“While universities around the region are having problems with their budgets and red tape, Chilean institutions have continued to progress.” This is the way that specialized newspaper The Chronicle of Higher Education described education in Chile, in a report published last 18 April.
The Chronicle highlights that the Chilean state’s investment on education is by far the largest investment in the education sector ever in the history of a Latin American country, a decision that was based on the idea that the country’s development depends on the quality of its human resources.
This investment was made possible thanks to the country’s excellent economic performance, which has allowed it to allocate funds to education, even in the middle of an economic crisis. In fact, high copper prices, the country’s main export product, opened up the possibility for a surprising initiative: allocating US$ 6 billion to finance postgraduate studies for Chilean professionals abroad.
In addition, Chile has allocated around US$ 10 billion to improve state universities,specifically in the humanities, arts and social sciences, to attract foreign students and professors to the country, the US media outlet explains.
The publication also adds that the country has made the internationalization of its higher education faculties a priority, among which the creation of the Bicentenary Fund for the Development of Human Capital stands out. These funds have allowed over 5,000 students to study at the best universities around the world since May 2008.
The article also highlights the contribution made by former President Michelle Bachelet, who according to the newspaper had stressed the equal footing that Chilean and US universities are on while signing an agreement for joint research with the University of California two years ago.
At the time Bachelet, the first woman in Chilean history to become president, said that: “In contrast to the 1960s or the 1990s, we have not come here to ask for aid. We have come to form an association between Chile and California as part of a new relationship.” the Chronicle cited.