El Colegio de Mexico
El Colegio de México, established in 1940, is a non-profit, graduate research and teaching institution in the social sciences and humanities. It is composed of seven departments or centers: Literature and Linguistics, History, International Studies, Asian and African studies, Demographic and Urban Studies, Sociology and Economics. Research in these areas is carried out in response to El Colegio's policy of developing new knowledge on important issues relating to Mexican social and economic development, international relations, and education and culture. In this endeavor, for example, El Colegio has contributed substantially to the understanding of population growth in Mexico, and to the adoption of a population policy, which achieved, among other things, a 50% decline in the birth rate and the linkage of family planning to many aspects of social development. Similarly, basic studies on urban growth and its consequences led to the adoption of a national urban development policy.
Significant contributions have also been made to studies in the fields of International Relations, World Trade, International Migration, Economics, Social Change, Asian and African Studies, Mexican Foreign Policy, Mexican Political System, Mexican Labor, Latin American Literature, Hispanic Linguistics, the teaching of Spanish to indigenous groups in Mexico, on Ethnic Minorities and in Mexican History.
In recent years special study groups have been set up in fields such as the North American Free Trade Area, the Pacific Basin, the World Energy Outlook, Environment and Sustainable Development, the interface of Science, technology and Development, Public Health, and the study of Women from the perspective of Social Science.
El Colegio is staffed by an average of 150 full-time faculty, supplemented by other academic staff, such as visiting professors and special course and project personnel. A total of 300 students attend courses offered by El Colegio de México on a regular, full time basis and about four to five hundred attend special non-degree courses offered throughout the academic year. About twenty percent of full time students come from countries other than Mexico.
The Library, which occupies one-third of El Colegio's premises, is a modern building of Mexican architectural design, containing more than 600,000 volumes on social sciences, humanities and related topics in European and Asian Languages. The Library's catalogue is fully computerized and carrels are provided for 350 readers. Large-scale inter-library exchange agreements are maintained with domestic as well as foreign universities. More than 60% of library users are external to El Colegio.
A number of specialized documentation units also function in coordination with the Library: science and technology, energy, environment, U.S.-Mexican relations, women, a dictionary of Mexican Spanish, and multilingual vocabularies.
El Colegio also houses a bookstore, conference halls, a faculty lounge and dining room, as well as a students' lounge and a cafeteria.