02.06.2014 - UNESCO Office in Santiago

UNESCO congratulates Chile on the launch of the Mentoring and Effective Access Programme for Higher Education

En el lanzamiento del programa, al extremo izquierdo, Jorge Sequeira director de la UNESCO Santiago, Karla Moreno, del Programa de Inclusión de la Universidad Católica de Chile, junto a la presidenta de Chile, Michelle Bachelet y Francisco Javier Gil, propulsor de la Red de Universidades Propedéutico UNESCO. Foto: Gobierno de Chile

The initiative is inspired by the work performed since 2007 by the Network of Universities entitled “Propaedeutic UNESCO: New hope, better future”, under the leadership of the Universidad de Santiago de Chile and the support of UNESCO.

The Director of the UNESCO Regional Bureau of Education for Latin America and the Caribbean, Jorge Sequeira, congratulated Chile for the launch of the Mentoring and Effective Access Programme for Higher Education, which was announced on May 29, 2014 by the Chilean President, Michelle Bachelet, along with the Minister of Education, Nicolás Eyzaguirre.

The programme consists of ensuring admission to different programmes of study at the five universities that will participate in the initiative for students who graduate from high school in the top 15% of their socially vulnerable educational establishments.

The programme continues along the line traced by the Propaedeutic USACH-UNESCO, an initiative led by the Universidad de Santiago (USACH) through the UNESCO Chair on Inclusion in Higher Education. The Propaedeutic is a programme developed in association with OREALC/UNESCO Santiago, the Equitas Foundation and other allies, which helps young people with outstanding high school performance to access a college education. The Propaedeutic aids them in their preparation and mentors them in order to remain successful throughout their university education.

The initiative launched by the Chilean Government consists of an application process that will consider the students’ academic performance. Students will also be asked to take the University Selection Examination (PSU) and must successfully pass this mentoring programme. The universities participating in this first version of the programme are the Universidad de Antofagasta, Universidad Católica del Norte, Universidad Técnica Federico Santa María, Universidad de Santiago de Chile and Universidad Católica de Temuco.

President Bachelet also indicated that in 2015 the coverage would be expanded to 339 establishments in all regions of the country, and the programme would cover students in all four years of high school. Bachelet stated that, “we will also increase the number of higher education institutions that participate in the preparation phase, including Technical Training Centres and Professional Institutions (…) our goal is for all of the most vulnerable establishments to be part of the programme by 2017”.

Participating in the UNESCO Propaedeutic: first requirement

The first phase will include the participation of sixty-seven educational establishments (sixty-one public schools and six subsidized private schools) from thirty-four communities around the country. The schools must meet the following requirements: participate in the UNESCO Propaedeutic , have a School Vulnerability Index (IVE) greater or equal to 60%, be part of the SEP (Preferential School Subsidy) system and have a not-for-profit legal structure.

Jorge Sequeira, director of the UNESCO Office in Santiago, Chile, declared that, “we have been supporting the efforts made by the UNESCO-USACH Chair during the past few years towards equal opportunities in higher education. Students’ talents and efforts should be the only conditions required for these young people to be able to develop their maximum potential, realize their life projects and, in this way, contribute to the construction of a more just and solidary nation. This is a fundamental policy and an example of how we can come together to push the limit between what is possible and what is not. A better country also means a country that includes all citizens in its path towards development”.

The Chilean Minister of Education, Nicolás Eyzaguirre, reaffirmed his commitment to the programme’s objective and development and stated that,<a name="_GoBack"></a> “we are coming closer to fulfilling our promise to make quality education accessible for all, independent of one’s socioeconomic standing“.

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