The Alliance for Higher Education and Enterprise in North America is a not-for-profit, non-governmental organization with a mission to conduct research on a wide range of North American policy issues.


Recently completed and currently ongoing projects of the Alliance include:

    A study of strategies to increase community college involvement in North American linkage and mobility activities.

    Research on carbon trading regimes and other continent-wide strategies for reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

    A study comparing North American linkage and mobility activities in a cross-section of Canadian and US institutions of higher

    Identification and development of databases needed to evaluate and implement strategies for greater harmonization in a wide range of North American policy areas including
    trade, environmental managment, human capital development and mobility, security and border relations.

    A study of North American educational initiatives and progress since the beginning of the Wingspread process.

    Collaboration with NAMI in ongoing discussions of a proposed major forum on the North American auto industry.

The decision to create the Alliance for Higher Education and Enterprise in North America was the result of a process of informal consultation that began in 1992 in the United States. It is commonly known as the "Wingspread process" after the location of the first meeting of opinion-leaders, academics and political figures.

The Wingspread meeting charted a course for increased and better trilateral dialogue and cooperation and was followed by a larger conference in Vancouver, Canada in 1993 to develop a more concrete blueprint for cooperation. By 1996, over one thousand interested individuals from the three countries met in Guadalajara, Mexico, where for the first time, business people played a larger role in discussions about strategic alliances between the private sector and institutions of higher learning. Mexico President Ernesto Zedillo, then Minister of Public Education, as well as Foreign Minister Rosario Green in a previous position, participated in this process of sharing experience in higher education, training and research.

Throughout this period and associated with the Wingspread process, the three governments maintained an active interest in the question of higher education through a Trilateral Steering Committee on North American Collaboration in Higher Education, Research and Training and coordinated the work of several working groups of experts. Over the past six years, hundreds of people form the United States, Mexico and Canada have participated in the discussion of cooperation in higher education in North America and made invaluable contributions of ideas and opinions.

After the Guadalajara conference, there existed a broad consensus that more needed to be and could be done in educational cooperation and in the building of partnerships with business. However, at the same time, there were proven successes in cooperation between universities and colleges, but there was still little binding glue between diverse stakeholders, such as business and universities and colleges, to maximize economies of scale and best practices across the continent. The North American trilateral higher education steering committee invited the North American Institute (NAMI), as an informal, trinational non-governmental organization with a decade-long and strong tradition in thinking about the North American agenda, to recommend options.

In April 1998, the national governments of Mexico, the United State and Canada endorsed the proposal of the North American Institute to create the Alliance for Higher Education and Enterprise in North America with a commitment to contribute seed money from each of the three governments.

With respect to the trilateral process, the Alliance has been discussed at the meetings of the three Foreign Ministers held in September 1998 and September 1999 in New York City. Senator Jack Austin, Chair of the Alliance, provided a briefing on the current status and future directions of the Alliance to the three Foreign Ministers at their trilateral meeting in Santa Fe, New Mexico on August 11 and 12, 2000. During the course of the Santa Fe Trilateral Ministerial Meeting, representatives of the North American Institute met with the Foreign Ministers and discussed various issues central to the Alliance agenda, including educational exchange and building education-business linkages.

The August 12, 2000 News Release of the Santa Fe meeting reflects a strong and continuing commitment to the trilateral process. In sum, two broad points can be made: (1) the Alliance and its agenda have received sustained attention at the Ministerial level; (2) the North American Institute-to which the Alliance has close links-has played a significant role in the trilateral process.

The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) is bringing about a much more continental view of educational cooperation and exchange, education/business/government partnerships and issues related to the mobility of highly skilled human resources. These themes have been central to recent speeches by Mexico's President, Vincente Fox, which have included a commitment to make Mexico's educational agenda the highest priority, double the current Mexican budgets for higher education and science and technology, and promote educational exchange and cooperation in a trilateral context. These developments re-enforce the relevance of the Alliance and its mission of helping to build and sustain trilateral institutional linkages in the areas of higher education and business.

On October 1999, Edward B. Harvey (B.A., M.A., University of British Columbia; PhD, Princeton University) was appointed President of the Alliance. His mandate includes the following areas: (1) to develop and deliver a dissemination program to inform other organization and individuals about the mission of the Alliance; (2) design fundable projects for the Alliance and secure financial support; (3) serve as lead researcher in selected project areas and provide overall supervision to Alliance researchers in the conduct of project work; (4) provide support to the Alliance private sector fund rising activities; (5) lead the day-to-day management of the Alliance.

The Alliance has established funded project and program activity in Canada, Mexico and the United States of America. These activities include:

  • Initiatives to promote student/faculty mobility and exchange among institutions of higher education in a trilateral context. Actions designed to foster effective higher education/private sector partnership building. Creating databases in the three countries to support mobility, exchange and partnership building initiatives.
  • Studies of the financial services sector with a particular emphasis on the regulatory and diversity management implications of an increasingly borderless North American economy.
  • Projects focused on trilateral environmental management issues, including harmonization of regulatory standards and greater consistency in the training and accreditation of environmental professionals.
  • In addition to its project and program activity, the Alliance actively disseminates its work through conferences and associated activities. The Alliance also maintains close working relationships with the North American Institute (NAMI) and its offices in Canada, Mexico and the United States.

Inquiries regarding the Alliance for Higher Education and Enterprise in North America should be directed to the President of the Alliance, Dr. Edward B. Harvey.

Sen. Jack Austin
The Senate of Canada
Victoria Building
140 Wellington Street, Room 304
Ottowa, Ontario
Canada K1A 0A4
Tel: 613-992-1437
Fax: 613-995-7329
Email: [email protected]
708 Paseo de Peralta
Santa Fe, NM 87501
Tel: 505.982.3657
Fax: 505.983.5840
Email: [email protected]
Amb. Jesus Reyes Heroles
Pestalozzi 522
Colonia del Valle
Mexico DF 03020
Tel: 011 52 555 639-3791
Fax: 011 52 555 639-4624
Email: [email protected]
© 2002 - 2017 The North American Institute

North American Linkage Activity in Canadian and US Institutions of Higher Education (Acrobat PDF)


Increasing Community
College Participation in
Mobility Initiatives including
Strategies to Increase
Private Sector


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