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Higher education institutions have a responsibility to promote the development of students' ethical and citizenship competencies, especially in contexts of major social inequality. Graduates, who constitute a very small percentage of the population in Mexico, are the best qualified to conceive of creative alternatives to resolve its demanding social challenges. But this cannot be done if trained professionals and specialists remain indifferent to their communities and merely seek to satisfy their personal interests. Higher education institutions should have an active role to play in the consolidation of democracy in Mexico, providing society with technically and professionally well prepared individuals who are also ethical and competent citizens. This article sketches a 10-year program focusing on the development of the ethical and citizenship competencies of higher education students being implemented in a private university. Evidence from the first phase of assessment of ethical competencies is cited and discussed.