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Montevideo, September 24th 2023 - 17:59 UTC



Chile approves free university education for 200.000 students, one of Bachelet's campaign promise

Monday, December 28th 2015 - 08:28 UTC
Full article 68 comments

Chile’s Congress has approved a law granting free university education to many of the country’s students. The law was approved by both houses of the legislature last week before Christmas. The measure is a pillar of President Michelle Bachelet’s reform promises and is expected to aid about 200,000 students at state universities. Read full article


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  • Skip

    I'm a great supporter of this.

    Universities should be enrolling students based on their ability to study and not ability to pay.

    Dec 28th, 2015 - 12:50 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Marti Llazo

    This is going to have some interesting and undesired consequences.

    The law in Chile requires that parents support a child until age 26 -- actually many are children long after that age, but that is another story -- if that child is going to school/university or something that could be contrived to be so. So “free university” really means “free ride until 26” for the current generation of overwhelmingly aimless cabros. And avoidance of maturity and responsibility just got a new contract. Watch as Chilean universities become choked with children studying art history, anthropology, and geography, for which there are no jobs in Chile except at Starbucks and Lomitos. Already chilean employers are saying that most uni titles are meaningless anyway. There was early on a proposal to limit “free university” to those studying in a select set of careers in which the country actually had potential needs and employment, for which the country would benefit in development and essential services, but that didn't satisfy the Socialists. Now chilean populism is trying to emulate the failures of its neighbour.

    Dec 28th, 2015 - 01:29 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • ElaineB

    I really am conflicted about this. Developing countries need a more educated population but they also need to be able to pay for it.

    It is not as simple as comparing it to other countries because each country is unique. Chile is two countries - the rich and entitled and the poor that are climbing all over each other trying to be better than others. The two countries do not merge. To break this down needs to open up further education but it is incredibly expensive for the average Chilean family.

    @2 You make a good point about the eternal students and an unwillingness to cut the cord. I cannot tell you how many 30 somethings I have met who have never had a real job and seem to lack ambition.

    In the past Chileans from financially strapped families have relied on grants from places like the Pinochet Foundation or their parents taking out huge loans. It would surely be more successful if they persuaded companies needing graduates to grow to fund the further education (in return for tax breaks) and in return for a number of years service. Or for the government to fund doctors and teachers in return for a commitment of a number of years service in state hospitals/schools.

    I think the government would be better served improving the education to 18. It is nowhere near the level attained at 18 in developed countries. Further education, whilst desirable is a privilege. It will lead to better paid jobs over a lifetime so why can't the student invest in their own future? Or as I have mentioned, get a future employer to invest? It is wrong to assert that not having free Uni merely promotes the separate rich vs poor societies because in Chile your name and who you know already guarantees the privileged a job no matter their education. They are a shoo-in to one of their family owned companies or one owned by a family friend.

    I just do not see the government paying for students until they are 30/40 as a good return on their money. JMO

    Dec 28th, 2015 - 02:33 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Marti Llazo

    Elaine, your insights and observations are very good and quite accurate in this respect. Unfortunately the present Chilean government is obsessed with a matter that is at its core political correctness. I agree with your suggestion that employer-based education assistance, already a well established practice in the civilised nations (but characteristically lacking in Chile), could offer much better results than open-ended and universally abused “free” university.

    How to address the Glass Walls cultural issue is infinitely more complex.

    As far as government funding for “ doctors and teachers” we saw the effects of some of this practice in the thousands of millions that Mineduc spent for preparing their “English teachers” with assurances that the expenditures would result in all chilean students being wonderfully bilingual when graduating from their colegios by the year 2012. I don't need to remind you of how poorly this really turned out.

    Actually an improved system of becas for truly promising students in worthwhile careers would be a great deal better than the political feather of “free university” and the inevitable waste of resources that goes with it. Chile is already flooded with unemployable monolingual graduates and their meaningless university degrees.

    Dec 28th, 2015 - 04:49 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • ElaineB

    @4 The President is somewhat obsessed with not being the president who handed the government to the right, twice. In her first term she was much more centre-left but has veered further left with her legacy too much in her mind. What she is not considering is that she merely lost to slightly right of centre. The fear of polarised politics in Chile will not really go until the generations that lived through it die out. (Rather like the flat vs. round earth debate; no one changed their minds it was a case of the flat-earth believers dying out).

    Part of the problem in education (and healthcare) is that the good is concentrated in the Central Region, more specifically in Santiago. They need to roll out good education from kindergarten through to 18 across the country. I have met with people working on this but they talk more than they achieve anything. It is far too random in quality. I know this is in part due to a lack of good teachers and their poor pay. They need to spend the money on attracting good teachers - maybe some of those unemployed graduates getting a year of teacher training - to start the ball rolling. Pay more for teachers prepared to work in the remote areas.

