Higher education policies in Chile

Image: Andrea Vera Sasso


Functioning, organization and models of higher education in Chile from traditional universities and military intervention to this day


The first universities in Chile were created during the colonial period, first by religious orders and then by the King of Spain (Figure 1). Universities of this period were “associations – corporation, collegiate body – of students and graduates dedicated to the teaching and learning of liberal knowledge” (González González 2017a p. 41). The five predominant faculties in the period were arts or philosophy, civil law or laws, ecclesiastical or canon law, theology and medicine.

Real universities, like University of San Felipe, had greater institutional weight and did not recognize any external authority other than the King. Their governance was exercised by the cloisters, formed by doctors, who elected their rector and professors. Furthermore, they enjoyed their own jurisdiction, exercised by the rector and, mainly, they had the royal license to offer bachelor's, licentiate's and doctor's degrees in the faculties already mentioned. With the emergence of real universities, those maintained by religious orders could continue to function, but without their university status (Idem).

Figure 1 – Chilean colonial universities

 Del RosarioSan MiguelSan Felipe
CitySantiago de ChileSantiago de ChileSantiago de Chile
Work location:Rosary ConventSan Miguel School 
GovernmentOrder of Santo DomingoSociety of JesusCrown/cloister
Royal ballot06/09/1624??/02/162228/07/1738
Source: Adapted from GONZÁLES GONZÁLES, Enrique (2017a)

In 1813, during Chile's independence movements, the National Institute was created, which brought together all the country's educational institutions, including the Universidad de San Felipe. Without its autonomy, the university operated for a few years and was definitively closed in 1842 (González González 2017b).

“Traditional Chilean” Universities

The Universidad de Chile was created in 1843, still under the influence of cadres from the extinct University of San Felipe, but also supported by the government, concerned with the consolidation of a national and modern state. It was created as a public and secular institution that for 46 years remained the only university in Chile, with power, influence and solid reputation. In 1888, the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile, as a reaction by the Catholic Church to the secularist movement present in the country from the second half of the 2017th century (Moraga Valle, Fabio, XNUMX).

Throughout the 2th century, six other universities were created, which together form the basic institutional core of higher education in Chile (Figure XNUMX).

Figure 2 – “Traditional” Chilean universities

Founded inUniversity
1842Universidad de Chile
1888Pontifical Catholic University of Chile
1919Universidad de Concepción
1928Pontifical Catholic University of Valparaíso
1931Frederico Santa Maria Technical University
1947State Technical University (University of Santiago)
1954Universidad Austral de Chile
1956Northern Catholic University
Source: CRUZ-COKE M, Ricardo (2004).

They are identified as “traditional universities”, as they were created by law, before the 1973 military coup, financed by the State, non-profit and practically free. For more than a century, the Universidad de Chile was the only public university in the country, when in 1947 the Universidad Técnica del Estado, today the Universidad de Santiago, was created.

The expansion of universities occurred not only in the number of institutions, but also in their headquarters located in various regions of the country, with a greater number in the two public institutions.

According to Brunner (2009), the development of this nucleus of universities had as its main characteristics low inter-institutional differentiation, high intra-institutional differentiation, clearly professional orientation of the teaching offered, coordination exercised by institutional hierarchies and the market of student demands, in addition to a slow expansion with endogenously generated modernization.

One of the reasons for the low interinstitutional differentiation was the need for participation or authorization from the State and its commitment to public financing for all institutions, including private ones. This is explained by the conception of higher education as a right for everyone, with the State having the duty to guarantee access through institutions. Enrollment rates for the 20-24 age group were 1,4% in 1935, 2% in 1946, and 3,5% in 1957. Enrollment totaled 6.283, 9.948, and 20.440, respectively, on the same dates.

Intra-institutional differentiation was due to the number of offices, careers, titles and enrollments offered. Demands for increased vacancies or greater coverage in the provinces were accommodated internally by the basic core of the institutions. Thus, universities expanded with the creation of regional headquarters, becoming increasingly larger.

