What if privatising higher education becomes an issue? The case of Chile and Mexico

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Publication Date

January 2016


Over the last 30 years, Chile and Mexico have been implementing neoliberalpolicies to reform their higher education systems. This reportcompares the development and impact of those policies within threemain areas in both countries, namely: (1) trends and characteristics ofthe growing private higher education sector, (2) commercialisation andbusiness-like trends that private academia is experiencing and, finally,(3) it discusses how all this has created tensioning situations withassessment and accrediting agencies to ensure quality in their privatehigher education systems. This study shows that private higher educationis facing the following challenges in both nations: (1) an uncriticalimplementation of neoliberal policies, (2) that there is a very unregulatedlegislation that has allowed many private institutions to profitwithin loopholes in the law, (3) that quality has become a central concernand some of the mechanisms applied to correct it have not beeneffective, showing a lack of a comprehensive system of quality assessment,and (4) that enrolment has grown but with several mismatchesthat challenge the initial goal of advancing economic developmentthrough human resources capacities. Alternative policies are discussed.

Journal Title

Compare: A Journal of Comparative and International Education





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