    You know what I find in Chile? The upper class really does not mix outside of their 'kind' but they are as enslaved to their class as any other. If they step out of line they are completely ostracised. But I think the worst trait is amongst the socially ambitious. There is nothing wrong with being aspirational but they are always assessing other Chileans to work out if they are better or worse than them. They try to 'place' them and then label them. They make so many rules that will define their standing in society and are completely fearful of doing something that will cause others to judge them badly. They are what holds back social mobility, not the upper classes.

    Dec 28th, 2015 - 05:51 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Skip

    I don't think this reform is perfect but it is a start. I read everyone's comments above and can see that there will be many issues to overcome before a better system finally emerges.

    I don't fully know the legislation that was passed but here are a few ideas:

    1/ set a cap on free places with each institution and also allow a percentage to be full fee paying.
    2/ subsidise each degree only once. So once you have finished an undergraduate degree, you can't do another one for free but you can do a masters. Once you've a masters then you cannot do another masters free but can do a higher post grad degree.
    3/ the market will still dictate popular degrees. The fear of students doing a useless degree will still remain but not all universities are suddenly going to drop engineering and science to concentrate on humanities and fine arts. Rankings of universities including employment statistics for graduates will start to impose restrictions and values on different courses at different universities.

    I'll admit that these ideas come from how our system works in Australia. And I think Chile can learn a lot from Australia on this as our countries have many similarities.

    Chile wants to break into developed nation status. This can't be done without upscaling the workforce.

    Free university education will start to embed meritocracy within Chile and break down the barriers of money that currently perpetuates a system of haves and have-nots.

    Dec 28th, 2015 - 11:30 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • yankeeboy

    Nothing is free.
    Letting kids stay in a perpetual state of a student is a horrible idea.
    You get 35 yo never growing up and taking responsibility.
    UBA is the perfect example of a free and worthless education. It's filled with dirty marxists sitting around smoking and drinking mate at 35.
    Chile is heading down the wrong road.

    Dec 28th, 2015 - 11:57 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Anglotino

    There are plenty of things in life that are free, however as a bitter old man that worships money you wouldn't realise this.

    I suppose the trick to not emulating UBA is for Chile to not bloody emulate it.... DUH!

    But thankfully it isn't emulating the US system either.

    Each country follows its own development path. Isn't that what freedom is all about? Even when it seems to upset you so much.

    LOL bitterness like yours can never be cured... thankfully because you are good value!

    Dec 29th, 2015 - 12:09 am - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Skip

    Old login!

    Dec 29th, 2015 - 12:13 am - Link - Report abuse 0
  • yankeeboy

    Nothing is free.
    Once you understand that maybe we can have a grown up conversation.
    I'm far from bitter. I have an amazing life. Right now I'm next to my love after a gorgeous weekend paying and shopping.
    I couldn't ask for more.
    I'm truly blessed and thankful.

    Dec 29th, 2015 - 12:14 am - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Voice

    Of course YB is next to his love...
    He's sat on it...
    His wallet....
    (back pocket)

    Dec 29th, 2015 - 01:49 am - Link - Report abuse 0
  • yankeeboy

    Envy will drive you to an early grave.

    Dec 29th, 2015 - 01:55 am - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Voice

    Weird description....“a gorgeous weekend paying and shopping”
    Is English your first language....?

    Dec 29th, 2015 - 02:01 am - Link - Report abuse 0
  • yankeeboy

    Grammar police.
    Get a real job.

    I'm glad I live in your head rent free.
    Thank you.

    Dec 29th, 2015 - 02:09 am - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Skip

    Plenty of things are free. You just have too narrow an outlook..... too limited... to realise that Yankeeboy. You've been indoctrinated to believe that materiality and money are your measure of happiness. Congratulations. Now go earn more and spend more.

    You think that only money can purchase happiness and it doesn't. Because there is always someone else with more. There is always someone with a nicer car and a bigger house.

    You dwell on money all the time. It permeates your posts. Along with your bitterness.

    Bet you have big plans for when you retire.

    Dec 29th, 2015 - 02:22 am - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Voice

    I'm not playing Grammar police....the comment is just weird...
    also “I'm next to my love”
    Sat next to..stood it a women/man...? Is it an object...?
    What is your love...?
    In fact the whole post is weird...

    Dec 29th, 2015 - 02:31 am - Link - Report abuse 0
  • yankeeboy

    Maybe to you.
    Probably past your bedtime
    And possibly you've had a few too many.
    Go to bed.

