For this blog I will explore the mission statements of two universities. First, the one from my alma mater; a land, sea, and space grant university located in the city of Mayagüez, Puerto Rico. The Second from a university I believe is one of the best in the world, a private research university in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Mayagüez campus of the University of Puerto Rico (UPRM):
“Within the philosophical framework established by the University of Puerto Rico Act, the Mayagüez campus directs its efforts towards the development of educated, cultured citizens, capable of critical thinking, and professionally qualified in the fields of agricultural, social and natural sciences, engineering, humanities and business administration. They should be able to contribute in an efficient manner to the cultural, social, and economic development of the Puerto Rican and international communities. This process is aimed at endowing our alumni with a strong technical and professional background and instill a strong commitment to Puerto Rico and our hemisphere.
Our alumni should have the necessary skills and knowledge to participate effectively in the search of solutions to the problems facing us, to promote the enrichment of the arts and culture, the development and transfer of technology as well to uphold the essential attitudes and values of a democratic society.”
UPRM is a state university; as such it has in front and center Puerto Rico and the betterment of it. Although it mentions international communities, it emphasizes “our hemisphere” (western hemisphere). It seems to also seek a well-rounded citizen through the arts and culture together with a strong technical and professional background.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT):
“The mission of MIT is to advance knowledge and educate students in science, technology, and other areas of scholarship that will best serve the nation and the world in the 21st century.
The Institute is committed to generating, disseminating, and preserving knowledge, and to working with others to bring this knowledge to bear on the world’s great challenges. MIT is dedicated to providing its students with an education that combines rigorous academic study and the excitement of discovery with the support and intellectual stimulation of a diverse campus community. We seek to develop in each member of the MIT community the ability and passion to work wisely, creatively, and effectively for the betterment of humankind.”
MIT’s has a more global perspective seeking to serve the nation and the world. It emphasizes science and technology as the main goals to educate its students and how it plans to do this through rigorous academic study and the support and stimulation of its diverse campus.
Both mission statements are fairly similar; it is interesting to bring to perspective that MIT as its name says is an Institute of Technology tied to engineering and science. Although UPRM is the only engineering university inside the public university system of Puerto Rico it has three additional Colleges (Arts and Science, Business Administration, and Agriculture) in addition to the Engineering College. The engineering degrees in the UPRM are 5 year degrees in contrast to 4 year degrees in MIT. This could be due to the different goals stated in the mission statements, for example, in the UPRM students pursuing a civil engineering degree have to take five classes in humanities in addition to two English and two Spanish classes probably to fulfill the mission of the University of enriching its students with art and culture. Something that called my attention in the mission of UPRM is that it mentions upholding the “values of a democratic society” at the end, something that is not mentioned in MIT’s mission although they mention the “betterment of humankind.” Something that not necessarily has to imply values of a democratic society one could argue.
We can interpret from both mission statements that both universities seek to prepare students to tackle the problems society is facing and seeks to achieve this by instilling a research focused mindset that will allow the development of technology.