Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean region
Students strolling in the gardens of New College, Oxford.
(Image credit: Oxford University Images / John Cairns Photography).

Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean region

Mexico, Latin America and Caribbean studies at Oxford

Teaching and research on the region take place across the University.

The Latin American Centre, established over 50 years ago, is the University’s hub for the study of the region in the social sciences and humanities. The centre offers an MSc and an MPhil in Latin American Studies and, through the Oxford School of Global and Area Studies, students can conduct research at the doctoral level on Latin American Studies.

The Caribbean Studies Network is an initiative aiming to better connect individual academics at Oxford who work on the region. It aims also to promote the inclusion of Caribbean-related subjects on syllabuses and in research, and to make the University a more welcoming place for people with a Caribbean background.

Library and museum collections

The Bodleian Libraries holds five very rare early manuscripts produced in Mexico mostly before the European conquest. The manuscripts narrate the histories of some of Mexico’s ancient cultures using systems of pictures and symbols. It is thought fewer than 20 such manuscripts survived European colonisation.

Collaborations with institutions in Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean

Medical Sciences collaborations

Studying population health in Mexico

Oxford’s Clinical Trial Service Unit and the National Autonomous University in Mexico run a long-term prospective health study of residents of Mexico City based on samples and information collected from around 150,000 individuals between 1998 and 2004. By tracking deaths that occur amongst the participants over the following decades, the researchers can discover links between participants’ characteristics recorded at the time of the original survey and the subsequent causes of their deaths. For example, the project has shown that diabetes-related deaths account for at least one-third of all deaths amongst Mexicans between ages 35 and 74.

Collaborations with Mexico on infectious disease research

The University’s Nuffield Department of Medicine (NDM) has a substantial programme of infectious disease research with Mexican organisations, targeting diseases that are a significant challenge to Mexico’s health system. The research, on diseases such as the Zika, dengue and chikungunya viruses, includes work in areas such as immunology, vaccine development and clinical trials, and viral genome sequencing. Partners in Mexico include the Instituto Politécnico Nacional; Universidad Autónoma de Nuevo León; Universidad Michoacana San Nicolás de Hidalgo (UMSNH); Universidad Veracruzana; Benemérita Universidad Autónoma de Puebla (BUAP); the Instituto Mexicano del Seguro Social; and the Centro Médico Nacional Siglo XXI (IMSS).

Social Sciences collaborations

Measuring and reducing poverty around the world

The Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative (OPHI) runs the Multidimensional Poverty Peer Network (MPPN), which aims to help eliminate poverty by facilitating better measurement of the problem and better policymaking to reduce it. A co-founder of the network was Mexico’s National Council for the Evaluation of Social Development Policy, and the network has members from several countries in Central America and the Caribbean. Its work centres around a method of measuring poverty developed by the OPHI that takes into account multiple aspects of deprivation, such as poor health, poor or no education, and low living standards.

Other collaborations

Research on ageing in Latin America

The Latin American Research Network on Ageing (LARNA) promotes research to help the region prepare for the effects of an ageing population. Active since 2009, LARNA is run jointly by the Oxford Institute of Population Ageing and Mexico's University of Guanajuato–León. It provides a forum for exchange and capacity building for researchers in the region and at Oxford and fosters collaborative research and training initiatives.

Scholarships and travel assistance

There are many schemes offering funding for international undergraduate students and particularly funding for international graduate students to study at Oxford, as well as schemes to help students already at Oxford travel abroad.

Student societies

Oxford has official clubs and societies for people interested in, or who have a connection to, many different countries and regions.

Oxford alumni in Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean

Oxford has a large number of alumni groups around the world.

Notable alumni from the region

Famous alumni from Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean include:

  • Sir V. S. Naipaul, writer, winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature.
  • Stuart Hall, cultural theorist, founding editor of the New Left Review.
  • Norman Manley, former prime minister and first premier of Jamaica (1959–62).
  • Eric Williams, first prime minister of Trinidad and Tobago (1962–81).
  • Sir Grantley Adams, first premier of Barbados (1953–58).