    Dec 29th, 2015 - 02:35 am - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Voice is past my bedtime
    ...and rarely ever drink...

    ....Voice has left the building....

    Dec 29th, 2015 - 02:38 am - Link - Report abuse 0
  • yankeeboy

    The original word shb playing not paying
    I'm on my phone so it must have auto corrected and I missed it.
    I don't think you're very up on technology. Nobody cares about typos ect anymore. Only nutty weirdos point them out.

    Dec 29th, 2015 - 02:50 am - Link - Report abuse 0
  • bushpilot

    I don't think that an education is one of those things in life that is free. A diploma is a difficult thing to achieve. Mine sure were.

    Education might be 100% subsidized, but it won't be free.

    Now I'm going to go off topic a bit,

    Money isn't a source of happiness to me because I can compare what I earn to others who make more or less than me and derive some kind of pleasure from it.

    Money gives me happiness because:
    - it buys me food
    - it buys me clothing
    - it buys me heat
    - it buys me health insurance
    - it bought me some nice eyeglasses today so I can see
    - it buys me music and books
    - it buys me buy gas to travel
    - it let's me help other people

    On my own I can only think of a few purely free things in life. Family is one of them. In my own life, God is another free gift. Real friendship is also free I suppose.

    What are you thinking of when you think of things in life that are free? I ought to be able to come up with more on my own but I can't.

    Dec 29th, 2015 - 06:32 am - Link - Report abuse 0
  • ElaineB

    @6 Interesting. They could take it further and subsidise degrees that will benefit the country. Nothing is free but some things can be free at the point of use.

    I still believe it is an unreasonable burden on the tax-payer to make university education free to all. And it diminishes its value. The UK does not have free further education for all but it is means tested and free to worthy candidates without the resources to pay. That seems fair enough to me.

    Wandering off topic: Money can't buy happiness. It certainly can give you peace of mind and is part of the happiness triangle: Financial security, to love and be loved, to have a purpose in life. Money alone does not make for a happy or fulfilling life.

    A further thought is that it is quite dependent of the cultural attitude to money and possessions. On my travels I have met the happiest of people with very little to their name, but enough for their needs. I know rich people that seem perpetually fretting about money and the fear of losing it. An Argentine I met with very little money but a sunny disposition once said to me that it would be harder to be poor in England. She had a point. It depends very much on the cultural attitude to money as much as anything.

    Dec 29th, 2015 - 10:07 am - Link - Report abuse 0
  • The Voice

    This was the big issue last time I was in Chile, its the thing that got the lady elected. It takes me back to BLiar and his “ 50% will go to University ” . They arent the sort that I went with, the whole UK system is now a mess with 'dunno' type teenagers studying all sorts of crappy rubbish whilst we have to import Engineers and other ' doers ' from abroad. It doesnt serve the country and it doesnt serve the youngsters either. Educated Chileans that I met all seemed to be opposed to Ms Bachalet's ideas.

    Dec 29th, 2015 - 11:11 am - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Marti Llazo


    “ 3/ the market will still dictate popular degrees. The fear of students doing a useless degree will still remain....”

    In this case the market is pandering to children, which in Chile means much of the population up to about age 35. That is why the country is full of unemployable graduates in sociology and history working in retail and food service. (In Chile, it is said that in the case of the latter, “history has no future” and the former foments anti-social behaviour). Not that this is unique to Chile, but the country doesn't have the resources to lavishly waste on the demonstrably counterproductive practices of the civilised nations.

    “ Free university education will start to embed meritocracy within Chile ”

    Ha ha ha. I see you have not seriously understood chilean culture. There is already a large “university educated” population that has not dented the present prevailing practices of pituto (and esp political pituto). In Chile much more than in other places, you get a truly good job (or sinecure) based on your pituto and that is in turn based largely on your apellido, social class, and the place where you grew up. Having a foofoo degree even from one of the marginally better universities is scarcely a factor when competing with a powerful pituto. And ironically that is only going to get worse when a university degree is understood to be “free.”

    Dec 29th, 2015 - 12:30 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • ElaineB

    @23 And add to that an incompetent man will get promoted over a capable woman every time. It really is 1950 in some aspects of Chilean society.

    I don't entirely agree that some degrees are useless. For instance, many people working in the city of London have history degrees as it is the discipline of research and analysis that transfers to investing. The nature of a degree is not necessarily an indication of the direction of future employment but the skills necessary to obtain the degree make them relevant. That said, there are definite 'soft' degrees that are questionable in value.

