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

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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.

English Also available in: Spanish

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.


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