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 "SAN ANTONIO, Texas – The Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU) will call for new cross-border education partnerships at an international conference in July that will attract Hispanic higher education leaders from around the world to promote education as a key to economic growth and multicultural understanding.

“Our goal is to develop new international education partnerships which do not recognize geographical barriers in order to promote cultural understanding through our common commitment to educational advancement as the surest path to progress and prosperity for our global economy,” said HACU President and CEO Antonio R. Flores.

HACU, which represents more than 300 colleges and universities serving more than two-thirds of all Hispanic higher education students in the United States, will hold its 5th International Conference, "Hispanics: Reencounter and Vision - United by the Past, Working in the Present, and Looking Towards the Future," July 26-29 at the Hotel Presidente Inter-Continental in Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico.

College and university leaders from throughout the Americas and abroad will join international education service providers and corporate supporters at a conference that will feature sessions on topics including the profound impact of the Internet on college classrooms everywhere, and the role of higher education in every economy now demanding advanced knowledge and international communications skills.

A stellar roster of local, national and international speakers will include:

• Keynote Speaker Marta Sahagún de Fox, wife of the President of Mexico
• Reyes Tamez Guerra, Mexico Secretary of Education
• Francisco Ramirez Acuña, Governor of Jalisco
• Fernando Garza Martinez, Mayor of Guadalajara
• Dr. Macedonio Tamez Guajardo, Mayor of Zapopan
• Rodrigo Carazo Odio, Former President of Costa Rica
• Guillermo Martinez Mora, Secretary of Education of the State of Jalisco
• Jose A. Fourquet, U.S. Executive Director of the Inter-American Development Bank
• Gaddi Vasquez, U.S. Peace Corps Director
• Antonio R. Flores, HACU President & CEO

HACU, which began as an organization of colleges and universities serving the higher education needs of the youngest and largest ethnic population in the United States, now includes a fast-growing international membership in seven Latin American countries and Spain – including 21 higher education institutions in Mexico.

HACU also has become an international voice for cross-border education partnerships and information-sharing networks. HACU’s current proposals before the U.S. Congress include requests for $30 million in annual funding to establish a new Pan-Hispanic International Studies program and $20 million in annual funding for a new Hispanic International Scholars and Fellows program.

“The future of the world will depend on global interaction from the diverse economic, social and political perspectives of all nations. Economic forces and technology are laying the foundation for a multilingual and multicultural global society. Higher education institutions across the world are at the forefront of this global change,” Flores said.

HACU's international conferences have attracted wide attention to global issues and trends in education, workforce development, public policy and cultural development. This year's 5th International Conference is the first to be held in Mexico.

"With their inherently diverse student populations, our U.S. member higher education institutions have become especially adept at capitalizing on their multicultural strengths in a country where Hispanics represent the fastest-growing school-age population. Our international member institutions are contributing tremendous expertise and energy to our existing cross-border exchanges of academic programs and education technology," Flores said.

For more information, contact HACU Public Relations Director Daniel Casillas at HACU's national headquarters in San Antonio, Texas, at (210) 692-3805. Ext. 3249. Or visit www.hacu.net.

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