Investing in Mexican Students

“Education is the most powerful weapon you can use to change the world” – Nelson Mandela

Living in Australia, we take many things for granted… access to clean water, electricity and sanitation come to mind. One thing we may not consider though is a university education. So when we think about how best to serve the developing world, rarely do we value providing educational opportunities beyond high school.

But consider this.

You may not be able to become a doctor, but you need one when you get sick. You may not want to become a teacher, but you want your children educated. You may not have the means to become an engineer, but you rely on the engineers that build your apartment block. So while not everybody needs to go to university, society needs good universities to be available to those who wish to attend them.

A university degree doesn’t simply increase earning capacity, but more importantly produces social returns to the community. This is probably why one of the UN Sustainable Development Targets for Education is:

“4.3. By 2030, ensure equal access for all women and men to affordable and quality technical, vocational and tertiary education, including university”

So how is Christian Super changing the world, when it comes to education?

Well, in 2015, with the help of our friends from Laudex and the IADB, we provided loans to students in Mexico.

Why Mexico? Only 30% of Mexico’s university aged population is enrolled in tertiary education. For comparison, Latin America’s average enrolment ratio is around 45% and Australia’s average is around 90% . Mexico’s low enrolment rates are a result of higher education historically being limited to those who can afford it or are fortunate enough to be accepted in a public university.

Laudex identified a large and growing unmet demand for higher education from young Mexicans that are academically qualified to pursue their studies, but are unable to gain admission to the public university system due to capacity constraints. These students do not have the financial resources to afford tuition, fees and other costs of attending a quality private university, limiting both their individual employment opportunity and Mexico’s development capacity.

Christian Super’s investment in Laudex, allows them to provide these students with affordable and flexible student loans, to those who otherwise wouldn’t be able to go to a university. The benefits are three fold – life-changing opportunities for students, positive impact in the Mexican economy and returns for Christian Super members.

Just as a university education isn’t for everyone in Australia, neither is it in the developing world. But for a society as a whole to thrive, equal access to university is vital. It’s another way that Christian Super is ensuring our members’ retirement savings are building a better world.