Is higher education a right?
The law establishes that higher education is a right, which must be available to all people, according to their abilities and merits. There should be no arbitrary discrimination so that people can develop their talents in this area.
What are the principles of the higher education system?
- Autonomy of the institutions.
- Quality (pursuit of excellence)
- Cooperation and collaboration between subsystems and institutions.
- Diversity of institutional educational projects.
- Inclusion: elimination and prohibition of all forms of arbitrary discrimination.
- Academic freedom
- Participation of all its estates in the institutional work.
- Relevance: contribution to the development of the country, its regions and communities.
- Respect and promotion of human rights.
- Transparency: the System and higher education institutions will provide truthful, pertinent, sufficient, timely and accessible information to society and the State.
- Training trajectories and articulation of studies for the harmonious and efficient development of the training process.
- Access to knowledge.
- Civic engagement.
Who can be controllers of higher education institutions?
Higher education institutions organized as non-profit private law legal entities that have as controllers natural persons, private law legal entities (for profit or non-profit), public law corporations or that derive their legal personality from them , or other public law entities recognized by law.
The law established a two-year term for the institutions to inform the Superintendency of Higher Education about who their controller is and who makes up their collegiate administrative body.
What are universities?
Universities are institutions of higher education whose mission is to cultivate the sciences, humanities, arts and technologies, as well as to create, preserve and transmit knowledge, and to train graduates and professionals.
What are professional institutes?
They are higher education institutions whose mission is the training of professionals capable of contributing to the development of the different productive and social sectors of the country, as well as creating, preserving and transmitting knowledge.
What are technical training centers?
They are institutions of higher education whose mission is to cultivate technologies and techniques, as well as create, preserve and transmit knowledge, and train technicians, capable of contributing to the development of the different social and productive sectors of the country.
Who is part of the higher education system?
The Higher Education System is made up of all public bodies and services with competence in higher education matters, as well as higher education institutions.
The System is made up of two subsystems: the university and the professional technician. The system also integrates the National Academy of Political and Strategic Studies; War and Polytechnic Academies; Schools of Weapons and Specialties of the Armed Forces; Aeronautical Technical School of the General Directorate of Civil Aeronautics; Academy of Police Sciences of the Carabineros de Chile; Matrix Schools of Officers of the Armed Forces; School of Carabineros and School of Non-commissioned Officers of Carabineros de Chile, and School of Police Investigations and Higher Institute of the Chilean Investigative Police (PDI).
What is the university subsystem?
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.
Who makes up the professional technical subsystem?
It is made up of state technical training centers, and professional institutes and private technical training centers recognized by the State.
What is the role of the Ministry of Education?
The Ministry of Education, through the Undersecretariat of Higher Education, proposes policies for higher education and coordinates the State bodies that make up the System.
Who is part of the National System for Quality Assurance in Higher Education?
It is made up of the Ministry of Education, through the Undersecretariat of Higher Education, the National Council of Education, the National Accreditation Commission and the Superintendency of Higher Education. Likewise, in the scope of their work, higher education institutions are also part of this System.
Is the Council of Rectors maintained?
Yes, it remains a body that is responsible for advising and formulating proposals to the Ministry of Education in public policies in higher education.
The universities recognized by the State may request the incorporation of their rectors to said council. But they must meet certain requirements such as being an autonomous institution for more than ten years, having advanced accreditation for at least five years and availing themselves of the common access system used by the institutions that are part of the Council, among others.
What main function does the Undersecretary of Higher Education have?
The Undersecretariat of Higher Education is created, which must propose to the Minister of Education the strategy and policies for the development of the sector, among other functions.
What does the law say about the access system?
An Access System for Higher Education Institutions is created, which will establish processes and instruments for the application and admission of students to higher education institutions attached to it. The determination of the admission requirements and criteria will always be made by the respective higher education institution, in accordance with current regulations.
The Access System will operate through a single electronic platform.
What is the Superintendency of Higher Education?
It is an entity that is created as a functionally decentralized public service, with legal personality and its own patrimony, which is related to the President of the Republic through the Ministry of Education.
The Superintendency is a supervisory institution. The purpose of the Superintendency is to oversee and supervise compliance with the legal and regulatory provisions that regulate higher education institutions.
What functions does the National System of Quality Assurance of Higher Education have with respect to institutions?
The system will be made up of the Ministry of Education, through the Undersecretary of Higher Education, the National Council of Education, the National Accreditation Commission and the Superintendency of Higher Education. These public bodies will be responsible for:
- The development of policies that promote quality, relevance, articulation, inclusion and equity.
- The identification, collection and dissemination of the necessary information for the management of the System, and public information.
- Grant licenses to new higher education institutions, authorized by the National Council of Education.
- Institutional accreditation of autonomous higher education institutions and accreditation of undergraduate and graduate programs or careers.
- The control of compliance with the rules by higher education institutions.
How is the National Accreditation Commission integrated?
- Four prestigious university academics with extensive experience in institutional management, undergraduate teaching or postgraduate training. Of these, at least two must be or have been linked to a university whose domicile is located in a region other than the Metropolitan Region.
