the OECD distinguish between academically oriented universities and more professionally oriented higher education institutions of various types. The missions of professionally oriented institutions, which range from Universities of Applied Science in many European countries to Community Colleges in the United States, vary between jurisdictions. However, they tend to share common features, including:

  • Educational programmes focused on training professionals for specific careers, with an emphasis on applying knowledge and skills.

  • In many systems, the provision of short-cycle (two-year) programmes, exclusively or alongside professionally oriented bachelor’s programmes and, in some cases, professionally oriented postgraduate education.

  • A focus on applied, rather than fundamental, research (although research is not part of the mission of these institutions in all systems).

  • Close links with businesses and public services in the sectors for which they provide training, with teaching staff often having work experience in these sectors.

  • A general tendency to cater to students from less advantaged backgrounds, as well as older students with previous labour market experience.

Mexico has four subsystems of technical and professionally oriented institutions1. First, the federal and decentralised Institutes of Technology, which formally constitute two subsystems, but, since 2014, have all functioned under the umbrella of the Tecnológico Nacional de México (TecNM), a coordination body. The Institutes of Technology are the oldest form of technical higher education institution in Mexico, with first Institutes established in the 1940s. They specialise in providing four-year bachelor’s programmes (licenciatura) in engineering, manufacturing and construction-related fields. In 2017, there were 134 decentralised Institutes of Technology and 126 federal Institutes of Technology, all working within the framework of the Tecnológico Nacional de México (Mendoza Rojas, 2018[1]).

Second, there are a set of Technological Universities, opened from 1991 onwards. These institutions were originally modelled on the French Instituts universitaires de technologie (IUT) and, like their French counterparts initially focused exclusively on providing short-cycle programmes in professional subjects, which in Mexico primarily take the form of the Técnico Superior Universitario (TSU). Unlike the French IUTs, which are integrated within traditional universities, the Technological Universities were established as stand-alone institutions. From 2009, they also began to offer bachelor’s programmes. In 2017, the subsystem comprised 54 institutions in 23 states.

Finally, the most recent subsystem of technically and professionally oriented institutions is made up of Polytechnic Universities, the first of which opened in 2001. This subsystem was created in part to provide opportunities for graduates from Technological Universities to supplement their short-cycle qualifications with bachelor’s degrees through an additional year’s study (de la Garza Vizcaya, 2003[2]), in the period before this was possible in Technological Universities themselves. Polytechnic Universities are also distinct in that they provide accelerated (three-year, 10-term) bachelor’s programmes, with several compulsory work-based learning periods. The subsystem currently has 62 institutions and enrols over 90 000 students nationally.

Table 6.1 illustrates the distribution of enrolment between the four subsystems of technical education in Mexico and between the different levels of tertiary education within these institutional types. Overall, these four subsystems enrol around one-fifth of all tertiary students in Mexico. As shown, postgraduate education is very limited in these sectors, albeit with some significant pockets of postgraduate training in engineering in the Federal Institutes of Technology. More generally, the Institutes of Technology focus almost exclusively on providing (standard) five-year bachelor’s programmes, the Polytechnic Universities on accelerated 3-year bachelor’s programmes and the Technological Universities on a combination of two-year short-cycle programmes and accelerated bachelor’s programmes similar to those in Polytechnic Universities. Technological Universities concentrate over 90% of total enrolment in short-cycle programmes in Mexico (Mendoza Rojas, 2018[1]). Enrolment in short-cycle programmes in Mexico accounts for around 4% of total undergraduate enrolment in the country. This compares with an OECD average of around 12% and 37% in the United States (OECD, 2018[3]).

Table 6.1. Enrolment in the technical sector of higher education 2016-17

Total enrolment 2016/17

% total enrolment in Mexico

Enrolment in short-cycle

Enrolment in Bachelor’s degrees

Postgraduate enrolment

Federal Institutes of Technology

340 800*



336 635

3 701

Decentralised Institutes of Technology

241 035



239 985


Technological Universities

241 688


162 794

78 874


Polytechnic Universities

92 785



91 634

1 151

TOTAL for the four subsystems

915 941


163 044

747 128

5 769

Note: *SEP data state 340 800, Data from ANUIES / Mendoza Rojas state 340 433, a difference of 367.

Source: Total enrolment data (SEP, 2018[4]); breakdown by type of programme (Mendoza Rojas, 2018[1]).

Table 6.2 shows the distribution of enrolment in the four technical subsystems between the eight broad fields of study used in Mexico. All four subsystems have a strong concentration of programmes in engineering, manufacturing and construction. Programmes in these fields are designed to prepare professionals primarily for jobs in the manufacturing and construction industries. All institution types also provide a significant number of professional programmes in the administration and law, designed to prepare students for jobs in the public and private service sectors. The Polytechnic Universities offer the most diverse range of programmes, including a significant number in computer science and health-related occupations.

Table 6.2. Proportion of enrolment by field of study in the technical higher education sector
Distribution of enrolment in the four technical sectors in 2016-17


Arts & humanities

Social sciences, administration & law

Natural, exact & computer sciences

Engineering, manufacturing & construction

Agronomy & veterinary studies



Federal Institutes of Technology









Decentralised Institutes of Technology









Technological Universities









Polytechnic Universities









Source: Educación Superior en México 2007-2017 - Revisión de la política educativa, avances y retos (SEP, 2018[5]).

Taking into account discussions with representatives of technical institutions and SEP’s General Coordination office for Technological and Polytechnic Universities (CGUTyP) during the mission to Mexico, as well as available documentary evidence, the sections below review the strengths and weaknesses of the technical higher education system in Mexico, examining governance, funding, staffing, equity, quality and innovation.

6.2.2. Strengths and challenges

1. Governance

The different subsystems that comprise the technical higher education sector in Mexico have distinct governance arrangements. Since their inception in 1948, federal Institutes of Technology have always been entities of the federal government, with control over development projects, staffing and study programmes controlled (to varying degrees) centrally, from Mexico City. The decentralised Institutes of Technology were historically created, in the early 1990s, under the authority of the states and supervised by state higher education authorities. Since 2014, both types of institute have been united under the umbrella of the Tecnológico Nacional de México (TecNM), an arms-length (“deconcentrated”) body of the SEP. The creation of TecNM means that all Institutes of Technology are nominally part of a single higher education institution, described on the TecNM website as the “largest technical higher education institution in the country” (TecNM, 2018[6]). All Institutes of Technology follow common programme structures (Gamino-Carranza and Grassiel Acosta-González, 2016[7]) and are subject to the standardised institutional policies of the TecNM.

