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Instituto Tecnológico Superior de Xalapa (ITSX) is a public Higher Education Institution located in the state of Veracruz, Mexico, being one of the decentralized institutions of the Tecnológico Nacional de México network, which is why it is also known as TecNM campus Xalapa. Founded in 1998, it is an institution dedicated mainly to undergraduate engineering and technological programmes, although we also offer a BA in Gastronomy and a MSc in Computing Systems. ITSX is a medium-sized institution, with approximately 7000 students and 200 academic staff.

Development and Engagement Activities

ITSX is highly committed to its role in local development, as well as creating an integral profile in its academic community, to educate and train better-prepared students with technological, entrepreneurial, and international professional backgrounds that allow for them to provide solutions in a sustainable manner.

In order to achieve this, ITSX is currently carrying out a series of strategies in different areas of interest. In this sense, it has created various Academic Coordinations, which are in charge of carrying out the strategic themes mentioned previously through academic projects.

For instance, in the Inclusive Education Coordination, there have been actions dedicated to draw attention to the issue of disability in the student community, and to hence create empathy and allow for these type of students to be given the same opportunities as the rest. Such actions range from simulating the experience of losing one’s sight or ability to walk, holding events where a person with disability talks about his or her experience with the students and staff, courses dedicated to learning Mexican sign language, and providing teacher training to ensure that the academic staff knows how to act when in presence of a disabled student.

Furthermore, in the Entrepreneurship and Business Incubator Coordinations, efforts are made to ensure that students will develop the necessary soft skills required for professional development in the knowledge, service and innovation economy. In this case, actions range from holding entrepreneurial fairs to providing training in business skills for both students and teachers alike.

Moreover, the Internationalization Coordinations contributes to ITSX’s goals by aiding our community in interacting with the world and thus prepare global citizens. It does so by promoting face-to-face and virtual international exchanges for both students and staff, acting as link between local and international peers so as to permit the development of joint projects and partnerships, setting the foundations for an internationalized curriculum and working jointly with the Foreign Languages Center to encourage an increasing number of students to pursue learning another language.

In terms of sustainability, ITSX goes beyond that of an Academic Coordination. While a Sustainability Coordination does exist, ITSX as a whole engages in sustainable development actions, as we hold a certification in ISO 14001:2015, as a result of the clean treatment given to residue in the institution. In this regard, all the academic programs in ITSX have the course “sustainable development” as a compulsory module. What is more, we are taking part in a Tecnológico Nacional de México initiative for the reduced use of plastic since 2019, which led to the removal of styrofoam, plastic bottles, straws and plastic bags from the institution. Our research groups dedicate some of their work to sustainability topics, last year resulting in a healthy growth of organic lettuce, enough to share it among the staff.

ITSX also has strong engagement policies, having celebrated a number of agreements with local and regional businesses and government entities for student social service and professional internships, as well as jointly collaborating in economic, social and political issues to solve pressing matters of the state of Veracruz.

Overall, ITSX’s development and engagement activities aim to reflect the importance and value of higher education in achieving a holistically enhanced society, considering our needs as a developing country.