Closer cooperation with Mexico

Attracting more talented Mexican researchers to Rotterdam and at the same time offering Erasmus University Rotterdam students the opportunity to study or conduct research in Mexico. With this aim in mind, an agreement was signed today in The Hague. Erasmus MC also signed a similar agreement. 

The agreement that was signed today enables Mexican PhD students to apply for a grant from Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnología (CONACyT, comparable with KNAW (Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences) in the Netherlands). This will enable these students to conduct PhD research at Erasmus University over a four-year period. And vice versa, the agreement offers talented EUR students improved opportunities to study in Mexico or undertake research. 

Rector Magnificus, Prof. Huibert Pols signed the agreement on behalf of Erasmus University, with Director General Dr Enrique Cabrero Mendoza signing on behalf of CONTACyT.  This took place at the Mexican Embassy in the presence of Edgar Elías, the Mexican Ambassador in the Netherlands, and Margriet Leemhuis, the Dutch Ambassador in Mexico. The Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto is on a state visit in The Netherlands. 

As well as an agreement with CONACyT, Prof. Hans van Leeuwen (Erasmus MC) also signed a separate agreement with the Mexican research institute CINVESTAV (Center for Research and Advanced Studies of the National Polytechnic Institute). 

Benefiting from talent

Currently, only a limited number of Mexican PhD students come to Rotterdam, between one and four per year. The agreement with CONACyT aims to boost this number, enabling research in the Netherlands to benefit from Latin American talent. This mainly concerns students from this Mexican governmental organisation’s focus areas. This agreement with the EUR will involve scientific talent in healthcare sciences, development, urban sciences and probably economics and logistics. 

Current Mexican PhD students have so far found places at Erasmus MC, the International Institute of Social Studies (ISS), the Institute for Housing and Urban Development Studies (IHS) and Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University (RSM). 

Target country

CONACyT is synonymous with high quality in Latin America. The agreement strengthens the reputation of Erasmus University in Mexico and neighbouring countries. This could also result in more bachelor and master students from this Latin-American country. It can also be a prelude to further similar agreements in Latin America. 

Because of its potential, Mexico is an important place in Latin America and is one of Erasmus University’s target countries. The number of applications from Mexican students increased from 64 in 2016 to 94 in 2017. 


CONACyT is the Mexican governmental organisation that promotes scientific and technological development, implements government policy and awards grants for post-doctoral studies (master’s degrees and PhDs). CONACyT is similar to The Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW) and the National Science Foundation in the United States. The considerable grants (including four years’ living costs and 65% of the tuition fee) are awarded to a select number of Mexican students who are admitted to master's degree or PhD programmes at the CONACyT partner universities.

More information

Press Office Erasmus University Rotterdam, T + 31 10 4081216 or E