CGHE Webinar 197

What’s Spanish for development? Chilean higher education at an impasse

Date: Thursday, 18 March 2021 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm
Location: CGHE webinar
Speaker(s):
  • José M Salazar, Universidad de Valparaíso
  • Pete Leihy
  • Elisabeth Simbürger, Universidad de Valparaíso

Event Materials

This event is now archived and we are pleased to provide the following event media and assets, along with the original event overview.

The term development becomes harder to define (much less ably translate) the more dearly it is held as a preoccupation. Chile is perhaps the most apt pupil that international advisory and assistance organisations have ever had, and yet public policy’s grip on development seems to have slipped. From the end of the 1980s, Chilean higher education grew and diversified, indeed at the same time that compulsory schooling was being extended more widely. This webinar comprises twin presentations: firstly, an historical overview of phases in Chilean higher education policy and growth dating back to the middle of last century, and then a reconsideration of past and current conditions in terms of notions of ‘development’ in international and local rhetoric.

Chile’s last fifteen years have seen widespread dissatisfaction and protest against an education system whose expansion has been held together by fees, subsidies and student debt. Economic stagnation has been in evidence since the mid 2010s, but frustrations boiled over in October 2019, when vandalism and looting damaged city centres and protests called for the heads of politicians of all stripes. Public opinion soundings appreciate the popular call for a new constitution written by elected non-politicians (oxymoronic though the thought) instead of conservative brains trusts like the previous ones. Covid-19 has deepened the misery, although a plebiscite committing to the drafting of a new constitution has passed. Chileans are angry, and tired, and despite far more formal education than ever, apparently short on the civil discourse to address their differences.

Speakers
Jose Salazar, Universidad de Valparaíso
Pete Leihy

Discussant
Elisabeth Simbürger, Universidad de Valparaíso

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