The Technological and Polytechnic Universities are established as independent legal entities under the nominal responsibility of state authorities, which provide 50% of the funding for these institutions and frequently provided the land on which they are built. The federal contribution to the funding of these institutions, as well as overall responsibility for general policies to promote the development and effective operation of the subsystems, lies with SEP’s General Coordination office for Technological and Polytechnic Universities (CGUTyP), with the Under-secretariat for Higher Education.

From a governance perspective, two main issues stand out in the relation to the technical subsystems. First, as highlighted in the chapter dealing with governance of the whole higher education system, there is scope to improve cooperation and coordination between the different systems on a regional (state) level. Institutions consulted during the Review Mission reported they have limited cooperation with other institutions in the same subsystem within their state and virtually no formal contact with other institutions such as State Public Universities. Indeed, there is a sense in which the different subsystems appear to be in competition with each other. Although the TecNM and the CGUTyP support individual institutions at a national level and promote coordination, technical institutions work first and foremost to supply professionals to regional labour markets. Moreover, as many technical institutions are relatively small (with fewer than 1 000 students), greater cooperation with other institutions in the same region could open up new opportunities for joint projects and sharing of facilities. Improved networking within and between subsystems at state level would also support the broader goal of creating more coherent regional higher education systems, under the coordination of reinvigorated State Commissions for Higher Education Planning (COEPES) (see Chapter 3).

Second, while the Technological and Polytechnic Universities appear generally able to develop coherent institutional development plans and adapt their education to regional skills needs, the Institutes of Technology – in particular federal Institutes - suffer from an excess of centralised control. Most decisions about the design of study programmes, resources allocation and staffing are taken centrally, with the rectors of individual Institutes merely acting as managers. This, in combination with the entirely inadequate infrastructure and facilities witnessed in some campuses, limits the ability of individual Institutes to develop distinct institutional development plans and respond to changing regional skills requirements.

2. Funding

Despite their consolidation into the Tecnológico Nacional de México, federal and decentralised Institutes of Technology receive their funding through different channels. Federal Institutes receive all their funding directly from the SEP, while decentralised Institutes receive half their funding from the SEP and half from state education authorities in the annual state budgets. Both Technological and Polytechnic Universities receive half their funding from the SEP and half from the states. In all cases of shared responsibility for public funding, the principle of a 50:50 split in funding between the Federation and the state is applied.

As is the case more generally in public higher education in Mexico, there is considerable variation in the level of funding per student received by institutions in different subsystems of the technical higher education sector and between institutions in the same subsystem. ANUIES (ANUIES, 2018, p. 92[8]) estimates that federal Institutes of Technology receive an average of MXN 37 000 per student per year, decentralised Institutes of Technology MXN 29 000 and Technological and Polytechnic Universities MXN 24 000 per student per year, on average. On average, State Public Universities receive MXN 56 000 per student per year in core (ordinary) operating funds. All these figures exclude competitive research funding from CONACyT.

These figures suggest that, in comparison to university-based education, technical higher education in Mexico is funded proportionally less well than in some of the best-regarded technical higher education sectors in the OECD. Data for the Netherlands, the Flemish Community of Belgium and Estonia from an ongoing OECD benchmarking study show that core funding per student for educational activities is similar in technical institutions and universities. In Mexico, although ordinary funding to universities contains some allocation for research, there is a far greater disparity between the academic and technical sectors in their allocation for education.

Table 6.3. Annual expenditure per student for all services, by subsector in euro (2015)




Flemish Community



Total expenditure

7 730

19 456

23 722

Excluding R&D

5 042

8 398

9 345

Professional higher education institutions (HEIs)

Total expenditure

3 637

10 229

10 507

Excluding R&D

3 541

9 383

10 122

Source: National administrative data.

Differences in funding levels between institutions within the technical higher education sector in Mexico also raise questions. The fact that federal Institutes of Technology receive around 20% more funding per student than their decentralised counterparts may in part be explained by their higher levels of research activity and larger role in postgraduate training (see Table 6.1 above). However, it also reflects a funding allocation model based on historical costs and overheads, rather than enrolment, activities and outputs. As federal Institutes of Technology have a higher proportion of full-time, permanent staff (who are civil servants), their costs are inevitably higher, without this necessarily reflecting the provision of inherently more expensive or better quality forms of education or greater involvement in costly research activities.

The analysis of funding per student in the State of Puebla discussed in Chapter 3 reveals wide variation between institutions in other technical subsystems. As illustrated in Table 3.5 in Puebla, the decentralised Institute of Technology with the lowest funding level receives less than 60% of the funding per student received by the best-funded institution in the same subsystem. For Polytechnic and Technological Universities, the institutions with the lowest levels of funding in relation to enrolment receive less than half the funding per student as the best-funded institutions in their subsystems. While some of these differences could be explained by differences in the orientation of activities and underused capacity (fewer students than infrastructure would allow), such large differences between notionally similar institutions appear unjustified.

Table 6.4. Spending per student in technical HEIs in the State of Puebla in 2016
Budget allocations in Mexican pesos (MXN)



Enrolment 2016-2017

State Funding*

Federal Funding

Total core public funding

Public funding / student

Instituto Tecnologico Superior de Venustiano Carranza



9 186 881

9 186 881**

1.8 373 762

33 226

Universidad Tecnologica de Puebla


6 773

105 158 314

105 158 314**

210 316 628

31 052

Universidad Tecnologica de Izucar de Matamoros


2 117

30 653 556

30 653 556**

61 307 112

28 959

Instituto Tecnologico Superior de Huauchinango


1 779

22 660 517

22 660 517**

45 321 034

25 476

Instituto Tecnologico Superior de Teziutlan


2 545

31 127 804

31 127 804**

62 255 608

24 462

Universidad Tecnologica de Oriental



7 385 488

7 385 488**

14 770 976

24 455

Universidad Tecnologica de Huejotzingo


3 493

42 418 579

42 418 579**

84 837 158

24 288

Universidad Politecnica de Puebla


2 638

29 002 074

29 002 074**

58 004 148

21 988

Universidad Tecnologica de Tecamachalco


3 536

38 012 385

38 012 385**

76 024 770

21 500

Instituto Tecnologico Superior de Zacapoaxtla


2 361

22 472 106

22 472 106**

44 944 212

19 036

Universidad Tecnologica de Xicotepec de Juarez


3 339

25 223 935

25 223 935**

50 447 870

15 109

Universidad Politecnica de Amozoc


1 291

8 084 439

8 084 439**

16 168 878

12 524

Universidad Politecnica Metropolitana de Puebla



4 088 920

4 088 920**

8 177 840

10 593

Note: * Allocations based on specific attributions in Puebla Budget Act for 2016; ** Federal allocations assume that the general principle of 1:1 match funding between state and Federation for non-autonomous institutions is respected.

