University Landscape in Chile

In Chile, as in many Latin American countries, the university landscape has developed rapidly in recent decades – hand in hand with the economic upswing and the growing population. Today there are almost ten times more universities than at the end of the 1970s. Ascending trend.

For this reason, both quality assurance and the accreditation of Chilean universities are still relatively new . However, this does not detract from the quality standards of the universities in Chile, because many German exchange students consider them to be good.

For all those who would like to study abroad in Chile, it makes sense to carefully find out about the diverse university landscape in Chile during the orientation phase.

Types of universities in Chile

After graduating from school, young Chileans now have a wide range of universities to choose from. At around 200 universities , students can acquire a bachelor’s degree, a master’s degree or a licentiate.

The vast majority of Chilean universities are private. There are very few state universities compared to the higher education landscape in Germany or Great Britain. A small part of the universities is also church-sponsored.

Development of the university landscape in Chile

Until 1950 there were only six state-sponsored or church-sponsored universities in Chile. As a result of political and economic upheavals in the Pinochet era, the university system also changed.

In 1981 a comprehensive reform law for the higher education system in Chile was passed. The existing Universidades tradicionales were restructured and a wave of new, mostly private universities was founded. The latter measure in particular served to provide the increased number of students with a study place. Between 1950 and 1980, demand had increased tenfold.

At the same time, two new types of universities were recognized: On the one hand, the so-called vocational institutes , Institutos Profesionales de Educación Superior , which roughly correspond to the universities of applied sciences in Germany. On the other hand, the Centros de Formación Técnia , technical training centers, in which the focus is primarily on practical training.

The types of universities in Chile at a glance

The higher education landscape in Chile today comprises more than 80 universities, 40 Institutos Profesionales, 120 Centros de Formación Técnia and a few other universities. While only around 15,000 students were enrolled at Chilean universities in 1950, the number has now risen to more than a million students .

The individual types of universities have different characteristics, depending on how they were established and sponsored.

Universidades tradicionales

Universidades tradicionales is the name given to 25 universities that are jointly organized in the University Rector’s Council Consejo de Rectores de las Universidades Chilenas ( CRUCH ). The CRUCH consists of 16 Universidades estatales with state sponsorship and nine Universidades particulares with predominantly church sponsorship and is headed by the Chilean Minister of Education. At the Universidades tradicionales there is usually a high standard of research.

Universidades privadas

There are also almost 60 private universities, the Universidades privadas , which are run without state funding. In order to ensure the quality in research and teaching, these must be officially recognized by the Consejo Superior de Educación (CSE) .

For accreditation, a university is checked by the Universidades bajo supervision in the first few years after it was founded . After the CSE has successfully checked the curricula and examination regulations , the private universities become independent Universidades privadas autónomas.

Institutos Profesionales

The 45 private, vocational institutes for higher education, Institutos Profesionales, are also accredited by the Consejo Superior de Educación ( CSE ). Depending on the degree program, these would be classified as a university of applied sciences in Germany, for example.

Centros de Formación Técnica

There are currently around 117 centers for technical vocational training. Although these are assigned to the university sector, they mainly offer vocational programs. They are at least partially comparable with the German vocational academies and vocational schools.

Establecimientos de Educación Superior de las Fuerzas Armadas y de Orden

Other institutes in the higher education landscape in Chile are the Establecimientos de Educación Superior de las Fuerzas Armadas y de Orden . The educational organizations were set up in 1998 and are responsible for the training and further education of state armed forces, law enforcement and security forces.

Quality of research and teaching

The concept of quality assurance and accreditation has only existed in Chile for a good two decades . The Education Council, Consejo Superior de Education , has been responsible for the approval of new universities and Institutos Profesionales and for their ongoing quality control since 1990 . The National Accreditation Commission, Comisión Nacional de Acreditación, has also existed since 1999 . This central body accredits new courses at universities.

Internationalization at Chilean universities

There is currently no comprehensive strategy for the internationalization of universities in the Chilean higher education landscape. Due to the growing global demand for options for studying abroad, this is quite conceivable in the coming years.

Financing the universities in Chile

In Chile there is no basic state funding for higher education. Mainly all universities are financed through the tuition fees charged. However, all CRUCH universities receive a state subsidy which covers around a quarter of the costs incurred by these universities.

The state contribution comes from a direct fiscal amount , the Aporte Fiscal directo , AFD , and an indirect subsidy unit, the AFI , Aporte Fiscal indirecto . How high the state subsidy is for a university depends on various criteria, such as university research performance or the ratio of students to teachers.

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