- Four prestigious teachers or professionals with extensive experience in professional technical training or institutional management in technical training centers or professional institutes. Of these, at least two must be or have been linked to a higher education institution whose domicile is located in a region other than the Metropolitan Region.
- A teacher or professional of recognized prestige and extensive experience in the area of innovation, selected by the Corporation for the Promotion of Production (Corfo), from a shortlist proposed by the Council of Senior Public Management.
- A university academic of prestige and experience in scientific or technological research, selected by the National Commission for Scientific and Technological Research, or its successor, from a shortlist proposed by the Council of Senior Public Management.
- Two student representatives from accredited autonomous higher education institutions. At least one of them must belong to an institution whose domicile is located in a region other than the Metropolitan one. Student representatives must have passed at least half of their career curriculum and be within the top 10% of the best performing students of their generation, and will serve two years in their positions. Student representatives will be elected according to the procedure established by regulations.
What functions does the Commission have?
The commission administers and resolves the accreditation processes of institutions, careers, and undergraduate and graduate programs. It must also be concerned with quality standards and promote improvement actions of the entities, among other functions.
Is accreditation mandatory?
Institutional accreditation is mandatory for autonomous higher education institutions and will consist of the evaluation and verification of compliance with criteria and quality standards.
What conditions are required for the establishments to access the free service?
Universities, professional institutes and technical training centers, which comply with the legal requirements, will be able to access institutional financing for gratuity.
- Have advanced or excellence institutional accreditation.
- Be constituted as non-profit private law legal persons, public law corporations or whose personality derives from these or other public law entities recognized by law.
- Be attached, at least one year before the respective application, to the Access System to Higher Education Institutions.
- Apply policies, previously informed to the Undersecretariat of Higher Education, at least one year before the respective request, that allow equitable access for students; and have support programs for vulnerable students that promote their retention. They must promote that at least 20% of the total enrollment of the institution corresponds to students from households belonging to the first four deciles with the lowest income in the country (40% most vulnerable).
What is the deadline for institutions to opt for free?
They must request it from the Undersecretariat until April 30 of each year.
The Undersecretariat will determine an annual amount in money expressed in pesos for institutions that have access to institutional financing for gratuity. Said amount will consider the information of the regulated fee and the basic registration rights established. Likewise, the volume of students at each institution must be taken into account, considering the information from at least the last three years.
What happens if an institution chooses not to receive free funding?
It must be communicated to the Undersecretariat before April 30 of each year, which will materialize the year following said communication.
The institution that does so must ensure that the students enrolled prior to said communication, maintain the same situation they had.
What obligation is placed on the institutions?
- Be governed by the regulation of fees, basic enrollment rights and fees for the degree or graduation, established by law.
- Be governed by the regulation of vacancies.
- Grant free studies.
Is there tariff regulation?
Those institutions of higher education that access institutional financing for free will be governed by the regulated values of fees, basic enrollment rights and fees for the concept of degree or graduation for careers or study programs.
The values are established every five years, through resolutions of the Ministry of Education, endorsed by the Minister of Finance.
A Commission of Experts is created to regulate tariffs. The members of the Commission are selected by the Council of Senior Public Management.
Who is entitled to gratuity?
Higher education institutions that access institutional funding must grant free studies to students who, according to the socioeconomic condition established by law, meet the following requirements:
- Be Chilean, a foreigner with permanent residence, or a foreigner with residence, and with respect to the latter case, who has completed high school education in Chile.
- Not have a higher-level technical degree, a professional degree or a bachelor’s degree; nor a title or academic degree recognized or revalidated in Chile. However, those who have a higher-level technical degree may be free if they pursue a second career to obtain a professional degree or academic degree of bachelor’s degree.
It will be understood that those who have a higher level technical degree meet this requirement if they study a degree or study program leading to a professional degree.
- Be enrolled in any of the undergraduate careers or study programs at universities, professional institutes, technical training centers and other institutions that the law considers.
How long does the right to gratuity last?
- The obligation to grant free studies is required with respect to those students who remain enrolled in the respective career or program for a time that does not exceed the total estimated time to finish the career or program.
- If a student freezes their studies for justified reasons, they will remain free when they resume their degree, provided that said suspension is approved by the respective institution and the Undersecretariat has been notified.
- There will be the right to only one change of career within the same institution or another that is free to maintain the benefit.
- In the event that the time of permanence exceeds up to one year the term of the obligation of the institution, it may only charge the student up to 50% of the value of the sum of the regulated fee and the basic enrollment rights corresponding to the additional period.
- If the time of stay exceeds more than one year over the term of the obligation of the institution, the total value of the period will be charged.
Will there be a limitation for vacancies?
The Undersecretariat, through a resolution, which must be signed by the Minister of Finance, determines the maximum vacancies for first-year students for higher education institutions that receive funding for gratuity.
What happens to the students who were free, if the institution loses its accreditation?
The State will transfer public resources to institutions that no longer receive institutional funding for gratuity, with respect to those students who previously studied for free without meeting the other requirements.