Source: Data on funding allocations: (Gobierno del Estado de Puebla, 2015[9]) Data on enrolment: (Dirección General Educación Superior Universitaria (DGESU), 2018[10]).

Finally, in addition to comparatively low operational expenditure per student and a lack of clarity and equity in the allocation of public to institutions, is a problem of inadequate capital investment in infrastructure and equipment - particularly in the older Institutes of Technology. Whereas Technological and Polytechnic Universities are relatively new institutions and have often received substantial investments in new buildings and equipment, many Institutes of Technology have been operating since the 1960s, or even longer. In one institution visited by the OECD Review Team, staff in the civil and electrical engineering departments were still reliant on machinery dating from the 1970s and reported similar conditions in other Institutes of Technology. In rapidly changing technical fields, where institutions are supposed to be preparing graduates for the labour market, up-to-date curricula and equipment are crucial. Currently, staff in many Institutes of Technology appear to struggle to provide programmes that reflect the latest advances in their fields and equip students with relevant knowledge and skills for the modern Mexican economy.

3. Staffing

Data for the academic year 2016-17 show that there were 48 060 teaching staff employed in the technical higher education sector. This figure includes permanent full-time staff (Profesores de Tiempo Completo, PTC), a limited number of part-time permanent staff and a large number of teachers contracted by the hour to teach specific subjects. The balance between full-time and hourly staff varies depending on the profile of the institutions and the historical patterns of employment. As noted, the federal Institutes of Technology have a higher proportion of full-time staff, largely as a legacy of their longstanding status as part of the federal civil service.

Table 6.5. Teaching staff in technical higher education by contract type
Headcount for the year 2016-2017

Total teaching staff

Full-time staff

Part-time staff

Contracted by the hour

Federal Institutes of Technology

16 790




Decentralised Institutes of Technology

10 498




Technological Universities

14 712




Polytechnic Universities

6 060




Source: Table 11 (Mendoza Rojas, 2018[1]).

Technical higher education institutions in many countries tend to draw more heavily on contracted staff to teach specific subjects than universities, although patterns of academic employment are shifting throughout the world. In Mexico, the State Public Universities the ratio of full-time teaching staff to hourly contracted staff is roughly 4:6 (Mendoza Rojas, 2018[1]), so similar to the pattern seen in decentralised Institutes of Technology. It is not possible to prescribe what the correct balance between full-time staff and contracted staff might be. Professionals are often brought in to technical higher education programmes to teach subjects related to their professional practice and ensure close connections with the labour market. At the same time, an adequate number of full-time staff are needed to develop and implement institutional strategy and ensure the quality and continuity of programmes. With these factors in mind, the proportion of full-time staff in Polytechnic Universities appears to be very low.

It is difficult to comment in any detail on the quality of the teaching workforce in the technical education sector. The Mexican authorities refer to the results of the PRODEP programme (Programa para el Desarrollo Profesional Docente), which provides funding to allow full-time teaching staff to upgrade their qualifications, provides financial incentives to reward staff that have “desirable profiles” (in relation to their qualifications, teaching and research activities) and supports participation of staff in academic networks (cuerpos académicos). The SEP reports that in 2017, 36% of full-time staff in Polytechnic Universities are recognised in PRODEP as having a “desirable profile”, while the proportion was 28% in Technological Universities; 22% in decentralised Institutes of Technology and 14% in Federal Institutes of Technology (SEP, 2018, p. 104[5]). In State Public Universities, the equivalent proportion was 58%.

PRODEP was originally designed to support staff in universities and it is inherently more challenging for staff in the technical higher education sector to meet the requirements to acquire “desirable profile” status. The federal Institutes of Technology also have a proportionally large population of full-time teaching staff. Nevertheless, the low proportion of full-time staff in these institutions that have acquired PRODEP “desirable profile” status suggests significant numbers of teaching staff in these institutions are currently underperforming against national benchmarks. The reasons for this warrant further investigation.

4. Coverage and equity

Stakeholders consulted by the OECD Review Team affirm that the technical higher education sector in Mexico, like its counterparts in many other OECD countries, caters to a student population that comes disproportionately from lower socio-economic backgrounds. The development of the Technological Universities and their offering of short-cycle programmes was explicitly designed to widen opportunities for less advantaged populations to access high education, as well as to respond to a labour market need for qualified technicians (de la Garza Vizcaya, 2003[2]; Flores Crespo, 2009[11]).

It is not possible to verify the socio-economic make of the student population in the different subsystems of technical higher education, but it is entirely credible that these, often small, regional institutions indeed cater to large numbers of students from lower income backgrounds. In principle, these institutions therefore have the potential to play an important role in increasing educational attainment and promoting social mobility.

A specific concern in this regard relates to the status of short-cycle programmes in Mexico. Many of those interviewed by the OECD Review team, as well as numerous Mexican commentators, note that these programmes suffer from low prestige among families, students and employers. Take-up of short-cycle programmes in Technological Universities did not expand as rapidly as was originally hoped (Flores Crespo, 2009[11]). This is despite the fact that this model of education is in theory well suited to the needs of the Mexican labour market. Recent skills needs analysis by McKinsey, for example, suggests demand for professionals with qualifications at the associate’s level (those with short-cycle tertiary qualifications) in Mexico could increase significantly with the introduction of moderate levels of automation in the period up to 2030 (McKinsey Global Institute, 2017[12]).