    I have no problem with people wanting further education for the sake of education itself. It enriches lives. I question who pays for it. If people want to study for the sake of study and personal enjoyment I am not sure they should expect other people to pay for it. If you are studying a degree that directly benefits society then there is an argument for society to contribute. A quid pro quo arrangement.

    I always come back to the point that if the student is not prepared to invest in themselves, why would anyone else? And no one needs to do a Masters full time, do it in the evenings and weekends after work like the rest of us.

    It is not just in Chile that there is a childhood that continues well into the thirties. I came across it in a number of South American countries. Men seem particularly babied well into adulthood. It is not attractive when you come from a society where it is not the norm. I guess it is another of those cultural differences we have to accept.

    Dec 29th, 2015 - 12:54 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Klingon

    Yankeeboy is correct. Too many lazy assholes want to spend their whole life hanging out at the universities and not working and producing.

    They need to have a short list of useful and needed professions that companies can sponsor students in and receive tax breaks.

    Dec 29th, 2015 - 01:07 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • The Voice

    I think we are all saying the same thing.

    Having read History as well as Engineering I agree that studying History teaches you to look critically peoples angles and motives. Very useful on Mercopress!

    Dec 29th, 2015 - 01:29 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • yankeeboy

    I can't think of one thing a gov't can do better and/or more efficiently than private enterprise.
    Chile is just creating a large entitlement that they can't afford.
    Another bloated bureaucracy that will be an anchor around their neck.

    Leftists/Progressives/Statists/Socialists/Marxists ( whatever you want to call them because they're all the same) never see that their “enlighted” policies end up ruining the people they're trying to “help”
    Even when history shows this to be 100% correct every time.
    Every single time

    Dec 29th, 2015 - 01:42 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • ElaineB

    I don't know who you hang out with or your own personal experiences but I don't know any 'lazy assholes' that are also university educated. All useful and productive members of society. I guess personal experience is playing out here.

    A better educated society is a more successful and enriched one so we shouldn't seek to deny it. The only 'issue' is how it is paid for.

    Dec 29th, 2015 - 01:55 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Tighnabruaich

    Lazy graduates? All over, everywhere. They are in their bedrooms at their Mithers, on their Playstations. Never seen.

    Dec 29th, 2015 - 02:27 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • yankeeboy

    How it's paid for is the crux of this conversation. Either you believe that people need to be responsible for themselves or that the gov't takes care of them.

    Getting something for nothing is valued at nothing.

    Go to UBA and you'll see the vast majority of perpetual “students” that are a nasty bunch of no-good marxists, lazing around drinking mate and smoking. Most in their 30s still trying for a bachelor's degree.

    Free tuition at publicly financed universities along with open admission have always been considered the key to equal opportunities and upward social mobility in Argentina. Questioning their effectiveness is regarded as politically incorrect. However, figures show that “equal opportunities” for students is deceptive. A large number of students who enroll at public universities have graduated from private high schools, while very few students come from economically disadvantaged backgrounds. Against this backdrop, publicly financed institutions are spending huge amounts of money per graduate while other more pressing education matters are not being addressed. Lack of planning and postponed strategic decisions result in costly imbalances. As an example, despite the high drop-out rate, in Argentina there are 10 medical doctors for each nursing graduate.

    Only 23% graduate at UBA.
    So what does that mean, you have to have facilites and staff for 100% yet only get a 23/100 as a return. Pretty sad and a complete waste of money they don't have.

    Entitlements create a class of lazy riff raff that are a drain on society.
    History proves it.

    Nothing Gov't run is worth the massive money it costs.

    Dec 29th, 2015 - 02:41 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • ElaineB

    “Getting something for nothing is valued at nothing.” Yes, I said that.

    You are just looking at the perspective of your hatred and bitterness towards Argentina rather than contributing to a discussion about how Chile could make a positive system that would work in their culture and benefit their development.

    It is perfectly possible for the government to work with the private sector to benefit the country. It is perfectly possible for financially disadvantaged to be helped with bursaries. It is desirable for the government to invest in people that will, in turn, assist the development of the country. Most countries use a variety of systems and schemes. You can even get cheerleader scholarships in the U.S. - for nothing.

    Dec 29th, 2015 - 02:55 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • yankeeboy

    I am showing a system of “free” University that doesn't work run by Socialists/Statists which is what is currently running Chile.
    They can't afford more entitlements.
    They're not trying to help the poor.

    Scholarships are fine, academic, sports or financial as long as you qualify.

    Most people in general are not smart enough to get any benefit out of a Universtiy. Most people would be better off learning a trade.
    I am seeing even the nasty Progs here in the USA are finally coming around to that thinking.

