As a well-respected economist and avid life-learner, Ernesto Zedillo, the former President of Mexico, steered the Mexican economy through an austerity plan that staved off the collapse of its currency. By the time he left office in 2000, Mr. Zedillo led Mexico to the highest five-year GDP growth in a quarter of a century. At the same time, his government made strong commitments to social justice by increasing its spending on social programs year after year.
Recently, INTI International University & Colleges welcomed Mr. Zedillo to an exclusive event at INTI International College Subang, where he addressed the importance of global governance in international relations. As the recipient of the 2011 International Award of Lifetime Achievement and the Franklin D. Roosevelt Freedom from Fear Award, he shared his unique experiences in improving governance, transparency and accountability from both a political and academic standpoint.
Mr. Zedillo, who serves as the Director of the Yale Center for the Study of Globalization and Chairman of the Board of the Natural Resource Governance Institute, spoke to an audience of more than 280 that included representatives from INTI’s faculty and student body and business leaders. As the current Presidential Counselor of the Laureate International Universities network, he is the third accomplished world leader to visit an INTI institution, following the visits of former President of the United States, Bill Clinton, in 2010 and former British Prime Minister, Tony Blair, in 2014.
Discussing potential economic opportunities between Malaysia and Mexico in light of the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA), the members of the moderated panel session which included Mr. Zedillo and Datuk Nur Jazlan Mohamed, Deputy Minister of Home Affairs Malaysia also highlighted the importance of talent and development in meeting the expectations and challenges of the future job market.
On the discussion of the role of education in talent and development, Mr. Zedillo further added that, “Research has shown that where you are born, to a certain extent, determines how your life will pan out. For example, a man born into a poorer family as compared to a man born into a privileged family, would not receive the same opportunities of education. We need to recognize this and that public policies will play a vital role in making sure that such circumstantial barriers do not impede on the success of our citizens. We should recognize the need for policies that will level the playing field for everyone to gain equal access to education.”
Rohit Sharma, CEO of INTI International University & Colleges said, “President Zedillo is an incredible world leader whose expertise and academic insights have contributed to the socio-economic and legal development of several global issues. We are honoured to have him address our students and guests on topics that are incredibly pertinent to increasing international competitiveness. I am certain that this unique opportunity will leave a lasting impression on everyone gathered here today.”
The opportunity for students to learn from world thought leaders is unique to INTI because of its global connections through Laureate, the largest global network of degree-granting higher education institutions in the world. INTI’s students have also had the privilege to be part of global events such as the Clinton Global Initiative and the World Business Forum, where they were inspired by leaders sharing their insights and wisdom.
“President Zedillo’s visit to INTI is one of the ways through which we are providing an education that not only gives our students knowledge, but exposes them to global ideas in business, economics and world affairs. In doing so, we equip our students with learning which empowers them to become leaders in their own right,” concluded Sharma.
Echoing that, Mr. Zedillo said in closing that the younger generation are those who will one day be constructing better orders whether locally, regionally, or globally. “Education is not only a vital part of personal growth and advancement, but also in the creation and enhancement of human capital for any country. Therefore, the younger generation who are privileged to live in the 21 st century, need to keep educating themselves, keep dreaming big, and above all be optimistic.”