What if Private Higher Education Growth Becomes an Issue? The Cases of Chile and Mexico

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Over the last 30 years, Chile and Mexico have been implementing neoliberal policies to reform their higher education systems. This report compares the development and impact of those policies within three main areas in both countries, namely: (1) trends and characteristics of the growing private higher education sector, (2) commercialisation and business-like trends that private academia is experiencing and, finally, (3) it discusses how all this has created tensioning situations with assessment and accrediting agencies to ensure quality in their private higher education systems. This study shows that private higher education is facing the following challenges in both nations: (1) an uncritical implementation of neoliberal policies, (2) that there is a very unregulated legislation that has allowed many private institutions to profit within loopholes in the law, (3) that quality has become a central concern and some of the mechanisms applied to correct it have not been effective, showing a lack of a comprehensive system of quality assessment, and (4) that enrollment has grown but with several mismatches that challenge the initial goal of advancing economic development through human resources capacities. Alternative policies are discussed.

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Compare: A Journal of Comparative and International Education



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