- UDLAP is the only university in the continent to have a Biology program with an International Advanced Accreditation granted by the Royal Society of Biology.
“The Honor’s program of the Licenciatura in Biology at Universidad de las Américas Puebla obtained, for five years, the Advanced International Accreditation by the Royal Society of Biology, starting in August 2018,” stated Dr. Martín Alejandro Serrano Meneses, a faculty member of the Department of Chemical-Biological Sciences at UDLAP.
Regarding the requirements to achieve this accreditation, Dr. Serrano Meneses said that they concentrate on four areas: “Achieving the academic excellence levels demanded by the Royal Society of Biology, which are measurable through the education given to students as well as through an evaluation of the practices that students do in the lab; showing that students develop in an environment conducive to research; demonstrating that students have the facilities needed for their training; and finally, considering that students have such skills as understanding of physics, chemistry, and math in a biological context.” Likewise, he stressed that “universities can obtain this accreditation by meeting top standards in education, infrastructure, and research production that are measureable and provable.”
Dr. Serrano remarked that Universidad de las Américas Puebla is the only university in the continent to have a licenciatura program with an advanced accreditation level. “Outside the United Kingdom, only UDLAP and the University of Ghana have an Advanced International Accreditation.”
He said that this accreditation means three things: first, it is a recognition of academic quality since it helps to identify the best practices of the university; second, it allows for better student recruitment; and third, the university can review the study programs in depth and receive constructive criticism from professionals to improve those licenciatura programs.
Finally, the UDLAP faculty member expressed that the advantage that students have when belonging to an institution with this accreditation is that they have better job opportunities once they graduate. “We live in a very competitive world, especially in the biology area, and students need to show evidence that they are graduating from a university that has the highest academic excellence standards. One of the tangible elements is demonstrating the skills required to carry out cutting-edge research. Another benefit is that their degree is recognized internationally by other universities. In addition, when students from the Honor’s Program in Biology graduate, they get one-year free membership to the Royal Society of Biology, which allows them exclusive access to Society events to meet biologists who are dedicated to promoting research and biology at an international level.”
It is important to note that the certificate granted by the Royal Society of Biology was formally given to Universidad de las Américas Puebla April 24 in the House of Commons at Westminster Palace in London.