Basic core universities did not compete with each other for funding, either for teachers or students. The geographic, social and ideological characteristics allowed the differentiation of the work carried out by each institution.

In 1954, the “Council of Rectors of Chilean Universities (CRUE)”, with the aim of promoting greater interaction between universities, generating information about their activities and producing the annual technological research plan. It is worth remembering that research and postgraduate studies were incipient during this period.

Between 1967 and 1973 a university reform took place, first as a student movement and then also among teachers. The demands were for changes in the hierarchical relationships between students and teachers, with greater participation of the former in decision-making bodies; changes in the social order of curricula and greater focus on university extension in the fight against poverty, economic and cultural growth of the neediest population. Among the teachers' agenda, themes related to the professionalization of the academic career stand out, where chairs predominated and there was no exclusive dedication to teaching; and the creation of a professional base for carrying out research at universities.

According to Brunner (2009), the role of the State did not change in this reform and the autonomous character of universities was enshrined in the Constitution (article 10, no. 7), modified by Law 17398, promulgated on December 30, 1970 and published on 9 January 1971[I]"State universities and private universities recognized by the state are legal persons endowed with academic, administrative and economic autonomy. It is up to the state to provide its adequate financing so that it can fulfill its functions fully, in accordance with the educational, scientific and cultural requirements of the country".

"Access to universities will depend exclusively on the suitability of the applicants, who must be graduates of media education or have equivalent studies, which allow them to fulfill objective academic requirements. The admission and promotion of professors and researchers to the academic career will be based on their capacity and aptitudes. The academic staff is free to develop materials according to their ideas, within the scope of offering their students the necessary information on diverse and discrepant principles. University students have the right to express their own ideas and choose, whenever possible, the teaching and titling of the teachers they prefer."

Another important achievement was the creation of the “National Commission for Scientific and Technological Research (CONYCYT)”, which took over the national coordination role previously exercised by CRUE. The more intense participation of professors in research activities became possible thanks to the development of an academic career with salary guarantees and greater time dedicated to teaching and research.

In relation to enrollments, there was a growth of more than 100% between 1957 and 1967, going from 20.000 to 55.653 respectively. In 1973, the number of students enrolled was approximately 145 thousand, of which 16,8% were young people between 20 and 24 years old and 60% were men. Enrollment at the two public universities represented 67,4% and the other 6 private universities had 32%. (Rifo Melo, 6).

Chilean higher education has developed over more than 100 years with two public and six private universities, all created by law, maintained by the State and practically free. Access to higher education was a right guaranteed by the Constitution and a duty of the State in maintaining institutions. Questions about geographic coverage and student access have always been challenges faced by the eight traditional universities. Its public character and the welfare state guided Chilean higher education policies until 1973.

With the military coup, on September 11, 1973, General Augusto Pinochet took power, which he only removed in 1990. During this period he brought together several military collaborators, both active and retired, as well as civilians sympathetic to the new regime, who were placed in government command posts and in other strategic positions, such as universities.

With this, the implementation of a socio-economic model began “Inspired by the theories of Milton Friedman, Friedrich von Hayek and other pronouns of ultra-market monetarism, it generated a radical change that disrupted organizations and institutions in all sectors. In a very particular way I am affected by higher education. But this was not a casual situation, but one that responded to ideas and actions that were imposed under the domain of power with an ideological support and a strategic sense” (Mönckeberg and Flores, 2023).

The various changes imposed by the military dictatorship mainly targeted social rights, such as health, social security and education, and were called “modernizations” by their creators. The various groups responsible for these “modernizations” met in “public” meetings, but also in secret meetings, the documents of which were made public after the end of the dictatorship.

The intervention of the military dictatorship in higher education was an almost immediate seizure of power. On October 2, 1973, Decree No. 50 was promulgated, which revoked the mandate of all elected rectors and replaced them with dean-delegates, active or retired military personnel.

Between 1973 and 1975, the authoritarian government imposed strong repression on universities with the aim of eliminating Marxist theories and their sympathizers from the academic environment.

