College renews, expands collaborative
agreement with Guatemalan university


Texas A&M’s College of Architecture recently renewed and expanded an existing Memorandum of Agreement with Universidad Francisco Marroquin in Guatemala City, Guatemala, to include the co-development of graduate and executive degree programs at UFM and continue an established undergraduate reciprocal exchange program.

Under the new agreement, the college will assist UFM in the development of a master’s degree in project management to be modeled after the unique Master of Science in Land Development degree at Texas A&M.

“Our MSLD program looks at physical design and tries to marry it with finance,” said Forster Ndubisi, head of the Department of Landscape Architecture and Urban Planning at Texas A&M, who journeyed to Guatemala in April with Texas A&M colleagues, Jorge Vanegas, interim dean of the College of Architecture, and Atef Sharkawy, who retired as the coordinator of the college’s MSLD program in January, but is continuing as a liaison between the two universities.

As part of the agreement, project management graduate students from UFM will come to Texas A&M next year for two weeks of instruction by college faculty.

Texas A&M is also helping UFM develop continuing education real estate development programs in Central America.

“About three years ago, UFM started the first real estate development program in Latin America,” said Sharkawy. “We worked together to create an executive program instead of a full-fledged graduate program so it would be shorter and much more concentrated.”

Sharkawy said that two new executive continuing education programs, one in Panama and one in El Salvador, should be materializing in the next six months.

In addition to the graduate initiatives, the Texas A&M will continue its reciprocal exchange program with UFM’s Department of Architecture. The spring and fall semester program, which fulfills the college’s semester away requirement, involves special design studios conducted in English, as well as travel to historic sites in Guatemala.

Founded in 1971, Universidad Francisco Marroquin (UFM) is situated on a wooded 40-acre campus in the heart of Guatemala City’s most prestigious residential and business area.


- Posted: May 5, 2009 -

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