Although detailed data on the labour market outcomes of graduates from different parts of the higher education system are not available in Mexico, there is some evidence to suggest that students’ scepticism with regard to short-cycle programmes is justified. Data from the Mexican Labour Force Survey show that in 2017, 38.1% of short-cycle degree holders aged 25-34 were employed informally, without social security or pension coverage, compared to 27.2% of young workers with a bachelor’s degree and 14.3% of those in the same age group with a postgraduate degree (INEGI, 2017[13]). Moreover, the wage premiums for acquiring a short-cycle qualification in Mexico appear to be modest. Young workers with a short-cycle degree in Mexico can expect to be earn only 19% more than upper secondary graduates, while those in the same age range with a bachelor’s degree earn 80% more and postgraduate degree holders earn, on average, over three times more than a young worker who has completed upper secondary education (OECD, 2018[3]).

It is difficult to identify the precise causes for the relatively poor labour market outcomes of graduates from short-cycle programmes in Mexico. The situation is likely to result from poor overall labour market conditions (meaning employers in some sectors can pick from a large pool of (often-overqualified) graduates); a lack of knowledge about short-cycle programmes among employers and; mismatch between what programmes are providing and what regional labour markets demand. At present, the challenges facing students taking short-cycle programmes are compounded by the difficulty of pursuing their studies further to obtain a bachelor’s degree. Although short-cycle programme graduates can obtain bachelor’s degrees through studying an additional year in the Polytechnic or Technological University where they completed their short-cycle programme, this depends on the availability of suitable programmes in their locality. Moreover, there are still no pathways to allow short-cycle graduates to have their credits recognised to count towards obtaining a bachelor’s degree in Institutes of Technology or universities. Tackling these issues is crucial in order to avoid young people from disadvantaged backgrounds embarking on studies, which, despite their notional relevance, do little in practice to increase graduates’ success in the labour market.

5. Quality, relevance and innovation

As reported in Chapter 4, like other parts of the higher education system, the technical subsystems have succeeded in increasing the proportion of their students studying in externally accredited programmes. Data from August 2018 show that around 50 percent of students in Institutes of Technology (both federal and decentralised) studies in programmes externally recognised by CIEES or COPAES for their quality. The equivalent figure Polytechnic and Technological Universities was below 40% (DGESU, 2018[14]). As shown in Table 6.6, the proportion of enrolment in quality assured programmes increases notably in both Polytechnic and Technological Universities, when only programmes for which a suitable external evaluation system exists are taken into account. External quality assurance procedures for short-cycle programmes and certain professionally oriented subjects are comparatively underdeveloped in Mexico.

Table 6.6. Enrolment in programmes designated as “good quality”, by sector (2018)


Enrolment in “quality” programmes

Total enrolment

Evaluable enrolment*

% coverage (total)

% coverage (evaluable programmes)

Polytechnic Universities (UPOL)

34 004

96 442

83 934



Technological Universities (UT)

94 529

245 154

163 721



Institutes of Technology (IT)

299 153

591 989

551 054



Source: SEP, Corte de Calidad del mes de agosto 2018, Tab 10. Evaluable programmes: those with one or more cohorts of exiting students in programmes not established in the period 2013-2017. (DGESU, 2018[14]).

More generally, study programmes in the technical sector of Mexican higher education vary in their design and focus between institutional types. Nearly all programmes comprise a compulsory period of work-based learning, in addition to the minimum of 480 hours of “social service” (servicio social), which are compulsory for all higher education students in Mexico. Undergraduate programmes in Institutes of Technology historically followed a format similar to university bachelor’s programmes, but were distinguished by their focus on engineering and applied sciences. With the creation of the Tecnológico Nacional de México, a new standardised curriculum format and credit system were introduced, comprising a four-year programme followed by a semester-long “professional residency” (residencia profesional) (Gamino-Carranza and Grassiel Acosta-González, 2016[7]). In Polytechnic Universities, programmes typically incorporate one or two three-week periods of work experience (estancias) and a 15-week internship (estadía) at the end of the programme (de la Garza Vizcaya, 2003[2]). In Technological Universities, two-year short-cycle programmes also require a 15-week internship at the end of the school-based period of study.

Discussions with institutional representatives in Mexico and available literature demonstrate that those working in the technical sector of higher education have made considerable efforts to implement study programmes focused strongly on equipping students with knowledge and skills relevant to the labour market. Curricula have been radically overhauled and there is a clear emphasis on acquiring generic competencies alongside subject-specific knowledge. In the scope of this review, it is not possible to gain a clear picture of how widely these new programme models have been accepted, how well they have been implemented and how effective they have been in practice at equipping students with skills relevant to the world of work. While many of the efforts to improve curricula observed by the OECD team look promising, only a more rigorous follow-up of graduates from different forms of programme will allow educators and authorities to gain a clearer picture of the ultimate effectiveness of the educational programmes provided.

Irrespective of the inherent quality of the study programme design and school-based elements, it is clear that providers of professionally oriented higher education in Mexico face particular challenges in cooperating with employers and securing appropriate work placements and internships for their students. The high proportion of micro-businesses in the Mexican economy and limited engagement from small and medium-sized businesses makes it more difficult to develop effective work-based learning than in countries with many medium-sized and large employers and a strong tradition of participation in education and training. Responding to this situation is difficult and largely beyond the scope of higher education policy. Nevertheless, there may opportunities to learn from other nations in how to increase cooperation between higher education and employers.

6.2.3. Key recommendations

On the basis of the brief assessment of strengths and challenges above, the OECD review team recommends the following:

Promote cooperation between technical higher education institutions in each state and ensure Institutes of Technology have adequate flexibility to adapt to regional needs

  1. 1. As part of wider efforts to re-establish State Commissions for Higher Education Planning (COEPES), the SEP and state authorities should ensure efforts are made specifically to promote cooperation between institutions in the technical higher education sector. This should focus on a) avoiding unnecessary duplication in study programmes, so that institutions have distinct profiles; b) creating transition pathways to allow students to move between institutions and; c) promoting joint projects and sharing of infrastructure where benefits for quality and relevance can be achieved.

  2. 2. Within the Tecnológico Nacional de México, initiate a process to devolve greater responsibility for institutional planning, design of study programmes and staffing matters to individual Institutes of Technology. This process should allow the benefits of common curriculum structures and the availability of common support materials to be maintained, while allowing institutions to take greater responsibility for adapting their educational offers to the needs to the localities and regions where they are located. The additional flexibility given to individual Institutes should extend to financial management and staffing decisions, with a greater proportion of operational resources devolved directly to institutions.

Ensure public funding provided per student is equitable and adequate across technical higher education and invest in infrastructure and equipment, where needed

  1. 3. Within the framework of a wider reform of mechanisms for allocating public funding to higher education institution in Mexico (see Chapter 3), the SEP and state authorities should ensure that transparent funding criteria are established for the technical sector, reflecting the true costs of providing good quality technical education, and which ensure institutions receive an equitable level of funding per student.

