Miguel Ángel Escotet was born in Leon, Spain. During his childhood and adolescence he lived and studied in Gijón, Asturias and he began his college education in Madrid. He moved with his parents to Venezuela where he continued his university education at the University of Zulia, as well as in Bogotá, Colombia at Javeriana University. Immediately, after graduation, Escotet worked in Venezuela and the United States. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Nebraska and his M.A. from the University of Texas at Austin. His major specialization was in Social Research, Planning and Program Evaluation in Higher Education, Comparative and International Education and Cross-Cultural Psychology. His previous studies in Spain, Colombia and Venezuela were in Engineering, Philosophy and Psychology. He received his professional and research degree in Clinical Psychology from Javeriana University. He has been awarded with several honorary degrees and international awards for his scientific contribution in the United States, Europe and Latin America. He has served as a member of UNESCO’s Advisory Committee for Higher Education in Latin America and the Caribbean for fifteen continuous years. He received the Teaching Award in recognition for outstanding classroom teaching at the undergraduate/ graduate level, presented by Florida International University (FIU) and the State University System of Florida, Teaching Incentive Program. In 2001 he was awarded the Frost Professorship from FIU an academic distinction that honors faculty who distinguish themselves and inspire excellence over the past five years. In Fall 2012 he was honored with the UTB Houston Endowment Chair in Education.
He holds as a courtesy appointment, the UNESCO and United Nations University Mobile Chair for History and Future of the University since 1996. He served as a member of the Board of Directors and chairperson of the Committee of Enhancement of Information and Networking of the Comparative and International Education Society from 1999-2004. He is presently, vice-president of one of the oldest Latin American Educational Association, GULERPE and vice-president of the International Forum on University Innovation. He is also a member of the Board of Directors of the Latin American Institute for the Development of Education and president of the Board of The Escotet Foundation in the United States. He also serves, as a member of committee editors of several international academic journals. He is presently, the director of the UP-UNESCO Book Series in Spanish with world-renowned authors. He has been a very active member from CIES, AERA, APA, ASHE, IACCP, Club of Rome and several community organizations dedicated to civil rights and tolerance.
Professor Escotet is presently Dean of the College of Education of the University of Texas at Brownsville and the Houston Endowed Chair in Education. He is also the Director of the UTB Center for Educational Development and Innovation. Previously, he was the Director of the Institute of Graduate Studies and Continuing Education at the University of Deusto, Bilbao. Spain. For twelve years, until 2003, he was tenured professor of Education, Director of the International Institute of Educational Development, Director of Graduate Studies in IDE, Associate Chair of Educational Foundations and Professional Studies Department, and director of Research and Evaluation of the South Atlantic Bilingual Education Services (SABES), a federal center at Florida International University. Previously he taught Psychology in Fort Lewis College, Colorado as a tenured associate professor and in Penn State University as a visiting faculty. Escotet career has mainly been focused on academics. He has taught and has been visiting professor in Argentina, Colombia, Brazil, Chile, Costa Rica, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Nicaragua, Spain, Taiwan, United Kingdom, United States and Venezuela. Other international relevant posts he has held include President of Universidad Iberoamericana de Postgrado of Salamanca, Spain, Provost and founder of the Open National University of Venezuela, Special Counselor to UNESCO’s Director General in Paris, France, Academic Dean and Dean of the School of Education of University of Oriente (50,000 students and 5 campuses) of Venezuela, Sub-secretary of the Ministry of Education of Venezuela, General Director of Planning of the Republic of Venezuela, Executive Director of The Interamerican University Council for Economic and Social Development, Washington, D.C., and General Secretary (highest rank) of the Organization of Iberoamerican States for Education, Science and Culture (OEI) in Madrid, Spain (An intergovernmental organization for Spanish and Portuguese speaking countries of Europe, Latin America, Africa and Asia). He has been consultant to the World Bank, Interamerican Development Bank, United Nations Development Program, OECD, European Union, American Organization of States and US AID.
Among many other international experiences in which he has been participating are president of the Latin American Association of Distance Education, president of the Latin American Association of Behavior, member of the Board of the International Society for Development, director of the Multinational Project of Educational Costs of the Organization of American States, president of the Latin American Program of New Forms of Post Secondary Education of the Interamerican Development Bank, adviser in educational planning for The World Bank. He collaborated with the United Nations University in Tokyo, Japan to develop the social sciences research program, he has been adviser and consultant for governments of Spain, Venezuela, Argentina, Equatorial Guinea, Taiwan, Colombia, Costa Rica, Panama, Brazil, Uruguay, Chile, Hungary, Switzerland, Russia and the following international organizations: UNESCO, OECD/CERI, OAS, OEI, EU, WB, IDB, AUSJAL and the International Commission for Peace of UN/IAUP.
His major research interests have focused on higher education reforms, planning, evaluation and innovation in US, Latin America and Europe, and on the development of research methodology in cross-cultural and transnational studies. He made significant contributions to the field of cultural learning and its relation to the measurement of social behavior. He has written numerous books, research reports and articles in academic journals worldwide and some of his books have been translated into several languages.
He recently co-authored three scholarly books. The first one as a result of a research work (2010) entitled The Scientific Activity in the University, published by University of Palermo and UNESCO/United Nations University. A research and methodology book with Villa & Goñi (2008), Model of Innovation in Higher Education, published by University of Deusto and Mensajero; and a third publication co-edited (2007) for GUNI, OECD and UNESCO, Higher Education in the World 2006, published by Palgrave Macmillan. One of his books (2004) Psychosocial and Cultural Nature of Education reflects his continuing scholarly concerns on interdisciplinary of educational process within cross-cultural perspectives. Other recent books related to international/ Intercultural themes and Higher Education are: University and Evolvement: Between Certitude and Uncertainty, Cultural and Social Foundations of Education, Aprender para el futuro (Learning for the Future), Educación y desarrollo desde la perspectiva sociológica (Education and Development from the Sociological Perspective), Evaluación institucional universitaria (Institutional Evaluation of the University), Culture Influence on Behavior coauthored with R. Serpell, El Mundo de la percepción (The World of Perception), Tendencias de la Educación Superior a Distancia (Tendencies of Distance Higher Education) and Mission and Trends of the University published by UNESCO/UCA. He also published two major methodology books, Análisis Multivariado en Psicología y Educación (Multivariate Analysis in Psychology and Education) and Estadística Psicoeducativa (Statistics for Psychology and Education), at the present time on its 6th edition. He is the author of a well known psychological test with more that twenty editions for measuring multidimensional personality adjustments/disadjustments: CIP – Cuestionario Investigativo de la Personalidad (Research Questionnaire of Personality).