Part of the University of Guadalajara, Mexico’s second biggest public university, the Center of Exact Sciences and Engineering, CUCEI by its Spanish acronym, is a campus focused on the fields of engineering, physical sciences, chemistry and mathematics.
CUCEI grew out of the Science Institute of the State of Jalisco, which was founded in 1827. However, it did not become part of the University of Guadalajara until much later, and CUCEI only adopted its current name in 1994.
Located a short distance southeast of Guadalajara’s historic city center, the 7.8-hectare CUCEI campus is home to 1,220 professors and over 13,000 registered students. This makes it one of the largest populations within the wide network of campuses that fall under the University of Guadalajara umbrella.
The 22 buildings on campus house 265 classrooms, 133 laboratories, 10 workshops, four auditoriums and two computer rooms. The campus library, which is stocked with 39,604 books and 112,509 magazines at last count, receives an average of 2,500 visitors a day.
“There should be no doubt as to the significance and importance of research and education,” states the CUCEI Dean, Dr. Cesar Octavio Monzon. “Education is a social good. The development and welfare of society depends to a large extent on the achievement of the goals and targets in the generation, application, dissemination and teaching of knowledge.”
One of the primary aims of CUCEI’s Electronics and Computer Sciences Department is to attract more young women to its programs. “Women account for just 8 percent of students in our electronic engineering program,” Alonso Castillo Perez, the head of the department, told Global Delivery Report. “Our biggest challenge is to achieve a 50/50 split of men and women. If we could achieve this in our department we’d have the highest number of graduates in the country.”
CUCEI offers a total of 15 bachelor’s degrees, as well as 17 postgraduate programs. The Electronics and Computer Sciences Department offers bachelor’s degrees in informatics engineering, biomedical engineering, computer engineering, communications and electronic engineering, and robotic engineering.
The same department also offers a master’s degree in electronic and computer engineering and a doctorate in electronics and computer sciences. Meanwhile, the engineering department offers a master’s degree in technological products and a master’s and doctorate in biotechnological processes.
Certifications and Training
Students do not obtain any certifications directly through their studies at the university. However, Mexico First, an initiative backed by Mexico’s Ministry of Economics and the World Bank, has sponsored 150 CUCEI students as they seek to acquire Oracle certifications.
As for professional experience, under a new curriculum introduced two years ago in CUCEI’s Electronics and Computer Sciences Department, all students must participate in three or four projects at private businesses or research centers before they can graduate.
CUCEI has strong links with many businesses that operate in the Guadalajara area; these are businesses that are eager to cultivate human talent. “For years we’ve had a very close relationship with Intel. They have a group of mentors who set challenges for our students that are supervised by the university,” Castillo Perez said.
Every year 160 students graduate with a bachelor’s degree in informatics engineering, 190 graduate in computer engineering and 260 graduate in communications and electronic engineering. IBM, Oracle, Intel and Continental are among the firms where most graduates find work.
“The demand for electronic engineers and computer scientists is very high in the state of Jalisco. It outstrips supply, especially when you consider that the industry wants bilingual engineers. We’re still in the process of producing completely bilingual graduates,” Castillo Perez said.
Foreign exchange programs are one way of improving students’ language skills, and the University of Guadalajara offers has partnerships with hundreds of universities across every continent in the world.
The university provides grants to over 300 CUCEI students a year so that they can learn English in the United States and Canada, while many others go to study abroad in the United Kingdom and other European countries.
As part of the publicly funded University of Guadalajara, CUCEI does not charge a tuition fee, although voluntary donations are solicited and moderate registration fees apply.