NATIONAL LABORATORIES IN THE ECONOMIC SOUTH: A CHANCE FOR HIGH QUALITY GRADUATE EDUCATION
National Autonomous University of Mexico (MEXICO)
About this paper:
Conference name: 11th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 1-3 July, 2019
Location: Palma, Spain
Abstract:During the past century and the beginning of the 21st, economic south countries have started an effort to generate technological innovations to be exploited in their own corporations, and thus possibly reduce the gap between them and countries of the First World. This effort has taken in a number of countries the format of national laboratories, as a modest replica of the existing laboratories in the USA, France, and England, among others. In Mexico, the National Council of Science and Technology (CONACYT), the agency in charge of the formulation and implementation of S, T, & I policy, through an open call, started the assignment of national to laboratories already in operation which met the requisites for the distinction. This distinction also implied funds for infrastructure including the acquisition of up to date equipment. The importance of the National Laboratories can only be measured by the fact that many of them are international referents, like the HAWC (High Altitude Water Cherenkov γ-ray observatory) comprised by about 70 scientists of USA, Germany, Poland and Costa Rica, among other countries; Or the LNIEA (National Laboratory of Automotive and Space Engineering), a lab that puts together 12 other labs for the accomplishment of innovations in both the automotive and space engineering. One major requisite to be national is that they accomplish the formation of highly prepared scientists in the areas of their own expertise. Then students pursuing a Ph D degree may be part of the staff of the laboratory or may come from other institutions to be trained in the lab itself. Other format for the preparation of highly specialized scientists is the combination of working at the lab and studying in a higher education institution, where the lab scientists impart cathedra. This novel learning arrangement is producing the scientists needed for the development of priority research areas set up by the government, at a rate faster than any other arrangement. A panorama of the Mexican national laboratories belonging to the National Autonomous University of Mexico, and the learning arrangements will be presented, and a discussion of the positive, and perhaps negative, results of these novel learning arrangements will be examined.
Keywords: Alternative doctoral learning, exceptional PhD preparation, alternative higher education, PhD training, learning by doing.