Magazine article Foreign Affairs

At a Crossroads: Higher Education in Latin America and the Caribbean

Magazine article Foreign Affairs

At a Crossroads: Higher Education in Latin America and the Caribbean

Article excerpt

Western Hemisphere At a Crossroads: Higher Education in Latin America and the Caribbean BY MARÍA MARTA FERREYRA, CIRO AVITABILE, JAVIER BOTERO ÁLVAREZ, FRANCISCO HAIMOVICH PAZ, AND SERGIO URZÚA. World Bank, 2017, 298 pp.

Many Latin American countries took advantage of the economic boom that began at the beginning of this century to dramatically expand their institutions of higher education. In the past 17 years, this illuminating World Bank report reveals, some 2,300 new schools have opened, mostly in the private sector, offering 30,000 new programs. Across the region, average higher-education enrollment rates jumped from 21 percent in 2000 to 43 percent in 2013. Impressively, access for low- and middle-income students grew even more rapidly. Owing to the increased presence of lower-income students at colleges and universities, public spending on higher education is now skewed toward the disadvantaged-a reversal of previous distributions, which disproportionately benefited better-offfamilies. …

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