Latin American Universities Embrace Globalized Education
Top universities in Latin America—concentrated mainly in Argentina, Chile, Mexico, Colombia, and Brazil—have poured an increasingly large amount of government funds into sending students abroad to complete graduate degrees and on improving the educational standards at home, reports a Chronicle article titled "Latin America Hopes to Lift Global Profile."
Programs in Latin America are working to create partnerships with top universities in other parts of the world. In May 2008, for example, 5,000 Chilean graduate students won grants to study at foreign universities, including top institutions in the U.S., Canada, Australia, and New Zealand.
Chile—a leader in the cause for Latin American educational globalization—has instituted various scholarship programs that award financial aid to students pursuing academic fields that will ultimately help boost the Chilean economy, like agriculture, engineering, environmental sciences, and health.
Chilean universities, as well of other universities throughout Latin America, face a number of obstacles. Funding, security (as is the case in Northern Mexico), and reputation are all hurdles that universities must consider when building international partnerships and sending their students overseas. Language barriers create yet another concern. Foreign language study in Latin America is poor and so even students on the graduate level have a poor grasp of the English language.
Chile, again leading the pack, has established a partnership with the State of California to help move forward in closing the language gap. The program is based at the University of California at Davis.
A number of U.S. universities are committed to embracing their Latin American neighbors in the educational sphere—so much so that a few schools have even opened offices in Latin America.
Latin American universities want to be viewed as peers in the global educational network, not simply as "beneficiaries of [U.S.] expertise, but rather as equal partners in mutually advantageous relationships."
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