  2. 4. Particularly focusing on Institutes of Technology, the TecNM, with support from SEP, should undertake a systematic analysis of requirements for new equipment and infrastructure in the technical higher education sector in each state. On this basis, where necessary, take steps to provide dedicated funds for investment in new infrastructure and equipment, encouraging consolidation of study programmes into single sites and sharing of expensive infrastructure, wherever feasible.

Devolve additional responsibility for staffing to institutions, maintaining strict transparency rules; review the need for additional full-time staff and implement internal performance review and incentive systems

  1. 5. In the context of wider devolution of responsibility to Institutes of Technology for institutional planning and financial management proposed above, ensure rules allow sufficient flexibility for individual institutions to make necessary decisions about staffing, while abiding by strict recruitment procedures to ensure equality and transparency.

  2. 6. Review the ratio of full-time to hourly contracted staff in all institutions, taking steps through the budget allocation to strengthen the full-time staff contingent in justified cases. In the process of developing a more rational system of funding allocation to public higher education institutions, take into ratios of full-time to hourly staff, developing an approach that balances effectiveness and efficiency.

  3. 7. Encourage institutions to implement internal performance review and incentive systems that encourage and support staff to acquire desirable profiles. If the PRODEP programme is continued, review the criteria for desirable profiles to ensure that they are appropriately adapted to the circumstances of the technical higher education sector.

Take steps to increase the prestige and attractiveness of short-cycle programmes and ensure graduate tracking provides useful feedback to the technical subsystems

  1. 8. Draw on existing feedback from employers and convene additional discussions where necessary to identify the real barriers to better employability outcomes for graduates from short-cycle programmes. Based on these findings take corrective measures. Ultimately, the goal should be to consolidate and expand high quality short-cycle provision, as it has the potential to be an effective and cost-effective way to allow students to acquire skills that correspond to current and future labour market needs. General campaigns and promotion are unlikely to be effective in increasing the prestige of these programmes. Rather, efforts should focus on demonstrating how graduates from such programmes can succeed in the labour market. Intensive, local cooperation projects, linking higher education providers and employers, supported by public incentive programmes could be one option to explore.

  2. 9. Ensure broader measures are taken to track graduates’ progress in the labour market and provide a breakdown of evidence on labour market outcomes for the technical subsystems of higher education.

Adapt accreditation procedures to fit all types of technical higher education and increase cooperation with technical higher education in other countries

  1. 10. Support, as necessary through reconfigured federal extraordinary funding programmes, CIEES and COPAES to take steps to develop accreditation procedures relevant for all types of technically oriented higher education programmes.

  2. 11. At national level in Mexico, develop cooperation with representative organisations for the professional and technical sectors of higher education in other OECD countries to support exchange of ideas about effective programme and curriculum design and models for cooperation with employers.

  3. 12. Consider the introduction of an extraordinary federal funding programme to support institutional cooperation projects bringing together several technical institutions from a specific region of Mexico and partner institutions in another country to act as a framework for staff and student exchanges for skills development and capacity building.

6.3. Teacher Education Colleges in Mexico

6.3.1. Introduction

Historically, the initial training of primary and secondary school teachers in Mexico was exclusively the responsibility of specialised Teacher Education Colleges: the normal schools (escuelas normales). The history of the normal schools is tightly bound up with the expansion of universal education in Mexico, with the establishment of Teacher Education Colleges in the late 19th and 20th centuries playing an essential role in bringing formal education to all regions of the country (Mendoza Rojas, 2018[1]).

Over time, the training provided in normal schools – which have long existed as both public and private institutions – and the environment in which they operate have evolved:

  • In 1978, the National Pedagogical University (Universidad Pedagógica Nacional, UPN) was founded to provide continuing professional development programmes for existing schoolteachers and train educational specialists in fields such as psychology, thus challenging the monopoly of the normal schools in teacher education.

  • In 1984, all normal school programmes were adapted to become bachelor’s degrees (licenciatura), requiring students to complete upper secondary education (Preparatoria) before completing a four-year (eight semester) programme of teacher training, of which the last one or two semesters were spent on practical training in schools.

  • In 1992, as part of the wider reforms of school education in the National Agreement for the Modernisation of Basic Education (ANMEB), responsibility for federal public normal schools was transferred to the states, although responsibility for specifying curricula, staff conditions and the majority of institutional funding remained at federal level in the SEP.

  • In 2005, responsibility for the national coordination of the normal schools was transferred from the part of the SEP dealing with school education to a newly created Directorate-General for higher education for educational professionals (DGESPE), within SEP’s Under-secretariat for higher education. This was intended to cement the position of the normal schools as part of the national higher education system.

  • And in 2013, new legislation (the Ley General del Servicio Profesional Docente) (Congreso General de los Estados Unidos Mexicanos, 2013[15]) reformed the procedures for entering the teaching profession in Mexico, putting in place new selection examinations. These reforms removed the automatic right of those having successfully graduated from normal schools to enter the teaching profession and allowed any bachelor’s graduate to sit the new entry exams (Medrano, Ángeles Méndez and Morales Hernández, 2017, p. 21[16]).

In the academic year 2016-17, there were 276 public normal schools in Mexico, enrolling almost 84 000 students2, the majority in face-to-face bachelor’s programmes training pre-primary, primary and secondary school teachers. Around 2% of enrolment in public normal schools was in distance programmes and around 3 000 students (4% of total enrolment) were in postgraduate programmes. In the private sector, there were 176 schools enrolling over 14 000 students, meaning roughly 15% of total enrolment in normal education in Mexico was in the private sector (Table 2.2, Table 2.5). Many normal schools are small, particularly in the private sector. More than four out five private normal schools - and a quarter of their public counterparts - enrol fewer than 150 students. In 2015-16, only 14 normal schools in the whole country (13 of them public) enrolled more than 950 students (Medrano, Ángeles Méndez and Morales Hernández, 2017, p. 39[16]).

Successive governments in Mexico have acknowledged both the crucial importance of high quality teacher training for the whole education system and the significant challenges faced by the system of normal schools. Taking into account discussions with representatives of normal schools and the DGESPE, along with available documentary evidence, the sections below provide a brief review of the strengths and weaknesses of the normal schools in Mexico, examining governance, funding, staffing, equity, quality and innovation. We focus here exclusively on public normal schools, given the role of government in funding and steering these institutions, although many of the points raised are likely to be relevant to the private sector.