Another notable aspect is the attack on public service and the defense of what was private. Rifo Melo (2017) refers to the statements of a military man and a civilian linked to the dictatorial government and which illustrate the spirit of the time: “Financing, through the proportional contribution of all, the educational task, in order to contribute to the establishment of a democratic society in which the election of the type, institution or medium of education or the extension of this, are not conditioned by socio-economic factors of the student” (Rear Admiral Luis Niemann).

"On the other hand, the low private cost of university education leads to the proliferation of “professional students, political agitators, etc… That tend to occupy the few existing plazas…. All these problems are caused, in part, by the subsidy given to university education, which is not socially justified in the majority of cases, as from the private point of view (student) the investment to acquire higher education gives a very high economic return” (Miguel Kast – economist – Oficina de Planificación Nacional).

In 1976, on February 13, the National Public Statute of Chilean Universities was published in the official gazette, which strengthened the coordinating role of the Ministry of Education in relation to higher education, a role exercised by the CRUE since its creation.

On September 13, 1976, Institutional Act no. 3, which subjects the constitutional guarantees and rights enshrined in the 1925 Constitution to review and revocation. The State fulfills a central role in the creation and development of Education at all levels and, as already mentioned, university autonomy is contained in article 10 of the Constitution.

In 1977 the National Planning Office, created in 1967, publishes a document in which it presents the State's intention to maintain free basic school, partially secondary school and eliminate it from higher education.

Between December 12, 1980 and February 5, 1981, 5 decrees were promulgated establishing new rules for the configuration and functioning of Chilean higher education: Decree Law No. 3.541, of December 12, 1980, the “Ley General of Universities”, which enshrines the role of the Ministry of Education in coordinating universities; Decree Law No. 1, of December 30, 1980, which sets the rules for the creation of private universities as non-profit corporations; another Decree with the Force of Law (DFL) regulated the creation of professional institutes (IP) and technical training centers with permission to profit, that is, Decree Law No. 3, of December 30, 1980, which specifically deals with remunerations in universities and which establishes that teachers will have different salaries according to their performance; Decree Law No. 4 of January 14, 1981, which establishes new forms of financing and the reduction in the transfer of direct resources; and Decree Law No. 5, of February 5, 1981, which sets the standards for professional institutes (Rifo Melo, 2017).

Among the justifications for the reforms, the irrational and inorganic growth of the system, the monopoly and uncontrolled nature of the university system, and gratuitousness as socially regressive stand out, whose synthesis concept is the “gigantism” of Universities. Reference was also made to the ungovernability of institutions due to their size, dispersion and political strength of local leaders (professors and college directors), which was already observed before 1964, according to Brunner (2009).

With this understanding, the government of Augusto Pinochet published Decree with the Force of Law No. 2, of December 30, 1980,

Sole article.- Within 90 days counting from the publication of this law, the Rectors of the current universities will propose to the President of the Republic a program of restructuring their respective corporations so that each one of them has a number student rationale that allows them to adequately fulfill their own purposes.

For the purposes indicated in the previous section, this proposition should be consulted, if applicable, in the division of currently existing universities.

Universities or other entities that derive from the consequent division cannot make reference in their name to an existing university.

The division proposal must contain, in any case, the statutes of universities and other entities that derive from them, their legal regime and the necessary measures to not interrupt the studies of enrolled students.

The economic crisis that took place in Chile in the early 1980s delayed ongoing reforms. Thus, the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund provided the Pinochet government with financial resources that guaranteed the stabilization of the economy, with the commitment to implement fiscal austerity measures, including budget cuts for public entities and the continuity of self-financing policies for educational institutions. higher.

Tabela 1 – General classification of Chilean universities

derivative14 31728,3
Lay 23 2338,3
Confessional  7711,0
Accreditation 5 58,3
Subtotal 2873558,3
%26,651,421,7 100
Source: CRUZ-COKE M, Ricardo (2004)

What occurred in the following years was a 28% drop in public spending on education between 1982 and 1990, with general public spending falling by just 9% in the same period (RIFO MELO, 2017). All the laws and decrees mentioned were gathered in the “Constitutional Organic Law of Enseñanza (LOCE)” promulgated by Pinochet one day before handing over the government, on March 10, 1990. With the amendment of the constitution and promulgation of the LOCE, a legal environment was created that was very difficult to change without the support of the majority of the country's politicians. Thus, in the following years there was an increase in the number of private institutions and the Chilean higher education market.

