Reviews of National Policies for Education

1990-0198 (online)
1563-4914 (print)
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Reviews of National Policies for Education offer customised, in-depth analysis and advice to assist policy makers in developing and implementing education policy. Individual reviews can focus on a specific policy area, a particular level of education or a country’s entire education system. These reviews are conducted at the request of the country concerned.

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Reviews of National Policies for Education: Tertiary Education in Chile 2009

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OECD, The World Bank
02 Apr 2009
9789264051386 (PDF) ;9789264050891(print)

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This joint OECD and World Bank review gives a brief overview of post-secondary education in Chile and describes its development over the past twenty years. It presents an analysis of the system and identifies key directions for policy reform in light of the challenges encountered by officials, communities, enterprises, educators, parents and students. It concludes with a set of key recommendations concerning the structure of the system and its labour market relevance; access and equity, governance and management; research, development and innovation; internationalisation; and financing.
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  • Executive summary
    Chileans value education; they see it as the most important and surest path towards continued prosperity. They make great efforts, as individuals and as a society, to have access to and take advantage of high quality educational opportunities. The numbers of young Chileans continuing to tertiary education has grown continuously for the past four decades, and will most likely continue growing for decades more. The economic, social, and personal benefits of more and better education continue to accrue in Chile, along with the desire to keep expanding and improving the national education system.
  • Overview
    This chapter gives a description of the national context for the review, including the Chilean education system as a whole and how Chile fares in international education comparisons. It describes the tertiary education system, covering such aspects as its purpose and objectives; recent history and development; principal national agencies; types of tertiary institution; the make-up of the student population; access and admission to tertiary education; tertiary curricula; tertiary education and the labour market; the system’s regional role; funding and staffing; quality assurance; governance; internationalisation; and research and development. The chapter concludes by listing the recommendations concerning higher education in OECD’s 2004 review of Chile’s National Education Policies.
  • Achievements and Issues

    This chapter reviews Chile’s recent significant rapid achievements in growing, developing and improving its tertiary education system. It then records a number of issues to be addressed if the Government of Chile is to reach its goal of giving fair and equal chances to its young people to benefit from a high quality, efficient and relevant high education system.

    These issues are discussed from the perspective of different stakeholders and include: deficiencies in secondary education, which prepares many of the students poorly for tertiary education; a highly segmented, expensive tertiary system with excessively long university courses and high drop-out rates, and admission arrangements that perpetuate the inequalities in Chilean society; inadequate financial support for students, especially those from low-income backgrounds or entering technical education; lack of pathways and opportunities for progression between technical tertiary institutions and universities; inadequate study counselling and oldfashioned teaching with insufficient focus on economic needs and employers' expectations; and insufficient information, accountability and transparency. The review team notes the importance of improving the quality assurance system further, focussing research effort better and developing a shared vision and strategic planning at national level.

  • Access and Equity
    There has been strong growth in student enrolment in recent years, and the government aims to see 50% of young people aged 18-24 entering tertiary education by 2012. This chapter considers whether all groups have equal access and opportunities to enter and graduate from the system.
  • Relevance
    This chapter begins by discussing the market for educated labour, the views of the employers about university graduates in Chile and the availability of information for users of the education system. It then reviews the opportunities for progression through different levels and forms of learning: from schools to the work place, from further to higher education and training and across different types of tertiary education institution (CFTs, IPs and Universities). An analysis of the internationalisation of tertiary education in Chile highlights the importance of collaborative ties with foreign partners for improvement of the country’s international competitiveness.
  • Vision, Governance and Management
    This chapter considers the nature and functions of Chilean tertiary institutions in the light of their history and evolution. It considers a range of issues, including which tertiary institutions should have the authority to award degrees; how the system as a whole is governed; and institutional governance and management, including the different governance models of public and private institutions.
  • Quality
    In this chapter, recent quality reforms including the introduction of institutional and programme accreditation are described. Their impact on institutions, public perception and the quality of teaching and learning is reviewed. Other aspects discussed are the quality of research, the quality of tertiary institutions’ contribution to their communities, the quality of provision on outlying campuses, the uses and misuses of quality information and the quality of teacher training. The chapter concludes with a number of recommendations, covering both the accreditation system and teacher training.
  • Research and Development
    This chapter discusses the importance of research and innovation in Chile. It analyses the growth of research in recent years, and the relative contributions of government and the private sector to research spending and research performance. It considers research in higher education: which institutions carry it out, its impact, strengths and weaknesses, and how university research might be developed. The chapter also looks at research funding and funding trends; at the research policy framework; at ensuring longer-term support for centres of excellence or regional centres; and at international research co-operation.
  • Financing
    This chapter examines the availability of financial resources for tertiary education and the impact of the innovative financing reforms that Chile has implemented in recent years. Financing is discussed from aspects such as resource mobilisation, utilisation and allocation. The equity of the financing system, particularly as regards funding for disadvantaged students, has already been considered in Chapter 3.
  • Information, Transparency and Accountability
  • Conclusions and Recommendations
    This chapter begins with a brief summary of the findings and recommendations of the Presidential Advisory Council on Higher Education, noting a wide measure of agreement between the Council’s report and that of the review team. Then the chapter sets out the review team’s own conclusions and recommendations on each aspect of tertiary education.
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