2020 suddenly became a watershed not only for our university but also for humanity. We began the year celebrating our 80th anniversary of existence and 50 years since the creation of the Cholula, Puebla campus. However, today we are facing challenges derived from COVID-19 which have profoundly affected our world perception. The emergence of this virus represented, as of March, the biggest challenge that Mexico, and therefore our institution, has faced. As opposed to our country, the speed with which our university responded was extraordinary. The student community, the faculty, and every one of us who make up the UDLAP family acted quickly to keep the academic programs and our institution working normally. This response shows our commitment to offer the best education in Mexico, “quality with warmth,” as a reality that is consolidated day after day. The COVID-19 challenge shook us momentarily, but our resilience, which is a product of a successful history of over 80 years and an incomparable sense of community, allowed us to solve this challenge with innovation, creativity, and flexibility, guaranteeing that nothing will stop us in our objective of becoming the best university in Latin America.
This report describes the goals achieved in the 2019-2020 year, the fifth consecutive year that our university maintains the recognition as best private university in Mexico according to El Universal ranking, thanks to important achievements such as a 100% accreditation of the programs that can be accredited at a national level, and being recognized as a university with an excellent faculty and highly-competitive graduates. Our prestige allowed the class of 2019-2023 to be the largest in our history, with over 2,000 new students. In this sense, our admissions rate was reduced to its lowest number, by having rejected 56% of admission requests to our institution.
Also, thanks to the precision in selecting new faculty members, our university now has 99% full-time professors with graduate studies and, of those, 85% with doctorate or terminal degrees in their professions, including 60% with degrees earned abroad. The quality of our institution allows us to continue attracting professors from different nationalities; today I proudly announce that close to 25% of our professors are foreign. According to our academic policy of internationalization, this year over forty of our professors did research stays abroad, and another two hundred participated in over five hundred academic meetings. Thanks to this, our faculty excels in research, and 38% of our full-time professors are members of the National Researchers System. We are therefore the second university in Mexico with a greater proportion of researchers among full-time professors.
Our student selection and retention programs allow us to have a retention rate of 95%. Not only do we have excellent students, but they have also shown to be excellent citizens who marched against the insecurity in Mexico, in support of women, and rejecting discrimination in our country. As a result of their academic quality and comprehensive education, our graduates are in high demand by national and international companies. To strengthen this preference, we reinforced the outreach to the business sector through the media, social networks, magazines, and job events in over 1,700 prestigious national and multinational companies.
Our commitment to Mexico and to the world is to continue this process of educating young people who, once they graduate from our institution, combine in their lives an appreciation for art, culture, sports, research, and social responsibility, where professional excellence is only one of the elements of their personal integrity. Integrity that will make them the citizens that our world requires today.
Dr. Luis Ernesto Derbez Bautista