Mexico - Country Commercial Guide
Education and Training
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From education technology for school-age children to professional training for adults, U.S.-supplied education and training products and services represent a best prospect industry sector in Mexico. Recruiting Mexican students to study in the United States for academic programs and professional training also represents significant opportunities for U.S. educational institutions.


Mexico is the ninth-largest country of origin for students studying in the United States. In the 2021-2022 academic year, 14,500 Mexican students were enrolled in U.S. schools (an increase of 11 percent from the previous year), primarily in undergraduate programs due to the prestige of the American higher education system, as well as the strong ties and proximity between the countries. It is important to mention that for short-term summer programs, or semester abroad programs, students are choosing to go to Canada or European schools for two reasons: it is less expensive and to experience immersion in a different culture.

Mexican Students in U.S. Colleges and Universities 2021-2022 Academic Year

Academic Level

Number of Students from Mexico





Other / Non-Degree


Optional Practical Training




Source: Open Doors Report on International Educational Exchange 2022

Mexico is committed to invest in education and workforce development due to its geographical position, political and economic stability, and the different trade agreements signed with other countries, including the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), to generate professional and specialized profiles mainly in STEM disciplines.

Mexican public and private education institutions have prioritized international education, fostering student mobility and academic exchanges with institutions abroad, to become more competitive in the international market. Virtual collaboration among students and faculty with international institutions has been growing, providing an international academic experience to more Mexican Higher Education Institutions (HEI).

Mexican higher education institutions actively participate in regional and bilateral education programs to increase collaboration with international institutions. Launched in 2014, the 100,000 Strong in the Americas (100K) Innovation Fund is the Western Hemisphere’s signature education initiative that stimulates and supports institutional partnerships, student exchanges, and training opportunities through collaboration among regional governments, the private sector, foundations, NGOs and HEIs to strengthen regional education collaboration as well as increase student mobility and workforce development. The 100,000 Strong in the Americas Inclusive Education Initiative increases multi-disciplinary institutional partnerships, deepening diversity and providing critical access to hemispheric higher education training and exchange opportunities for students and faculty from Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs), Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), and Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSIs). These new 100K competitions in 2023-2025 will stimulate innovative models of social inclusion, supporting student exchanges, training, research, and workforce development. The Innovation Fund has awarded 282 grants to 550 higher education institutions working in teams in 25 countries and 49 U.S. states. To date, 20 Mexican states and 27 U.S. states benefit from 100K Innovation Fund partnerships and programs. Through the Innovation Network one can engage with institutional partners and apply for innovation grants (Innovation Fund website).

As part of the U.S. Embassy-sponsored United States-Mexico-Canada Collaborative Online International Learning (COIL) initiative, executed by the Mexican Association for International Education (AMPEI), the embassy supports faculty course development to provide Mexican, U.S., and Canadian students and faculty with international virtual exchange experiences. Launched in September 2021, registration for faculty to participate is open at AMPEI’s website.

Opportunities are resurfacing for community colleges and boarding schools since the pandemic, particularly among Mexican students looking for educational opportunities at a younger age or those interested in two-year programs. Mexico’s higher education system offers opportunities for U.S. community colleges to develop collaborative programs with technical universities in different regions in Mexico. Faced with rapid changes in global supply chains, the Mexican education system has adopted a stance of constant collaboration with regional economic sectors to understand industry needs and update curricula to prepare technicians and specialists in key productive areas. Mexico’s technical and technological system is one of the largest in the world and is comprised of three educational models: general, technological, and professional-technical. Different educational institutions operate those academic models pursuing careers in diverse fields including industrial services, trade, agriculture, fishing, and forestry. For boarding education, Mexican families are seeking international academic experiences not only to improve their language skills, but also to develop soft skills among young students such as leadership, teamwork, and intercultural communication.

Institutions offering virtual courses should be aware that on June 1, 2020, the Government of Mexico incorporated a new chapter into its value added tax (VAT) law subjecting digital services, which include distance learning (100 percent automated), to VAT obligations (16 percent tax) when the receiver of the service is in Mexico. The system is based on a new VAT sourcing rule. Providers of specific digital services are deemed to offer their services in Mexico and are subject to the charge, collection, and payment of VAT when:

  • The recipient has disclosed a Mexican domicile or telephone number;
  • The payment is made using a Mexican intermediary;
  • The recipient uses an IP address assigned to Mexico.

The reform intends to establish “simplified” destination-based compliance obligations for foreign digital platforms, echoing guidelines established by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). Platforms will have to comply with the following rules:

  • Register with the national taxpayers’ registry within 30 days of providing digital platform services in Mexico;
  • Charge and collect VAT;
  • Provide the tax administration with quarterly information on the monthly number of services and transactions with Mexican users;
  • Calculate and pay 16 percent VAT per month on fees from services rendered;
  • Issue and send electronic receipts with the VAT stated expressly and separately if requested by the user.

Leading Sub-Sectors

There are three key sub-sectors in the education sector:

  • Academic-related training in the United States is the largest sub-sector and can be divided into undergraduate, graduate, non-degree programs (including English language proficiency), and practical training. Field-related students are more interested in STEM programs, business, social sciences, as well as fine and applied arts. We see strong opportunities in English as a second language (ESL) programs for Mexican students (both short-term and longer courses of study), as well as to fill the demand of bilingual professionals.
  • Professional training services in Mexico represent significant opportunities for U.S. educational providers, which can include partnerships with educational institutions or local management companies. Customized training in information technologies, quality control, management, and English language programs are in high demand. In addition to traditional training methods, training companies must be flexible and sensitive to the specific characteristics of the Mexican market and typically need to work with a partner in country. It is necessary to have all content translated into Spanish, as most companies/institutions prefer to contract programs customized to the local language.
  • The education technologies sector offers strong opportunities for U.S. solutions providers, particularly in the areas of software, online learning, classroom or field education tools, and distance learning services. There is a growing market for technology applied to K-12 education, including applications, software, and digital content, as well as software for school administrative processes.
  • To pursue opportunities in the education and training sector, we recommend building relationships with educational organizations, education agencies, and Mexican private sector grant institutions. It is also recommended to develop relationships at the state rather than the federal level, and in smaller geographic regions outside of the major cities, where students are increasingly seeking quality education programs abroad. Social media channels are also an effective recruitment tool to promote academic programs to Mexican students.


Education USA


Mexican Secretariat of Public Education (SEP)


National Association of Universities and Higher Learning Institutions


U.S. Embassy education and English programs


COMEXUS Fulbright-García Robles Scholarships


Consortium for North American Higher Education Collaboration


100,000 Strong in the Americas Innovation Fund


Peace Corps in Mexico


Mexican Association for International Education (AMPEI)



For more information on the education and training sector in Mexico, please contact:


Martha Sanchez

Commercial Specialist

U.S. Commercial Service —Mexico City

Tel: +52 (55) 5080-2000 ext. 5225