Functioning, organization and models of higher education in Chile

Law No. 21.091/2017 currently regulates the Higher Education System in Chile. Through this document, the Subsecretariat and the Superintendency of Higher Education were created, linked to the Ministry of Education, which determine the functions of Higher Education and its responsibilities. In article 2 of the law, the principles that govern and inspire higher education are listed, such as autonomy, quality, cooperation and collaboration, diversity and institutional educational projects, inclusion, academic freedom, participation, relevance, respect and promotion of human rights, transparency, training trajectories and articulation, access to knowledge and civic commitment (Chile, 2017).

This document establishes free higher education in Chile, as described in article 1 of Law No. 21.091/2017: “Higher education is a right, the provision of which must be available to all people, according to their capabilities and merits, without arbitrary discrimination, so that they can develop their talents; Likewise, it must serve the general interest of society and is exercised in accordance with the Constitution, law and international treaties ratified by Chile and in force” (Chile, 2017, p. 2).

The Ministry of Education, through the Subsecretariat for Higher Education, is responsible for proposing policies to compose the system. The system operates on mixed provision, covering public and private institutions. For private higher education institutions, Law No. 21.091/2017 determines that they operate without the purpose of profit and even classifies the action as a very serious infraction, subject to legal and criminal penalties. In its article 65, it describes that “higher education institutions organized as non-profit legal entities under private law have the obligation to allocate their resources and reinvest the surpluses or profits they generate, as the case may be, in achieving the purposes for which they have their own rights, in accordance with the law and their statutes, and in improving the quality of the education they provide, without prejudice to the acts, contracts, investments or other operations they carry out for the conservation and valorization of their heritage” (CHILE, 2017, article 65, p. 20).


Higher education is made up of two subsystems: university and professional technical. The university subsystem is made up of state universities created by law, non-state universities belonging to the Council of Rectors and private universities recognized by the State. The professional technical subsystem is made up of state technical training centers, professional institutes and private technical training centers recognized by the State.

Four types of higher education institutions in Chile are described: the Technical Training Centers (CFT) which offer 2-year courses and issue the title of higher-level technician. Professional Institutes (IP), on the other hand, can issue higher-level technical titles and professional titles in professions that do not require an academic degree. Universities (U), in turn, can issue all professional titles and academic degrees of bachelor's, master's and doctorate degrees. Finally, more recently, Higher Education Institutions of the Armed Forces and Order were created, which can deliver academic titles and degrees through their educational institutions, being part of higher education institutions.

In Chile's higher education system, students can choose to pursue higher-level technical education, lasting 2 to 4 years, or enter a university. In this case, the options are a bachelor's degree, which has an emphasis on a specific area of ​​science and allows you to continue with professional studies. The initial cycle of studies can be completed after two years of studies. Another option is to obtain a bachelor's or professional degree, which can be obtained after 4 or 5 years and from which you can pursue an academic career, with specialization, master's and doctorate, as illustrated in Figure 3.

Figure 3 – Structure of the educational system in Chile

Source: Mineducación (2021).

Access to higher education in Chile

Until 2020, access to higher education occurred through the University Selection Test (PSU), administered by the Ministry of Education, with preparation, coordination and correction carried out by the Universidad de Chile, a reference for higher education in the country. In this system, secondary school grades were also taken into account in the exam results, being named Notas de Enseñanza Media (NEM).

The University Selection Test consisted of two mandatory mathematics and language exams, in addition to specific tests, which could be chemistry, physics, biology, history, etc., depending on which career the student wished to pursue. Each university gives different weights to the results of the various exams.

