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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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Strategic Issues

The purpose of this chapter is to discuss the ability of Chile’s human capital formation system to build capacity and foster innovation, and recommend ways in which BCP can further complement it. The labour market in Chile is short of high quality graduates, and it is likely that demand for higher education will further increase. This will require enlargement and diversification of programmes and portfolio of the Chilean Universities while raising quality, and coping with challenges related to the ageing of academic staff, lack of incentives for improving the quality of teaching, low academic staff levels, etc. The chapter recommends addressing the quality demand through the introduction of BCP sub-programmes for visiting professors, for attracting foreign students, and for training of personnel from enterprises. Particular attention should be given to the challenge of attracting and reinserting scholarship recipient graduates into the country. The chapter offers recommendations and looks at the strategies similar programmes in other countries have used to address the issue.

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