    Dreamy doe eyed liberal/socialist/statist can never see that their policies only hurt the people they're trying to help and the society in general.
    Always have
    Always will
    They just ignore history.

    Dec 29th, 2015 - 03:18 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • ElaineB

    @32 A system I have criticised in the past. Even Argentines will admit the level of education is poor, the professors forever striking and text books in short supply. Remember how the K's trolls had a pink fit when I told them I had brought text books for a friend attending university in BsAs who could not obtain the necessary books in Argentina? I think UBA is more of an excuse to keep the unemployed numbers down for many, though not all students.

    I don't agree the 'most' people are not smart enough etc….. Though if the Chilean government were to invest in education to 18 there would be a lot of smart Chileans ready for the work place.

    The amount of money a person has or can earn is no barometer for intelligence, that is evidential.

    Dec 29th, 2015 - 04:42 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Marti Llazo

    @ 24

    “ I don't entirely agree that some degrees are useless. For instance, many people working in the city of London have history degrees....”

    Elaine, I do respect and enjoy your views and perspectives. In the case of the UK and many developed and civilised nations, I do agree that having a well rounded education includes a good smattering of history, and even a degree in History given by a UK university and applied within UK commerce can be valuable. Sin lugar a dudas. But there is little similarity between the UK and CL conditions in this respect. The CL history faculty are by and large not there to provide a first-world perspective on how the study and application of history might be best conducted, researched, attributed, documented, peer-reviewed, made accessible, and applied to contemporary matters, but often instead to indoctrinate undergraduates with a laundry list of perceived ills that must be rectified through artful and selective (and often Marxist) schemes. Small wonder, then, that many private-sector employers in CL view certain university carreras - including History- coupled with an applicant's evident social-caste background, as evidence of an activist time-bomb employee.

    “And add to that an incompetent man will get promoted over a capable woman every time. It really is 1950 in some aspects of Chilean society. ”

    -- Fortunately, I've observed some improvements in this axiom, particularly in middle management in the banking industry. In fact, the new schema is this: “And add to that an incompetent socialist [e.g., Ballenet] will get elected over a capable candidate every time. It really is [Kirchnerist populism 2003] in some aspects of Chilean society. ...”

    un saludo

    Dec 29th, 2015 - 04:54 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • ElaineB

    @34 You make a fair point. Analytical skills are not developed when a history degree is used as a vehicle for brainwashing.

    I remember visiting the Pinochet Foundation to discuss their work. They put roughly 200 pupils per year through university. Anyone can apply for the funding but their abilities as a student are the deciding factor. Each pupil required four years of funding at roughly the equivalent of $10,000 per year. If you look at the average salary in Chile this is an extraordinary amount of money. Without assistance parents take out huge loans hoping to buy an advantage for their children and often at minor establishments. (As we have discussed, a degree is no match for the friend of a friend hiring policy).

    We should never make further education the exclusive right of the children of wealthy parents. It doesn't mean they are the brightest and the best because they happen to be born into a wealthy family. What should happen is the brightest and best across the spectrum of society should be given opportunity to reach their potential. And that does not mean everyone should be entitled to further education.

    Dec 29th, 2015 - 05:42 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • The Voice

    “We should never make further education the exclusive right of the children of wealthy parents.”

    Which is just what Crossland and Shirley Williams did when they killed off the UKs Grammar Schools. Except they did it to Secondary Education.

    For Chile this is a first time experiment, wish them well.

    Dec 29th, 2015 - 06:30 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • ElaineB

    There are still Grammar Schools in the UK. And I agree the ones that were closed should never have been. The entry exam was for all pupils whatever their background and if anything closing them took away the opportunity for bright children from disadvantaged backgrounds an avenue to better education. University education was free back then.

    Dec 29th, 2015 - 06:35 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • The Voice

    And… I got a Major County Award grant for living expenses too even though my father had a reasonably well paid job. But, I worked some weekends and in the breaks too, a far cry from today. Its iniquitous that they have to pay tuition fees. I believe it would be better to return to the old systems of regional colleges night school and day release. To be educated like that you have to show real committment rather than just drifting along like so many of todays teenagers appear to. Apprenticships are a great step backward but most of the new ones seem like a political fudge. Ask about indentures and committment and you just get blank looks :-(

    200,000 places doesnt seem a huge number.

    Dec 29th, 2015 - 07:19 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • ElaineB

    It is sad that all the old folks on here think all young people are drifters and wasters. “The young people of today ….moan, moan, moan”. It simply is not true. I meet so many hard working, dedicated and accomplished young people. There is a minority in every generation that is lazy and every generation has a bunch of old codgers moaning about the youth of today.