In March 2022, an agreement was signed by the Technical Commission for Access to Higher Education so that admissions corresponding to 2021 and 2022 included the application of Transitional Access Tests to replace the University Selection Test. The new system includes a Mandatory Test of Reading Skills, Mathematical Skills, in addition to elective tests in Science, History and Social Sciences (Mineducación, 2021). As we will see later, entry into higher education presents important socio-educational and socioeconomic biases.

The Higher Education Information Service (SIES), linked to the Subsecretariat of Higher Education, published a table with information on enrollments for this level of education for the year 2022. The document shows the maintenance of the trend in the number of enrollments in recent years , with a predominance of undergraduate (pregraduate), followed by postgraduate (postgraduate and postgraduate), as indicated in Table 2.

Tabela 2 – Evolution of enrollments by training level (2018-2022)

Source: SIES (2022).

Regarding the evolution of enrollments by type of institution (2018-2022) in undergraduate courses, it is worth observing Table 3, which shows that admissions to universities remain, over time, in a greater proportion than enrollments in professional institutes (IP), followed by Technical Training Centers (CFT).

Tabela 3 – Evolution of enrollments by type of institution (2018-2022)

Source: SIES (2022).

It is also important to point out that the evolution of enrollments by gender (2018-2022) shows a trend that continues, with the majority of women enrolling in higher education. In 2022 this total reached 53,8%, while the number of men reached a percentage of 46,2%, as shown in Table 4.

Tabela 4 – Evolution of enrollments by total gender (2018-2022)

Source: SIES (2022).

Other interesting data show the areas of knowledge involved in enrollment and at the undergraduate level. The areas that predominated for the year 2022 are technologies (25,9%), followed by health (19,6%) and administration and commerce (18,8%). The last two, health and administration and commerce, reversed the quantitative order of enrollments from 2021 onwards, as shown in Table 5.

Tabela 5 – Evolution of enrollments by area of ​​knowledge (2018-2022)

Source: SIES (2022).

Control and evaluation of the quality of education

Between 1998 and 1999, the MECESUP1 Program was established through international loans, which established objectives for higher education based on requirements from the World Bank. The program aimed to improve the quality of tertiary education, making the educational system more competitive (Universidad de Chile, 2023).

Through this program, financing for higher education went from a resource allocation system based on historical criteria, without public accountability, to a new allocation scenario based on results (performance indicators), which allowed the allocation of competitions for a Competitive Fund (CF) (Universidad de Chile, 2023).

Some of the results were academic and infrastructure improvements in higher education institutions: improving the quality and relevance of programs; establishment of an accreditation project to verify the quality of teaching at higher education institutions and their undergraduate and postgraduate offerings; strengthening institutional management capacity, reinforcing the quality and relevance of higher education programs and the qualification of teachers; expanding access to higher education for students from low-income sectors and improving the accountability of public financing (Universidad de Chile, 2023).

Due to the positive results, the program was extended, and Mecesup 2 (2005-2011) was established, in order to increase the effectiveness of public financing for higher education, improving the coherence, responsiveness, equity and quality of the system. From 2013 onwards, the program continued with Mecesup 3, which aimed to improve the quality and relevance of higher education through the expansion of the results-based financing system. It intended to make results-based financing a standard feature of the financing system for Chilean HEIs (UNIVERSIDAD DE CHILE, 2023).

Higher education financing models

The country built a system of free public education maintained by the State, which persisted throughout the dictatorial period. Until the 1980s, Chile had two public universities and six private universities (GORGULHO, G., 2012). The change was generated during the military dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet, which established mechanisms for the creation of new private universities using private financing. According to the literature, the primacy of public institutions meant 65% of enrollments, while the remaining private institutions received public funding.

Chile was the first country in Latin America to charge monthly fees at public higher education institutions. With the reform generated by General Pinochet, the decentralization of financing and administration of schools and universities began, with the privatized education model prevailing. It is worth mentioning that since primary education, this privatization movement has been observed, with municipal authorities receiving the implementation of the per-student subsidy system, known as vouchers. This system allowed parents to choose where they should enroll their children.

