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Chile's International Scholarship Programme

image of Chile's International Scholarship Programme

Chile has long considered education as a central priority and as key for its economic development. Over the past two decades the country has made great strides to increase the numbers of young people entering tertiary education. In 2008 Chile embarked on a bold initiative to develop its human capital with a scholarship abroad scheme – the Becas Chile Programme – which aims to train 30 000 outstanding students including teachers and technicians in institutions of their choice around the world.

This joint OECD and World Bank report gives an overview of human capital development in Chile; describes features of the Becas Chile Programme; analyses the strategic and operational issues; and recommends ways to maintain and fine-tune the scholarship abroad scheme. This report will be useful for both Chilean education professionals and their international counterparts.

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Programme Features

The purpose of this chapter is to present an overview of the functioning of the Becas Chile Programme, explain its origin and main provisions, compare its main features with current international practices, and describe and assess its key statistics, design principles and application evaluation process. The chapter discusses how much human capital the country should produce in order to catch up with a peer group of countries. It is likely that the amount of scholarships provided per student – three to seven times higher than in the countries used for comparison in this chapter – will serve well the need of Chile to expand its base of qualified human resources. Compared to previous programmes, BCP is a big step forward by being more responsive to the needs and choices of students, taking better account of Chile’s varying socio-economic circumstances, and being administratively transparent and innovative. Nevertheless, there is room for improvement: BCP has an age bias towards younger students and gives little weight to national priorities in the assessment of applicants for scholarships.

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