6.3.2. Strengths and challenges

1. Governance

Public normal schools nominally fall under the responsibility of the state. However, in contrast to other types of public institution under state responsibility, normal schools have very limited autonomy in their day-to-day activities.

Most notably, both the structure and content of programmes are specified centrally for the whole country by the Directorate-General for higher education for educational professionals (DGESPE), with individual schools then responsible for delivering these standardised programmes. Standardised curricula exist for the different bachelor’s programmes offered (pre-primary education, primary education, secondary, physical education, special education etc.). Pay and conditions for staff are also established centrally. As discussed below, the states and the Federation share responsibility for funding public normal schools. The creation of new programmes in normal schools is subject to approval by state education authorities, who must subsequently register approved programmes with the DGESPE in Mexico City.

The logic for regulating curricula centrally is that normal schools are responsible for preparing teachers to deliver school-level education, which has been increasingly standardised for the whole country. As such, a close articulation between the system of normal education and the system of school education is needed. This was indeed why normal education remained the responsibility of the SEP departments for school education until just over a decade ago. However, analysts have noted that even when normal schools were grouped with school education, reform of curricula in normal schools was not well coordinated with (planned) reforms of the school curriculum, leading to substantial misalignment in content and approaches over time (Medrano, Ángeles Méndez and Morales Hernández, 2017, p. 28[16]). Moreover, even when centralised normal school curricula are updated, there is a risk that they are too prescriptive, leaving insufficient freedom to individual schools and academic staff to adapt their programmes to local needs or exploit the specific expertise of individual staff members.

In individual states, state education authorities do play a role in evaluating demand for teachers and approving new study programmes and normal schools. In some states, such as Yucatán, the state authorities have also facilitated the creation of networks bringing together all public normal schools in the state to contribute to the strategic planning of the sector, discuss requirements and challenges and exchange experience.

2. Funding

State education authorities, primarily using funds transferred from the federal government, fund public normal schools. Salary costs for academic staff in normal schools are included in specific allocations to the states provided through in Section 33 of the annual federal budget, earmarked for staff and operating costs in the education sector (the Fondo de Aportaciones para la Nómina Educativa y Gasto Operativo, FONE). This earmarking of allocations limits state authorities’ scope to influence salary levels of staff numbers. The allocation of funds to normal schools via funding streams destined for school-level education means that – in contrast to the situation for other higher education institutions - it is not possible to identify budgets for individual institutions and thus investment per student (Mendoza Rojas, Javier, 2017[17]). ANUIES was not able to include an estimate of average investment per student in normal schools in their most recent analysis of funding in Mexican higher education (ANUIES, 2018[8]), meaning it is not possible to compare their level of resourcing with that of other public subsystems.

Despite these data limitations, discussions with stakeholders during the Review visit, as well as the analysis by Mexican commentators (Medrano, Ángeles Méndez and Morales Hernández, 2017[16]), suggest that normal schools face structural underfunding problems. Many normal schools are small, operating in poor quality buildings and with limited access to modern teaching resources. As discussed below, the level of funding allocated to the sector also influences the ability of normal schools to employ permanent, full-time staff. The visible impact of funding levels on infrastructure, equipment and staffing has clear implications for the quality of education normal schools can offer.

Normal schools have been eligible for federal extraordinary funding schemes. The most notable have been the programmes for training and capacity building for teaching staff (PRODEP, formerly PROMEP) and for strengthening internal quality systems and gaining external accreditation (PFCE, a programme that follows on from previous more specific programmes for normal schools). While, these programmes appear to have been beneficial for normal schools, responding to and implementing project-based financial incentive programmes such as PRODEP and PFCE, can be challenging for institutions with limited internal management and financial capacity such as the normal schools.

3. Staffing

Well-trained, competent and committed staff are crucial to good teacher training. Historically, teaching staff in public normal schools were often themselves graduates from normal schools. Staff rarely had postgraduate qualifications. This situation created – and continues to create – two main problems.

First, there are risks attached to the high degree of endogamy among teaching staff working in public normal schools and their comparative isolation from other parts of the academic sector. Teaching staff who themselves have been trained primarily (if not exclusively) in normal schools may not have been exposed alternative and valuable approaches to teaching and teacher training. Teaching staff responsible for programmes for aspiring secondary school teachers may not have studied the specific disciplines they are teaching (Spanish, maths, physics etc.) at university. Both teachers and students in normal schools pursue their activities with little contact other academic institutions and the knowledge and influences this could bring. In many other OECD countries, individuals train to be teachers after or alongside another higher education qualification in a specific subject, and generally do so in a comprehensive higher education institution or a specialised institution with strong contacts to other parts of the higher education sector. This means that both students and staff are able to draw on a wide range of experience and specialised knowledge. Despite efforts to network normal schools among themselves, the comparatively closed environment in which normal school staff work creates clear risks for the quality and relevance of study programmes.

Second, it is likely that a proportion of teaching staff in normal schools are simply underqualified compared to their peers in other OECD countries. In 2000, only 15% of teaching staff in public normal schools had a postgraduate qualification. By 2016, this proportion had risen to almost 41%. This increase is in part as a result of the federal PROMEP (now PRODEP) programme, for which normal schools were made eligible in 2009 (Medrano, Ángeles Méndez and Morales Hernández, 2017[16]). Although it is likely that many of staff who upgraded their qualifications, as well as new staff entering normal schools, obtained postgraduate qualifications in fields related to their work (pedagogy or discipline-related qualifications), no accessible data are available to allow this to be verified. Similarly, no data are available on the fields in which staff have acquired undergraduate degrees. In particular, it is not clear what proportion of the teaching staff responsible for subject-specific courses for aspiring secondary school teachers have a bachelor’s degree in the field they are teaching. Whatever the reality in these respects, it is striking that almost 60% of those responsible for teaching the next generation of Mexican schoolteachers still lacks a postgraduate qualification.