According to a 2015 study by the World Economic Forum, higher education in Chile was considered one of the most expensive in the world, ranking fourth when taking into account the per capita income of families. According to the Chilean Ministry of Education,[ii] There are two models of offering financing: one, with the direct participation of the State in financing, providing resources to universities directly and the other, indirectly, providing links with banking institutions.

The first model is the oldest, with resources historically allocated to the Council of Rectors of Chilean Universities (CRUCH), which had financial autonomy. The second is an indirect financing model, in which the number of enrollments and points in the University selection ranking (PSU) are considered. This contribution is intermediated by financial institutions.

Figure 4 – Financing offer models

Direct Fiscal Contribution (AFD)Indirect Tax Contribution (AFI)
Received by universities from the Council of Rectors of Chilean Universities (CRUCH) – independent entity (1954) The State historically financed universities, both state and private.Received by higher education institutions, based on the number of enrollments at the institution and the points recorded in the University Selection Test (PSU), the Chilean entrance exam.  

In this way, the indirect model was institutionalized in 2005 as a form of credit guaranteed by the State. This financial device made social ills even more intense, with the blatant charging of interest rates on bank financing.

Higher education assessment

Talking about financing Chilean higher education is dealing directly with selection filters, as it is the scores in the university selection system (PSU) that are considered when enrolling and choosing institutions. The larger the University, the higher the level of score requirements for students to enter the Institution. Just like selection, the academic aptitude test, known as “Academic Aptitude Test – PAA” is prepared by the Rectors’ councils.

This relationship is a mechanism of social inequality. According to the 2018 Education Inequalities Map,[iii] around 43% of students from low-income families, that is, with an average monthly income of less than 550 dollars, obtained the lowest grades on the test, around 450 points. When looking at the other extreme, only 4,1% of students from wealthy families, with an income of more than 2,5 dollars, managed to achieve scores above 700 points, that is, 70% correct on the test. The study showed that only 0,2% of the poorest achieved the top grades.

Due to inconsistencies in the university selection system, the Chilean State suffered protests from high school students and a large part of the population. Known as the Penguin Revolution, which began in 2006, it consisted of school occupations, demanding improvements in education and structural changes in the country. The peculiar name referred to the uniform of the high school students, who became a mobilizing group. Among the main demands were: (i) Derogation of the 'Ley Orgánica Constitucional de Enseñanza (LOCE); (ii) End of municipalization of education; (iii) Free University Selection Test; (iv) Free school pass.

The great social mobilization put pressure on the government and one of the results of the “Penguin Revolt” was the Higher Education Law of 2009. This law guaranteed a gradual extension of the right to free higher education, with the increase in free education to 60% of the poorest population in Chile. In her second term, Michelle Bachelet (2014-2018) allowed poorer young people to access university studies for free. A competent body was created for the function of accreditation and implementation of the free law, under the responsibility of the Superintendency of Higher Education, within the Chilean Ministry of Education.

Figure 5 – Organizational chart of the Chilean Ministry of Education

Superintendency of Higher EducationInspect and accreditation
Gratuity Law

Finally, one of the demands led to the creation of a national system for evaluating the quality of higher education (including CFT, IP and universities) under the responsibility of “National Accreditation Commission” (CNA-Chile), decreed in LAW No. 20.129 of 2006.

Permanence policies in Higher Education in Chile

As presented so far, the higher education system in Chile has many peculiarities, given its genesis and development in the context of the dictatorship. The issue of permanence is directly linked to the conditions that the student has to fully experience the university space and develop their full intellectual potential within it. Permanence policies have a wider scope, including aspects related to different forms of full integration into the university, such as scientific initiation and teaching programs, monitoring, support for participation in events, among other activities (Vargas and Honorato, 2014, p.06).

What we understand by student assistance is linked to enabling the student to literally survive during the university phase, to remain and graduate satisfactorily. In this way, assistance actions are aimed at those who are experiencing vulnerable situations, whether economic, social or psychological. To date, permanence in higher education in Chile is not included in any national design or conception as a right or even as some type of welfare practice on the part of the government. The main legal documents that cover education are not specific on the topic of permanence in higher education (Vargas and Heringer, 2017).

