Students travel to Ottawa to meet with the Prime Minister and the President of Mexico

Posted: June 29, 2016 3:00 p.m.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto, at a town hall meeting in Ottawa, announcing new opportunities for  students. The students were invited from universities across Canada, including the University of Regina.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto, at a town hall meeting in Ottawa, announcing new opportunities for students. The students were invited from universities across Canada, including the University of Regina. Photo - UR International

Dr. Vianne Timmons, President and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Regina, accompanied by three international students from Mexico, had the honour of meeting with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto at a town hall meeting held at the Canadian Museum of Nature in Ottawa.

Ana Lucia Herrasti, Bachelor of Arts in Religious Studies; Francisco Segura, Bachelor of Business Administration in Finance; and Daniel Soto Lopez, Master of Science in Industrial Systems Engineering, were selected by the Privy Council Office of the Government of Canada to participate in a discussion with the leaders of Canada and Mexico during the Mexican President’s state visit to Canada.

During the discussion Trudeau and Peña Nieto highlighted globalization as a key to promoting growth in both nations. They emphasized their commitment to strengthen and solidify their partnerships on economy, trade – and specifically, on education.

Vianne with Students in Ottawa
President Dr. Vianne Timmons with U of R students (l-r) Daniel Soto, Francisco Segura, and Ana Lucia Herrasti.

"Meeting with the Canadian Prime Minister and with the President of Mexico was an enriching experience,” says Francisco Segura, Paul J. Hill School of Business student. “Participating in the discussion and learning about the initiatives that the governments are doing and hearing from students in Canada has provided me with a deeper insight on international education.”

About 100 post-secondary students from across Canada were invited to the town hall and had the opportunity to put questions to the leaders.  

During the event, undergraduate student Ana Lucia, emphasized the University of Regina’s commitment to inclusive education and student accessibility such as its Campus For All program. She urged the Prime Minister and the Mexican President to work together to make  international opportunities available for all students.

Both leaders reassured their commitment to inclusivity and to keep providing opportunities to First Nations students, students with physical disabilities, and students with intellectual disabilities.
Details were also announced the enhance educational opportunities for Indigenous students.

The Prime Minister’s office announced that the U of R, as part of a consortium of 12 post-secondary institutions specializing in Indigenous issues. It's formalizing its relationship with Mexico’s 12 intercultural universities for enhanced collaboration supporting Indigenous youth and women in both countries through joint education activities.

Following the town hall meeting, Timmons was invited to attend the state dinner with Trudeau and Peña Nieto, hosted by Governor General David Johnston at Rideau Hall.
“Our students were thrilled to be invited to the town hall,” says Timmons. “They said that coming from Mexico - with 50 million people – they never in their lives thought they would ever get a chance to have a conversation with the President of Mexico. When I met him that evening at the state dinner, I thanked him and the Prime Minister for being so generous with our students.”

The University of Regina was invited to be part of the Mexican President’s state visit to Canada in recognition of the great strides that UR International is making.

This fall, the University will welcome 50 students from Mexico in partnership with the Mexican government. During their stay in Regina, the students will take English as a Second Language classes as well as undergraduate courses at the Paul J. Hill School of Business, and the Faculty of Media, Art, and Performance.

The University will sign an agreement with Peña Nieto to establish a Mexico Chair at the University of Regina. The University is one of the few academic institutions in Canada chosen by the Government of Mexico for this project.

Also, led by UR International, the University of Regina has submitted a proposal to Natural Resources Canada to host the 3rd Trilateral Meeting of the Carbon Capture, Utilization and Storage Working Group of the North American Energy Ministers to be held in Regina in October 2016. The proposal is endorsed by the Petroleum Technology Research Centre, SaskPower and the Consulate of Mexico in Calgary.

For more information about this discussion, please contact Livia Castellanos, Executive Director and Chief International Officer (UR ILO) of UR International at  

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