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UNAM to join the “City of Knowledge”

By Antonio De Jesús Aguado

Vista aérea, tomada de Amigos de la Aviación de San Miguel

The National Autonomous University of Mexico, UNAM, will build a campus as part of the “Ciudad del Conocimiento”(City of Knowledge) project on four and a half acres of land that also includes the airport.

An extension of UNAM officially started operating in San Miguel on July 25, 2013, in the building located at Mesones 71. The institution has not only the aim of conducting investigations but also of promoting culture and ongoing education. The institution had not fulfilled its mission completely because it lacked its own building. The past administration gave them as a loan, 19.5 hectares of land, but UNAM did not have a clear legal right to build facilities on it.

On March 21 the city council donated 4.5 hectares to the institution in the upper area of the city, where the project called “Ciudad del Conocimiento” is in progress. The area already includes universities such as the ITSSC, the Universidad Allende, the UTSMA, a sports area called Módulo COMUDE and the airport, which is under restoration.

Mayor Mauricio Trejo commented that UNAM will be in charge of the building’s construction. Before opening to grant bachelor’s or master’s degrees UNAM will open a bachillerato, high school, for students from families with low incomes who cannot enroll in a private school.

According to Trejo, his administration has asked the federal Tourism Department for a budget of 12 million pesos that will be used to improve the entrance to the City of Knowledge, which will also be the “gate” for the airport. It was said that this airport could be operating small commercial flights to the main destinations in Mexico, but Mayor Trejo remarked that the project is to receive air ambulances to explore options for medical tourism.

Trejo said that along the US–Mexican border, medical tourism is booming and American insurance companies spend 90 percent of their budget to provide the services to their clients and have joint ventures with entrepreneurs who build the clinics. In San Miguel he visualizes having clinics for replacing joints. Once the airport is ready, he will explore that option.

Although the restoration of the airport needs more funding, Trejo said that it will open before the end of his administration on October 9, 2015.


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