    Dec 29th, 2015 - 07:59 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Marti Llazo

    @35 “We should never make further education the exclusive right of the children of wealthy parents.”

    Agreed. And that is why the earlier chilean system of becas, albeit imperfect, was on the right track: providing funding for the academically qualified but without the financial resources for a university education in a serious subject. Of course that system (or rather systems, since there were and are many beca programmes) could have been improved. And the money to be wasted on Ballenet's spendthrift political statement could easily have been effectively applied to meeting the truly important objectives. But we must never underestimate the seductive attraction of political correctness.

    Oh, and I noticed that the PSU test scores for chilean students have taken a serious downward turn. No one is surprised. I mean.... unprepared new students, unprecedented numbers of the unqualified under-performers bereft of serious commitments storming the classrooms... what could possibly go wrong?

    Dec 29th, 2015 - 08:05 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Clyde15

    Everything is “free”. Gold, oil, gas, raw materials, goods etc. All you are doing is paying someone's wages to produce or manufacture them.

    Dec 29th, 2015 - 10:06 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • The Voice

    Not all young people Elaine, my own grandchildren are split between doers and grafters and drifters obsessed with mindless computer games. Its not their fault, its the lousy system that countless tinkerers with the education system have landed us with. Back to the 60's before Shirley and we would have something worthwhile. Cfbt is not something to be emulated.

    Dec 30th, 2015 - 12:12 am - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Skip

    Interesting that Germany has free university education.

    However I agree with Yankeeboy in post 32. “Most people in general are not smart enough to get any benefit out of a Universtiy. Most people would be better off learning a trade.”

    This is why much of the unfettered for-profit tertiary education in the US is wasted. Not only are people now suing their universities because they can't find employment after their degrees. It is why MBAs litter CVs simply because other have them and there is now an expectation that they are a requirement.

    There is a entire industry convincing people that they need a university degree. Then they upsell students when they have one.

    Many degrees are wasted. For instance in Australia you wouldn't go to university to sell cosmetics or houses but just do a TAFE course and then gain experience. A Bacehlor of Science or Bachelor of Business would be a wasted investment.

    As far as I see, Chile isn't getting rid of vocational training. Just expanding university access.

    Dec 30th, 2015 - 09:33 am - Link - Report abuse 0
  • yankeeboy

    Why is it intersting that a rich developed country has huge entitlements? I don't think its much of a surprise to anyone.
    Chile can't afford this
    No how no way
    Just like any other developing country can't afford it

    It's a tremenously bad idea, copper isn't going to recover anytime in the near future and Chile is going to be strapped.

    Silly Progs always ruin everything with their failed policies.

    Dec 30th, 2015 - 02:36 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • ElaineB

    Most people are not smart enough? I absolutely do not agree. Most people are smart enough given a good education until 18. But it does not necessarily guarantee employment. Nor should people believe it will necessarily give them the level of employment they think they are entitled to.

    I don't think it should be free to all for the reasons I have stated in posts above.

    Dec 30th, 2015 - 08:43 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Skip

    “Silly Progs always ruin everything with their failed policies.”

    Is this the new meme for 2016? Unsure what a prog is supposed to be.

    However if I get the gist, then unsure how they have ruined Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Germany, UK..... list goes on and I haven't even gotten to Scandinavia.

    But hey, why let logic get in the way of a simplistic meme?

    Simple people with simple ideas.

    Dec 31st, 2015 - 12:02 am - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Don Alberto

    I find it interesting that a number of posters are unable to understand that education is an investment in the future. The oligarchs (the 1% who owns 99%) of the US are also unable to understand this.

    Study now, earn a lot of money later, pay taxes. The state gains 3-4-5 times the investment.

    Also, if the time is limited to e.g. 4 or 5 or 6 years of free higher education, eternal students won't exist.

    Dec 31st, 2015 - 01:16 am - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Marti Llazo

    @47 “.....unable to understand that education is an investment in the future.”

    As a former higher-education instructor, I would submit that such a broad generalisation and the attendant mythology need a re-write. Something like this:

    “ Some approaches and practices in formal higher education can provide considerable benefits with significant payback, while others may be essentially bereft of utility from a cost-benefit standpoint and even counterproductive when opportunity costs are taken into account. ”

    An unemployable art history or comparative literature graduate may come away feeling just wonderful about himself, but in the end he has spent around 40,000 unrecoverable dollars and missed out on four years of earnings at McDonald's. Or a Lomito's, in the case of chilito.