Alongside their qualifications, the conditions under which staff work have an important impact on their ability to deliver quality education. Across the subsystem of public normal schools in 2016, around 40% of the 12 100 teaching staff had a full-time post, around 20% were employed part-time and the remaining 40% were employed by the hour. The proportions of staff with a full-time contract varied from over 90% in the state of Zacatecas to less than 20% in the states of Nayarit, Coahuila, Colima, Chiapas and Yucatán (Medrano, Ángeles Méndez and Morales Hernández, 2017, p. 51[16]). Although there are many factors that may explain this variation, it is clear that many public normal schools are operating with very few permanent, full-time staff, further complicating the process of building strong, cohesive teams and developing and implementing long-term strategies for quality and innovation.

4. Coverage and equity

Total enrolment in public normal schools in Mexico has declined from over 101 000 in 2013-14 to around 84 000 in 2016-17. This occurred in the context of a steady increase in overall enrolment at bachelor’s level in Mexico over the same period. Stakeholders interviewed by the OECD review team point to three main explanations for this fall. First, a slowdown in the expansion of the school sector (falling demand for teachers), as an increase in the school-leaving age enacted in 2013 has been implemented and population growth rates have decreased. Second, an increase in the entry requirements for accessing normal schools, meaning fewer applicants are actually admitted. And third, the decision, also in 2013, to remove automatic entry to a teaching career for those successfully completing programmes in normal schools and to open the general entrance examination for the teaching profession to graduates from other institutions and programmes. As a result of these changes, normal schools lost their unique status and, to some extent, became less attractive.

The OECD review team does not have access to data on the socio-economic profile of students in public normal schools. It is clear that normal schools, especially those in more remote regions of the country, have historically offered study opportunities to sections of the population for whom higher education would otherwise have been unattainable. Representatives of normal schools interviewed by the OECD team believed that their students continue to come disproportionately from lower income backgrounds. In one Higher Normal School – that trains secondary school teachers – institutional leaders reported 54 percent of their students were scholarship-aided and 40 percent had no internet access at home. As normal schools tend to serve populations in their immediate locality and sub-regions, the profile of student populations is likely to vary considerably between schools in different places. The broader concerns about the adequacy of student financial support raised in Chapter 5 apply equally to normal schools.

5. Quality, relevance and innovation

As in other sectors of higher education, the quality and relevance of the education provided in normal schools depends on a complex set of factors. These include physical infrastructure and equipment; the capacity, skills and motivation of teaching staff; academic and non-academic support given to students; the design and content of the study programmes and; the flexibility of these programmes to adapt to changing needs and circumstances.

The discussion above has already pinpointed challenges relating to infrastructure and staffing (and the availability of resources to pay for these), as well as the small size of institutions – factors that are all likely to affect adversely the quality of education in public normal schools. While acknowledging these challenges, representatives of normal schools interviewed by the OECD during the review visit stressed the strong engagement of staff and students and their commitment to the important social role played by the normal schools and the teachers that they educate. Normal schools have expertise in didactics, unrivalled experience of providing practical training to teachers working in different contexts and a close connection with the regional schools systems and communities they serve. These factors probably contribute to graduates from normal schools achieving the highest average scores in the national entry examinations for the teaching profession, ahead of graduates from the National Pedagogical University or from other higher education institutions (Medrano, Ángeles Méndez and Morales Hernández, 2017, p. 13[16]).

Nevertheless, the quality and relevance of the education provided in normal schools remains a concern for public authorities in Mexico. Over the years, this has led to a series of specific (extraordinary) funding programmes and strategies targeted at the normal schools:

  • From 2002 to 2013, the “Programme for Institutional Improvement in Public Normal Schools” (PROMIN) provided funds to support every state to develop and implement “State Plans to Strengthen Normal Education” comprising actions to improve the coordination between normal schools in individual states and specific funds for individual normal schools.

  • In 2014, this fund was subsumed, with other funds for specific sectors, into the Programme for strengthening quality in educational institutions (PROFOCIE)

  • In 2017, PROFICIE was renamed, while maintaining the same focus, to the Programme for strengthening educational quality (PFCE).

  • In July 2017, the federal government launched the National Strategy for the Transformation of the Normal Schools, accompanying its wider policy to implement a new educational model (Nuevo Modelo Educativo) in compulsory education. This strategy calls for students in normal schools to acquire greater mastery of academic disciplines, improve use of ICT, the level of English of graduates, develop indigenous education, continue the “professionalisation” of normal school staff and promote cooperation with universities (SEP, 2017[18]).

It is clearly too early to judge the implementation, let alone the impact, of the new strategy. Nevertheless, it is notable that federal funding programmes targeting similar problems in normal schools to those raised in this most recent strategy have been operating for over 15 years without resolving these problems satisfactorily. As an example, although the successive programmes noted above have sought to improve quality, only 16% of students in public normal schools study in programmes that have been externally accredited. Of 225 public normal schools for which data is available, only 47 have accredited programmes (ANUIES, 2018, p. 71[8]). Although CIEES began to accredit normal school programmes relatively late (in 2008), accreditation tailored to normal school programmes has been available for nearly a decade, with only modest take-up.

More generally, Medrano et al. (2017, p. 17[16]) argue that existing staff in some normal schools struggle to provide the kinds of academic supervision required by the study plans developed in Mexico City. This includes the activities students need to complete to achieve formal certification at the end of their programme (titulación), which include the option for an extended academic dissertation. The same authors cite a 1994 report by the Fundación para la Cultura del Maestro that maintained that endogamy and isolation from the rest of the academic sector fundamentally affected capacity for change in the public normal schools, where teacher training:

…is characterised by “a lack of discussion with other national and international academic institutions, [and] has a tradition of endogamy that has been institutionalised in the form of routines and procedures, which reject, on principle, any proposals for change – especially those coming from outside” (Medrano, Ángeles Méndez and Morales Hernández, 2017, p. 17[16])

During their discussions, the OECD team noted that normal school staff had an awareness of the challenges they faced and expressed a desire to engage with reform, capacity building and innovation. Nevertheless, the same staff admitted that they still had no cooperation with other parts of the academic sector, including local universities or the National Pedagogical University. Staff were resigned to the fact they would be expected simply to implement new study programmes imposed from Mexico City, without having contributed to their development. Leaders of one for the normal schools visited by the OECD team reported in late June that they expected to receive new curriculum guidelines from SEP in August, which they would be expected to implement in the new academic year from September on.

