ORT Mexico is looking forward to an exciting year with the imminent launch of its University for Social Entrepreneurship and Responsibility – believed to be the first institution of its kind in Latin America.
Due to start in the spring with on-line courses provided through its Virtual Campus, the Universidad ORT Mexico will launch accredited degree courses in 2015 at a fully equipped building in the heart of Mexico City. Its diploma, undergraduate and post-graduate courses are aimed at people working in the social sector, to enable them to achieve levels of excellence in management, innovation and leadership.
“Young people are more interested than ever in channelling their concern for social justice into careers with charitable and non-governmental organisations. But while there are tens of thousands of such organisations in Mexico there are very few opportunities to study and be trained as a professional in disciplines related to social responsibility,” said ORT Mexico Director of Institutional Development Edith Fiszman. “In creating this university, we want to help satisfy the demand of young people to learn about social responsibility and meet the need of non-profits to hire trained professionals.”
The university is due to open its doors next January to about 100 students sitting four courses: BA Social Entrepreneurship and Administration and MAs in Social Responsibility and Entrepreneurship, Environmental Education and Sustainable Development, and Addiction Counselling.
“The goal is to increase our enrolment every year for a total of 400 students by the end of 2020,” Ms Fiszman said.
Students will be attracted by the university’s faculty of top-rated academics with professional experience in relevant fields but also by the scholarships and tuition discounts which will be offered through partnerships and projects with ORT’s international network, and other institutions, government agencies and national and international foundations.
“The ORT Mexico University’s academic programmes will promote social justice, equality, diversity and pluralism. The university will create a new generation of leaders with a social conscience and the skills needed to design, develop and manage non-profit organisations,” said the Chair of World ORT’s Board of Trustees, Mauricio Merikanskas, who sits on the university’s board. “In other words, the Jewish tradition of tikkun olam – shared social responsibility to repair and transform the world.”
ORT Mexico has already taken the lead in strengthening the country’s non-profit sector with its Ibero-American Summit of Institutional Development for Civil Society Organisations and its International Educational Innovation Congress. But the University takes the organisation’s commitment to another level.
ORT Mexico National Director Dr Jaime Salinas said: “We understand how important it is for civil society organisations that people have access to this kind of training. Our hybrid pedagogical model combines on-line and on-site education, a collaborative environment and an educational focus that is practice oriented and learner centred. Our students will have the opportunity to achieve the highest level of excellence in their fields to the benefit of millions of Mexicans. All of us at ORT Mexico are proud of what we are doing to help civil society.”