    Dec 31st, 2015 - 03:44 am - Link - Report abuse 0
  • ElaineB

    @47, No, I think a number of posters have said that a better educated population is an investment in the future. The main point of discussion has been who should pay for it. Further education for the sake of enriching an individual's life is not necessarily something the tax-payers should pay for.

    “Study now, earn a lot of money later, pay taxes. The state gains 3-4-5 times the investment”. You are assuming all degrees guarantee greater income; they don't.

    Chile would do well to invest in improving education to 18. That would be money well spent.

    Dec 31st, 2015 - 09:22 am - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Marti Llazo

    @49 “ Chile would do well to invest in improving education to 18. That would be money well spent.”

    Exactly. Universally competent and decent - and affordable - secondary education is what Chile (and Argentina, for that matter) needs most for this “investment in the future.” Argentina's additional problem is that half of its adolescents don't even complete secondary school though that's only slightly worse than the high dropout rate in Chile. Chile would do well in throwing out Jaime Gajardo (president of the chilean Colegio de Profesores, an unrepentant and unabashedly declared communist party leader) and ensuring adequately prepared and competent, qualified secondary instructors along with more rigorous student performance standards as well as measures to ensure that students actually successfully complete the cuarto-medio. Let's stop applying developed-country myths about higher education for Chile's backwater condition, and instead encourage the spending of money where it will do the most good. It will take time and millions just to undo the damage to the secondary system during the past few years that has contributed to the fall in PSU test scores. Chile's principal education shortfall is not the lack of politically correct “free university” but the absence of a decently performing secondary education system.

    Dec 31st, 2015 - 01:01 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • yankeeboy

    47. The oligarchs (the 1% who owns 99%) of the US are also unable to understand this.
    That's an incredibly stupid statement!

    Skip, Don't let history get in the way of your ridiculous do-gooder pc feelings. This is how it usually goes, conservatives fix the economy, liberal/Progs/Statists take the increased tax revenue and fritter it away and over regulate, economy fails, conservatives fix the economy....and on and on. In the USA it's about a 30 yr cycle and I think about the same in the UK.

    Dec 31st, 2015 - 01:05 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • The Voice

    YB, I would award Oz the worlds number one award for having the most entertaining polictricians. The last few have been belters! Never mind the 'economy' stuff, its entertainment value I cherish. CFK was a belter too, pity about what she 'achieved' though :-))) I'm missing her now…

    Dec 31st, 2015 - 02:13 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • yankeeboy

    53. Everyone is on vacation in Argentina. Give it a few more weeks when the unions come back and the blackouts continue in BA.
    There will be plenty to watch.

    I don't know much about Austrailia but if Skip's posts are to be believed its the greatest place in the world. The impression I have it s basically a beachy hot Canada. Another USA protectorate that doesn't have to spend $ on defense because we guarantee it. Nice they have the savings to spend on their people and let the American taxpayer support their lifestyle.

    Dec 31st, 2015 - 02:27 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • St.John

    @ 51 spankingboy who writes: “That's an incredibly stupid statement!”

    Now, THAT is an incredibly stupid statement!

    Dec 31st, 2015 - 03:49 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • The Voice

    YB - yet another stupid statement! Just read up who was fighting alongside the US in Vietnam and Korea as well as WWI and WWII. The ANZACs gave tbeir blood for Empire, helped defeat the Nazis and stood firm against the communists. Some of you Yanks are pig ignorant with little knowledge of the wide world and history. The people of Oz and NZ are very proud of their armed forces and so they should be.

    Dec 31st, 2015 - 05:39 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • ElaineB

    You can understand why YB couldn't hack it in Argentina.

    Dec 31st, 2015 - 07:07 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • yankeeboy

    54/55. I said the USA spends a lot of $ protecting a lot of different places. Yes it's in our interest, kind of, but these nations would have to spend a heck of a lot more protecting themselves if we didn't do it for them and they wouldn't be able to have such a good lifestyle if they really had to pay for their total defense.

    Don't get mad just use facts to prove me wrong.

    Dec 31st, 2015 - 07:14 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • ElaineB

    The US is a superpower and with that comes responsibility to police parts of the world. The US is party to defence agreements with other countries and has to honour the commitments that in turn they benefit from.

    And don't forget the US is the biggest arms dealer in the world. They have a vested interest in replenishing the tools of war.

    I have great affection for the US but lets not for one moment believe we should live in gratitude to them. They do what benefits them or they are committed to do. They can ignore a genocide when they can't see a direct benefit to them…..I give you Rwanda as an example.

