On 8 April, in the LIX General Assembly Meeting, in Tuxtla Gutierrez, Chiapas, the Federation of Private Mexican Institutions of Higher Education (FIMPES) conferred full accreditation to the Universidad del Valle de México (UVM). FIMPES has 106 private institution members (70 of which are accredited, but only 43 of which are fully accredited). This means that only 3% of Mexico’s more than 3,000 higher education institutions, public and private, have the highest level of recognition which UVM has earned.
Accreditation highlights the assessment provided by the Ministry of Education that recognized UVM as an academically excellent institution. The accreditation was the result of a self-assessment of UVM’s 36 different campuses on 180 different quality indicators organized in 11 categories: Institutional Philosophy, Planning and Effectiveness, Standards, Government and Administration, Academic Programs, Academic Staff, Students, Staff, Academic Support, Physical Resources, Financial Resources and Distance Education.
The self-assessment exercise, which took place from 2008 through 2010, involved the university community (teachers, administrators, students) and engaged them in various activities (drafting documents, serving on committees, conducting surveys, interviews and focus groups). Dr. Consuelo Díaz Amador, UVM's General Director of Institutional Effectiveness, outlines part of this process:
"The system of entering and remaining in FIMPES includes several steps: the first step is called the self-study and means that each of the member institutions conducts an evaluation of 180 identified indicators to confirm strengths and weaknesses and to guide the development of strategies to properly orient the academics and administration of the institution. The self-study represents the first stage of the process to achieve accreditation. The results are the basis for the second phase: validation by a group of peer academics from other private higher education institutions. This step is followed by a jury, which, based on the results of the previous phases, issues an opinion on the accreditation."
UVM's self-study exercise represented an opportunity to test the performance of UVM's goal to develop a fact based and transparent culture within the institution, while maintaining continuous improvement with recognized quality standards to prove the institution's national commitment to its students, faculty, staff and society in general and to become a university recognized for academic excellence.
UVM's accreditation is for 7 years (from 2011 to 2017), and supports its guarantee to be a quality academic institution, not only in academic programs, but also in serving students, teachers and employees.