By: Terry Ahtziry Cardenas Banda, attorney, social activist, philanthropist, and law professor.
Within the framework of this edition, where we reflect on the association between industry and education, it is important to highlight the parameters in which law is involved in the relations of these sectors.
It is important to mention the necessity to have a close and direct relationship between the workforce and the education sector because schools need to be up to date with what is happening in our society. Education should not focus on studying just theory but should work on emphasizing the practical application of what the student has learned, especially in the highest degrees of studies.
In Mexico, there is a very high unemployment deficit, where young graduates hardly find jobs, or if they do, they are not well paid, coupled with the fact that they are in activities that do not correspond to their training. For this reason, it is important to have an effective link between industry and education. On different occasions, education experts have mentioned that the link between industry and education is a necessary condition to reverse the devaluation of the recent graduate, and that this devaluation denotes a lack of correspondence between what is studied in the classroom and what is demanded in the labor market.
Undoubtedly, the law is involved in most of the actions that we do, so we cannot ignore that, if we encourage the creation of ties between industry and the education sector, we cannot underpass that the relationships that are created can become a legal act generating obligations for the parties. These obligations can be consolidated through agreements or public policies, among other ways.
The reality is that the association between education and industry is more effective public policies to educate competent people and to encourage them to get involved in increasing the country’s productivity.
What is a public policy and how does it relate to the law? Public policies are government actions with public interest objectives that arise from decisions based on a process of diagnosis and feasibility analysis regulated by the administrative law, where such actions have a public interest and are achieved through the use of public resources, government management, and citizen participation, therefore it involves the responsibility of both the State and its citizens.
Under what other legal forms can this link be consolidated? As we mentioned, through agreements that create obligations between the parties involved with a specific purpose, which in this case would be the promotion of better education and companies with greater productivity and competitiveness. By creating obligations between the parties, a legal bond is born with the possibility of demanding its compliance and execution.
In Mexico and in the United States, different methods have been implemented to promote the link between industry and education, thus creating obligations with legal consequences. In the United States, reforms have been promoted where universities are involved in the labor scope. For their part, in Mexico, universities encourage the participation of their researchers and academics in various processes and modalities with the productive sector, managing to create educational programs such as bioengineering, renewable energy, and aerospace, thus strengthening the educational infrastructure, as well as different types of agreement between universities and companies for students to actively participate in the industry and advised by industry experts, all this leads to better education and a higher quality of graduates to face the work environment.
For this reason, I agree that the link between industry and education is essential and we have to understand the scope that these links generate since the legal consequences will depend on the type of agreements and obligations to which they are submitted.
As a reference, the following was used: Secretary of State. (30 de 04 de 2013). Effective school-business link, crucial for education and for Mexico. Franco Corzo, J. (2013 Design of Public Policies. México: IEXE Editorial.