    Dec 31st, 2015 - 09:27 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Marti Llazo

    @55 For the one and only time I may find myself agreeing with Voiceterous, he is quite correct about what Oz and EnZed contributed during the two World Wars against the Axis (which was supported by Argentina, by the way). Tiny EnZed in particular, with the highest rates of WWII fatalities (per population unit) in the Commonwealth - significantly greater than the rate for Britain.

    Dec 31st, 2015 - 09:27 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Don Alberto

    @ 51 yankeeboy
    ”47. The oligarchs (the 1% who owns 99%) of the US are also unable to understand this.
    That's an incredibly stupid statement!”


    The U.S. government does not represent the interests of the majority of the country's citizens, but is instead ruled by those of the rich and powerful, a new study from Princeton and Northwestern universities has concluded.

    The report used extensive policy data collected between 1981 and 2002 to empirically determine the state of the U.S. political system.

    After sifting through nearly 1,800 U.S. policies enacted in that period and comparing them to the expressed preferences of average Americans (50th percentile of income), affluent Americans (90th percentile), and large special interests groups, researchers concluded that the U.S. is dominated by its economic elite.

    The peer-reviewed study, which will be taught at these universities in September, says: “The central point that emerges from our research is that economic elites and organized groups representing business interests have substantial independent impacts on US government policy, while mass-based interest groups and average citizens have little or no independent influence.”

    The study confirms the record low approval ratings for the U.S. Congress.

    If the oligarchy understood that “this here edducation” is an investment in the future, they would spend a fair percentage of their very low taxed income on good education for the hundreds of thousands talent who cannot afford it.

    They don't, so they don't (understand).

    Dec 31st, 2015 - 09:45 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Skip

    Yes you do spend a lot of money protecting us Yankeeboy.

    As I've said before....


    You act like I should be embarrassed by this. Nope. You want to project power then you need to pay the bill. For our loyalty we expect you to cough up. So work harder because I won't accept anything less.

    I don't see why we should pay through the nose to be a militaristic society when we can subcontract that responsibility out to the US. Who's the smart one here? Not my tax dollars getting wasted. Better spent on social problems so don't end up with the poverty and crime that other countries experience.

    “I don't know much about Australia..”
    Obviously. You are to parochial and narrow minded. Intelligence doesn't equate to experience obviously.

    “...but if Skip's posts are to be believed its the greatest place in the world.”
    Glad you are finally getting the idea.

    “The impression I have it's basically a beachy hot Canada.”
    Bahahaha so happy when you show how little you have experienced in life. You honestly don't get out of the US much.... thankfully.

    “Another USA protectorate that doesn't have to spend $ on defense because we guarantee it. Nice they have the savings to spend on their people and let the American taxpayer support their lifestyle.”
    And what are you going to do about it? Yep.... nothing except bitch and moan. I, however, am happy with this arrangement. Can't see it changing anytime soon.... indeed US fears about China means we're getting even more attention from the US now. I don't have to prove anything about what my country has done militarily in the past. I'm content with reality.

    As for conservatives always fixing liberal messes..... you have little experience outside the US you don't even realise in countries such as mine that our conservatives would be considered Democrats and lefties in the US. That's how useful your facile political spectrum is.

    Thought you said you were s genius Yankeeboy.... hope you actually prove it some day.

    Jan 01st, 2016 - 02:42 am - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Heisenbergcontext

    I think the Canadians might be a bit smarter than us, at least as regards defence contracts, Trudeau having just cancelled the ruinously expensive F 35 contract. Something that would save us $18 Billion if we were equally perspicacious.

    Lockheed-Martin really ought to change their name to 'Money-Pit' inc.

    Jan 01st, 2016 - 06:26 am - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Don Alberto

    Almost all (perhaps ALL) the military build-up and actions, the US has been doing, has been in self interest, which is fair enough - but it would look much better if you realise it and admit it.

    Jan 01st, 2016 - 12:05 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • The Voice

    @59 Gee, thanks Skippy!

    Jan 03rd, 2016 - 09:00 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • V0ice

    Yip the USA ptotects, but really....suck it up? Interesting word choice.

    Jan 03rd, 2016 - 10:59 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Skip

    Yep suck it up.

    Still see you're a loser with your login V0ice.

    Jan 04th, 2016 - 09:59 am - Link - Report abuse 0
  • V0ice

    Perhaps....that is relative, but you still suck.


    Jan 04th, 2016 - 02:05 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Skip

    Yeah, I do suck! My boyfriend is always thankful.

    Doesn't stop Yankeeboy needing to suck it up.

    Doesn't stop your pathetic login sucking too.

    At least I'm unique and not a second rate copy of another poster.

    Jan 05th, 2016 - 07:29 am - Link - Report abuse 0

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