South America Gains Diversity through Privatization

By Dessoff, Alan | International Educator, July/August 2008 | Go to article overview

South America Gains Diversity through Privatization


Dessoff, Alan, International Educator


SHAPED BY RELIGIOUS, POLITICAL, FINANCIAL, and socioeconomic influences and driven today by a growing demand that public institutions are not meeting, private colleges and universities play an increasingly significant role in higher education in South America.

Public universities still are the first choice for many students and their families in the region for reasons ranging from their cost-they are free in most cases-to traditional beliefs that they provide the best educations and generally are held in higher respect.

But with some crumbling of those perceptions, and with the public sector seemingly unable or unwilling in some countries to expand to meet a growing need, the private sector has stepped in, competing for and often winning students more interested in solid preparation for careers in business and the professions than in national traditions.

"There is an increased demand for more capacity in higher education and, in general, private institutions have been more ready to accommodate that demand than public institutions," says Andres Bernasconi, vice rector for research and graduate programs at Universidad Andres Bello in Santiago, Chile.

While most private institutions are accepted as legitimate, questions have been raised about others that appear to some observers to be of dubious academic quality with a principal interest in making profits.

But all have found a place in the region where, despite their national differences, countries share a common interest in satisfying a need to provide more higher education opportunities within their borders.

Forty-five percent of all students enrolled in higher education in South America are in private universities, according to Daniel C. Levy, distinguished professor at the University at Albany, SUNY, and director of the Program for Research on Private Higher Education (PROPHE). It's "not uncommon" in some countries for most students to be enrolled in private universities, he says.

In Brazil, where 90 percent of higher education institutions are private, 74 percent of undergraduates are enrolled in them, according to the last higher education census in 2006.

But there are wide disparities across the region. In Argentina, according to PROPHE, enrollments in the private sector have surged 47 percent in the last ten years and are approaching a quarter of a million. Still, although more than half of all institutions in the university market are private, only 16 percent of students attend them, reports Marcelo Rabossi, a doctoral fellow at Universidad Torcuato di Telia, a private institution in Buenos Aires.

Growth Factors: Religion, Elitism, Career Choices

Levy sees three basic "waves" underlying the growth of private higher education in South America. The first is religion.

In most of South America, the earliest private universities were Catholic, some with roots extending back several centuries. In some countries, like Colombia, the need for more private institutions today stems from a tradition of religious congregations as the first providers of education during Colonial times, says Consuelo Uribe Mallarino, academic dean of the faculty of social sciences at Javeriana University, a Jesuit institution in Bogota that was founded in 1630.

Levy says that as mainstream public universities became more secular, students and families concerned about religion and morals sought institutions where they could be more comfortable. The social and ideological orientation of students and their fami lies still influences the choice of private universities (often Catholic) that many students make.

"Children from conservative families who have gone to upper-stage schools and have been raised in this kind of religious environment choose to go to a university that is similar to it," says Bernasconi. "Some students go straight from confessional schools to universities of the same branch," whether Jesuit, Dominican, or other religion-oriented schools, agrees Mallarino. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

South America Gains Diversity through Privatization
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.