Below we highlight the main permanence policies adopted autonomously by each university and the students' views on them, based on Law 20.845/2015, called the Inclusion Law, which amended articles of the General Education Law (Law 20.370/2009 ), in order to increase the list of principles that guide education in Chile, ensuring that it will be offered under a social right regime and not a market regime, with equitable access, free of charge and increased resources.

In Chile, around 30 to 40% of higher education students drop out in the first two years (Donoso, Donoso & Frites C., 2013). A variety of programs should be highlighted, which include academic support, strengthening indigenous culture and creating support networks, namely:

PACE – Monitoring and Effective Access to Higher Education Program, for students who are at high risk of leaving the education system. It applies to high school students before entering university and after entering, offering academic leveling activities and psychosocial support;

JUNAEB – National Board of School Aid and Scholarships, offering food services, physical and mental health, transportation, volunteer work;

Academic support programs (leveling courses): remedial or leveling system, to correct deficiencies in students' early years. In some institutions, such programs take the form of special internships, extraordinary classes, remedial courses, special tutoring carried out by senior students, lectures on study methods and time use, computing and communication workshops, study techniques, reading techniques speed, public speaking workshops, among others;

Economic and social support programs: food grants, transportation, hiring students for sporadic jobs, especially in Teaching and Pedagogy;

Integration and motivation programs: innovation in teaching and learning methodologies, in order to increase their effectiveness and greater student motivation, medical and psychological support programs, integration and motivation programs, proposition of extracurricular activities, such as sport and the culture;

Support Program for University Adaptation – Universidade da Fronteira (UFRO), which is located in a region with one of the lowest human development indices in the country, serving a multicultural society, with students of high socioeconomic vulnerability and a significant presence of students with ancestry Mapuche;

Rüpü program (path in Mapudungun) of academic support for Mapuche students. We consider it important to highlight it due to its academic, sociopolitical and pedagogical consistency. The project develops academic and cultural support strategies that help increase expectations of academic success and reinforce the identity of these students. In the sociocultural area, it offers workshops on socio-affective development, interpersonal relationships, self-esteem, Mapuche language and culture (Navarrete, Candia & Puchi, 2013);

The University of Bío-Bío (UBB), located in the central region of the country, mainly offers technical careers at its headquarters in Concepción. At the Chillán headquarters there is a mix of careers in Pedagogy, Psychology, Engineering and Psychology;

Kuykuytun Program (crossing a bridge, in Mapudungun), created in 2008, aims to develop respect, recognition and acceptance of cultural diversity, through intercultural actions that aim to rescue the values ​​of the different sociocultural and territorial identities of University students. The program is based on the application of knowledge leveling courses, academic support, strengthening indigenous culture, development of specialized information systems, diagnostic activities and generation of support networks.

However, what is fundamental to the success of any public policy is its degree of visibility for recipients and their participation in decision-making processes. Research carried out by the Chilean Observatory of Educational Policies in 2016 shows that young people often declare that they do not have information about the benefits of support programs, causing the problem of dropout to persist.

*André Serradas He is studying for a master's degree in Information Sciences at the School of Communications and Arts at USP.

*Juliane B. da Silva is a PhD student in Education at the Faculty of Education at USP.

*Lucas Lima de Andrade is studying for a master's degree in Education at the Faculty of Education at USP.

*Sandy SGOliveira is a master's student in Education at the Faculty of Education at USP.

*Afranio Catani is a retired senior professor at the Faculty of Education at USP. He is currently a visiting professor at the Faculty of Education at UERJ, Duque de Caxias campus..


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[I] The full text of Law 17398 can be consulted at the National Library of Chile at the following website: Ley Chile – Ley 17398 – Biblioteca del Congreso Nacional (bcn.cl).

[ii] View at: https://portal.beneficiosestudiantiles.cl/becas/creditos-de-educacion-superior

[iii]View at: https://goodneighbors.cl/desigualdad-educativa/.

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