6.3.3. Key recommendations

On the basis of the brief assessment of strengths and challenges above, the OECD review team recommends the following:

Take short-term measures to improve the financial conditions of public normal schools, while planning for the longer-term sustainability of the subsystem

  • In the near-term, as part of the wider review of public funding for higher education institutions recommended earlier in this report, the federal government, in consultation with the states, should create transparent national guidelines on funding of public normal schools. These should take into account assessments of the real costs of operating such institutions and assumed requirements for full-time staff to evaluate the level of investment required to operate existing normal schools effectively. One the basis of the conclusions, the budgets allocated to normal schools should be adjusted accordingly to ensure the schools can operate effectively in the short term

  • In the medium term, review the capacity of individual normal schools to provide quality educational experiences, taking into account improved data. On the basis of these results, consider options for improving effectiveness and efficiency through more intensive networking of normal schools in each state, including through shared administrative and financial services and shared programmes or modules provided online to different campus sites. Consider whether normal schools in a given region should be merged to form campuses of a single regional normal school.

Promote networking between normal schools in each state, communication between the SEP and normal schools and better links to State Public Universities and the National Pedagogical University

  • Building on the Strategy on the Transformation of Normal Schools (SEP, 2017[18]), provide incentives from the federal level to ensure all states incorporate their normal schools into a network to allow them to contribute more effectively to strategic planning and to communication with SEP authorities in Mexico City. These networks should be part of the broader policies for enhanced cooperation and networking between institutions in each state recommended earlier in this report.

  • Require all subject-specific bachelor’s programmes in normal schools for aspiring secondary school teachers to develop systematic cooperation with regional public universities, seeking where possible to ensure students can benefit from courses and learning resources (libraries, etc.) in these larger institutions. Support this requirement through additional funding, including resources for joint projects, potentially allocated from existing funds set aside for the transformation of normal schools.

  • In support of this upgrading of staff capacity – and more generally – promote more systematic cooperation between the National Pedagogical University and normal schools (or the networks of normal schools). Cooperation could include provision of continuous professional training programmes and online materials, more systematic dissemination of UPN research results among normal schools and professional exchanges.

  • Improve communication and cooperation between the DGESPE and normal schools, both on an individual basis and through the regional networks proposed above. In particular, normal schools should be involved more directly in the development of new study programmes that they must to implement.

Enhance requirements for teaching staff in normal schools

  • Require new teaching staff in normal schools to have at least a master’s degree in a relevant field and continue to support existing normal school teaching staff to upgrade their qualifications and skills.

Improve monitoring and support for students from disadvantaged backgrounds

  • As part of wider efforts in the higher education system, improve monitoring of both the social origin of students, their completion rates and their subsequent career development post-graduation. This information should feed into the planning of the sector at regional level and institutional quality plans.


[8] ANUIES (2018), Visión y acción 2030: Propuesta de la ANUIES para renovar la educación superior en México, Asociación Nacional de Universidades e Instituciones de Educación Superior (ANUIES), México, D. F., (accessed on 9 October 2018).

[15] Congreso General de los Estados Unidos Mexicanos (2013), Ley General del Servicio Profesional Docente, Diaro Oficial de la Federación, (accessed on 25 October 2018).

[2] de la Garza Vizcaya, E. (2003), “Las universidades politécnicas. Un nuevo modelo en el sistema de educación superior en México”, Revista de la Educación Superior, Vol. 32/126, pp. 77-81, (accessed on 30 October 2018).

[14] DGESU (2018), Corte 31 de Agosto 2018 - matricula de calidad, Dirección General Educación Superior Universitaria, (accessed on 24 October 2018).

[10] Dirección General Educación Superior Universitaria (DGESU) (2018), Panorama de la educación superior, (accessed on 09 October 2018).

[11] Flores Crespo, P. (2009), Trayectoria del modelo de universidades tecnológicas en México (1991-2009), Dirección General de Evaluación Institucional, Universidad Nacional Autónoma De México, Mexico City, (accessed on 29 October 2018).

[7] Gamino-Carranza, A. and M. Grassiel Acosta-González (2016), “Modelo curricular del Tecnológico Nacional de México”, Revista Electrónica Educare (Educare Electronic Journal) EISSN, Vol. 20/1, pp. 1-25,

[9] Gobierno del Estado de Puebla (2015), Ley de Egresos del Estado de Puebla, para el Ejercicio Fiscal 2016, (accessed on 11 October 2018).

[13] INEGI (2017), Encuesta Nacional de Ocupación y Empleo (ENOE), Instituto Nacional de Estadística y Geografía (INEGI),

[12] McKinsey Global Institute (2017), Jobs Lost, Jobs Gained: Workforce Transitions In A Time Of Automisation, McKinsey & Company,

[16] Medrano, V., C. Ángeles Méndez and M. Morales Hernández (2017), La educación normal en México - Elementos para su análisis, Instituto Nacional para la Evaluación de la Educación, Mexico City.

[17] Mendoza Rojas, Javier (2017), “Financiamiento de la educación superior en la primera mitad del gobierno de Enrique Peña Nieto: ¿fin del periodo de expansión?”, Perfiles educativos, Vol. 39/156, pp. 119-140, (accessed on 12 October 2018).

[1] Institucional, C. (ed.) (2018), Subsistemas de Educación Superior. Estadística básica 2006-2017, DGEI-UNAM, Ciudad de México,

[3] OECD (2018), Education at a Glance 2018: OECD Indicators, OECD Publishing, Paris,

[5] SEP (2018), La Educación Superior en México 2007-2017 - Revisión de la política educativa, avances y retos (Country Background Report), Secretaría de Educación Pública (SEP), Ciudad de México.

[4] SEP (2018), Sistema Educativo de los Estados Unidos Mexicanos: Principales Cifras 2016-2017, Secretaría de Educación Pública (SEP), Ciudad de México,

[18] SEP (2017), Escuelas Normales - Estrategia de fortalecimiento y transformación, Secretaría de Educación Pública (SEP), Ciudad de México, (accessed on 26 October 2018).

[6] TecNM (2018), Tecnológico Nacional de México - Información - Tecnológico Nacional de México, (accessed on 30 October 2018).


← 1. The federal Instituto Politécnico Nacional (IPN), which enrols over 170 000 students and operates primarily in Mexico City, also has a strong focus on technical higher education. However, the history of this institution, its unique profile and its comparatively strong focus on research and postgraduate education mean it is more appropriate to view it as a technical research university, rather than part of the professional and technical subsector.

← 2. There are small differences in the figures contained in data on enrolment and institutions between the data provided by the SEP and those presented by ANUIES.

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