Where Is PhD Education in Peru Headed?

Much like the US, Peru’s higher education system is in a state of evolution as national leaders and educators strive to find solutions to the country’s education funding and enrollment issues. However, while the US pushes PhD programs online and mobile apps to revolutionize learning, Peru is making gains that will ensure students in the future can have freedom, choice and funding.
According to the 2010 National Household Survey (ENAHO), only 37% of Peruvians in the lowest income bracket who completed secondary education were able to enroll in a higher education institution. Enrollment numbers jumped as income increased, with nearly 80% of residents in the top 20% of the income pool able to enroll.Peru lacks the publicly subsidized credit scheme for higher education investments found in other countries of the region like Colombia and Chile. However, it is important to note that Peru has direct public intervention in the higher education market. Public universities and institutes, which account for nearly 40% of higher education enrollment, are tuition free. Although nearly 40% of ENAHO respondents cited lack of monetary resources as the reason they did not pursue higher education, 28% said they had already finished their education and/or were not interested in pursuing a college degree.

Furthermore, a growing percentage of strong players in the education and research arena are taking notice of Peru’s higher education issues and pitching in to help. One example is the FINCyT Science and Technology Program Scholarships for Doctoral Studies Abroad. This program seeks to train individuals from Peruvian universities and research centers in doctoral programs outside Peru in order to improve the level of education competitiveness in Peru by strengthening the capacity for research and technological innovation.

FINCyT champions research programs, institutes, universities, and businesses conducting pioneering work in the fields of science and technology. In keeping with the organization’s mission, the Science and Technology Program supports doctoral studies in areas related to basic sciences and engineering.

The primary source of funding for the program comes from a $25 million loan from the Inter-American Development Bank to Peru, with additional funding of $11 million provided by the Peruvian Treasury.

There is also a healthy roster of options for higher education in Peru, with a total of 78 universities catering to more than 500,000 students. Despite various challenges, enrollment has risen steadily since 1900 when it totaled only 1,000 students; by 1970 that number had risen to 128,000. The population of students enrolled in higher education institutions doubled between 1961 and 1965. By 1970 the number of universities had increased to 34, with another jump to 51 in 1990.

GDP funding may be a factor contributing to higher education challenges. In Latin America, the highest percentage of top 30 higher education institutions were determined to be located in five countries in Latin America – Brazil, Chile, Mexico, Argentina and Colombia. Each country in the top 30 spends 4-5% of its GDP on education, whereas Peru allocates just 2.7%for education funding.

Upon obtaining their advanced degree, a significant percent of Peruvian graduates find themselves employed in occupations unrelated to their area of study, just like in the US. Most economic activities in Peru, both for the educated and uneducated, are concentrated in the services sector, not the industrial and high technology sector. Teaching is the most populated occupation among those with a higher education.

Peru is an important emerging market. The emphasis this nation is placing on higher education is an investment that will deliver returns long into the future.
This is a guest post by Sofia Rasmussen.

Guest Author

Karikuy Guest Authors are writers, journalists, bloggers, adventurers and entrepreneurs who through their experiences and knowledge of Peru, contribute to the rich content of this site. If you are interested in becoming a guest blogger send us an email at info@karikuy.org

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