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The University of Houston Now An Hispanic-Serving InstitutionFederal Designation Underscores Goal to Prepare Diverse Populations for Global Competitiveness

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March 29, 2012-Houston-

The University of Houston has been designated an Hispanic-Serving Institution (HSI) by the U.S. Department of Education Office of Postsecondary Education.  UH is now one of only three Tier One public research universities in the nation with this designation and the only such institution in Texas.

A university is designated as an HSI if its enrollment of full-time undergraduates is at least 25-percent Hispanic.  The designation means UH may compete for grants that support or expand educational opportunities of Hispanic students.  

 “This is an important designation for the University of Houston and establishes UH as a model for the type of institution that can best serve tomorrow’s America,” said UH President Renu Khator. “This designation underscores our commitment and success in serving a diverse population at the highest level to meet a competitive global need.”

Last year, the nation’s Hispanic population topped 50 million, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, and also saw an all-time high in the number of 18-to-24 year olds attending college (Pew Hispanic Center).  As the population of Hispanics in Texas moves closer to becoming the majority in the state, it is incumbent upon colleges and universities to provide opportunities that will ensure competitiveness. 

“For faculty in all areas and specialties, the designation means they have access to additional funding for research that was previously not accessible to UH,” said John Antel, UH provost and executive vice president for academic affairs. “Such funding will allow our faculty to better train our students by engaging them in research projects and preparing them to effectively compete in our global economy.”

The University of Houston consistently ranks among the top colleges and universities in the nation for conferring bachelor degrees and doctorates on Hispanic students, further affirming UH’s commitment to prepare students for competition in the global marketplace.

“UH is the first Tier One university in in Texas to qualify for this designation,” Khator said.  “We join the University of New Mexico and the University of California Riverside as the only three Tier One institutions in the nation designated as Hispanic-Serving Institutions.”

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