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EFE News Service
Biggest Spanish-Language University Portal Launched In Mexico
February 18, 2002
Mexico City - The biggest Spanish-language university portal, designed for use by more than 13 million students across Ibero-America, was launched in Mexico on Monday.
Universia is a "pioneering, innovative (project) without precedent on the Internet," Emilio Botin, president of Spain's Santander Central Hispano (SCH) banking group said at an ceremony attended by Mexican Education Minister Reyes Tamez, Spanish Ambassador to Mexico Jose Ignacio Carbajal, university deans, intellectuals and businessmen.
Universia originated in Spain in July 2000 after SCH spent some $60 million on a project aimed at linking more than 400 institutions of higher learning in 10 Ibero-American countries.
Once Universia becomes profitable, the bank's share of its earnings "will revert exclusively to upgrading the project and the universities, themselves," Botin said.
Universia is a "privileged showplace for reinforcing the presence of universities on the Internet," Botin added.
As of Monday, 156 Mexican institutions - representing 73 percent of the country's university population - had joined the portal (www.universia.net.mx).
Universia is expected to expand over the next few months with the participation of Brazil, Portugal and Colombia. The portal made its Latin American debut in Chile in March and also has a presence in Puerto Rico, Argentina, Peru and Venezuela.
Universia has been visited by more than 80 percent of the university populace in the countries that have joined the initiative.
The portal has an advanced technology platform, offers classified content and services in more than 60 categories, such as news, e-mail, cellular messaging, job postings, research and a schedule of university activities.
SCH is Mexico's third largest bank after the Spanish-Mexican BBVA-Bancomer and Banamex-Citigroup.