A vote on whether or not Chile will adopt a radically new constitution with a bold promise of higher education reform is called for, as important polls draw closer and closer to the knife.
Public universities will be free as part of a broader change in the system, which currently boasts some of the highest education rates in South America.
A draft of the document was finalized by a constitutional assembly outside the formal political framework, but its success was seen as linked to the fate of the new president, Gabriel Boric, one of the leaders of the 2011 student movement who called for the establishment of the Augusto Pinochet dictatorship in the 1980s. Will be broken.
Critics say it is unclear how the changes will work in practice or how the costs of the promises will be met, especially since the government has promised to scrap student loans and increase funding for research from the current 0.4 percent of total domestic. 1 percent of the product.
Andres Bernasconi, professor of education at the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, says that even if the public supports the document in the Sept. 4 referendum, something that was not certain, its sections on higher education will probably remain an “expression of aspiration.” More legislation could be passed at least three to four years in advance.
The mainstream commitment to free higher education in public universities, regardless of a student’s family income, is unclear about the future of the country’s large private university sector, whose financing and fee structure will be left to law to define.
Under Gratuity The program set by Michelle Bachelet, Chile’s last leftist leader, says the government pays tuition fees to the poorest 60 percent of society, whether they join government or non-government organizations, and it is unclear what elements of the system will be maintained.
Other proposed changes include a commitment to establish at least one public university in each region of the country and a new state funding system under which funds will be distributed to institutions through block grants rather than on the basis of enrolled students.
Maria Veronica Santelises, associate professor of education at the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, said that if passed, the constitution would hold the concept of education as a right and give public institutions a stronger role than they have enjoyed in the last 30 years. The expansion of Chile’s higher education sector was largely left to the private sector.
But according to Carolina Guzman Valenzuela, a professor of higher education, the standards of public universities are vast, with many of Chile’s highly prestigious and selective universities, and many inferior institutions from the University of Santiago, Chile, which have been underfunded for many years. At Tarapaka University.
He said that in the face of a choice, many potential students who could not be admitted to the best public institution may decide that it is better to be admitted to a private university with a good reputation even if they have to pay a fee.
Bernasconi said Boric spoke of expanding the public system, which currently accounts for only 16 percent of student enrollment, but warned that in the long run it would be politically difficult “because the demands of students and families in the private sector will be too strong. Ignore.”
“In the short term, changing the student-to-student ratio in any system will require you to have enough students to choose from public to private so that it makes sense,” he added.
Bernasconi said private universities বিশেষ especially older institutions built before the Pinocchio era-objected to the proposal.
“They say we are basically a public university, regardless of our legal nature and the personal nature of our charter; We have been working as a public institution for many years. The Constitutional Convention ignores the contribution we have made to the welfare of the people, ”he said.
Kenneth Roberts, a professor of government and an expert on Latin American politics at Cornell University, says constitutional changes will face significant opposition from more conservative elements in Chilean society, but polls are likely to narrow as the polling date approaches.
He said Chile, the birthplace of neo-liberalism and an exhibition of private education, was being seen as a key battleground in the region as political change changed again after the election of leftist leaders in Peru, Colombia and Mexico.