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International / International Vision  

HACU's Vision and Activities in International Education Programs


The Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU) established the category of international member in 1996. That same year, HACU began organizing international conferences. These activities were launched in an effort to facilitate cooperative agreements between HACU-member institutions and increase the participation of Hispanic students in international educational experiences. Since then, the number of international members has grown to approximately 40 institutions in Latin America, Spain and the Caribbean. 

HACU established its Office of International Affairs on September 15, 2003. The establishment of this new office reflected HACU's commitment to international education.  

HACU’S International Conferences:  

I. Las Cruces, New Mexico, 1996

II. Tempe, Arizona, 1997         

III. San Diego, California, 1999 

V. San José, Costa Rica, 2001   
V. Guadalajara, México, 2003                               

VI. Santa Fe, New Mexico, 2005                              

VII. Alcalá de Henares, Spain, 2007

VIII. Guadalajara, México, 2009

IX. San Juan, Puerto Rico, 2011

X. San Antonio, Texas, 2013 

XI. Guadalajara, México, 2015

XII. San José, Costa Rica 2017

XIII. San Juan, Puerto Rico 2019 

Our Vision of International Higher Education

The world is our virtual neighborhood. National borders are essentially irrelevant in the virtual global village of today, especially among learning communities across the world. Rapid and dramatic technological and scientific changes are fostering and speeding up this seemingly irreversible globalization of humanity. As it has done throughout history, higher education is leading the way in this information and knowledge revolution. 

HACU, as the champion of Hispanic success in higher education, is mindful of its important lead role in the internationalization of higher education. HACU’s vision in this regard is clear and far-reaching: Hispanic Americans and Hispanic-serving colleges and universities have a special mission to promote and support greater cross-national collaboration in higher education, particularly in the Americas and the Iberian Peninsula. This special mission calls for HACU to approach international initiatives and programs not as an appendix to its national work, but as an integral part of its strategic efforts to strengthen Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs) and advance the educational success of Hispanic Americans in the United States and in other regions of the world.

HACU’s vision of international higher education, therefore, will be best realized through strong and lasting collaboration between its core constituencies in the United States and its emerging membership in the Americas and Europe. International education is the foundation to promote the welfare of humankind. As one international round table participant stated, “…education is a global issue because people can only be changed by education…and the big problems in the world are always addressed internationally.” HACU is uniquely poised through its multicultural membership and professional assets to facilitate collaborations and innovative programs between its national and international members.      


Since its creation in September 2003, the Office of International Programs at HACU has achieved the following: 

  • It has facilitated and promoted numerous cooperative linkages between the various categories of membership, acting as a liaison between HACU national and international members in order to advance partnerships and academic cooperation.  
  • It has taken the leadership in providing international content, opportunities for program presentations, and networking sessions at HACU’s Annual Conference. This effort has been operating since 2003 and has produced results in terms of increased mutually beneficial international educational partnerships. 
  • It has achieved an important increase in international membership and communications and direct support to the representatives of those institutions have improved, working closely with the Membership Department. 
  • The biennial international conferences also provide a significant international education platform. The 13th International Conference took place on May 1-3, 2019 in San Juan, Puerto Rico at the Sheraton Puerto Rico Hotel & Casino.
  • HACU has signed agreements, including a student mobility program with the Government of Spain through the Ministry of Education and Science; with “Global Learning Semesters” (GLS), “American Institute for Foreign Studies” (AIFS) and “The Institute for the International Education of Students” (IES) to provide greater and more significant opportunities for study abroad. 
  • An international sub-community was created in HACU’s website, where discussion boards for all HACU Member Contacts are now available at Members may post announcements regarding international programs or opportunities or network with international colleagues. 
  • In terms of its legislative agenda, HACU has continued its efforts to create new opportunities to finance international projects and programs, with the support of several departments and federal agencies of the United States government. 
  • HACU has created a Commission on International Education. The following section provides a description of this commission. 

HACU’S Commission on International Education:

HACU’s Commission on International Education provides guidance, advice and support to HACU on the following:

  • Orientation, information and appropriate contacts to establish international programs.
  • Opportunities for students, faculty, and staff from member institutions to participate in international programs.
  • HACU’s role in facilitating the establishment of international programs.
  • Potential sources of support for international programs.
  • HACU’s advocacy efforts in Washington, D.C. to secure federal support for the establishment of international program opportunities for member institutions, e.g., under Title VI of the Higher Education Act (cf. HACU’s Legislative Agenda).

For a complete list of members of this Commission, please click here.

For further information, please contact:

Alicia Martinez
Assistant Vice President for Programs, Services and International Affairs
Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU)
8415 Datapoint Drive, Suite 400
San Antonio, Texas 78229
Phone: (210) 576-3244 
Fax:     (210) 692-0823