The Higher Education System of Chile

The Ministry of education manages the higher education sector in Chile. The higher education system of Chile comprises of 3 types of higher education institutions: universities, technical training centres and professional institutes. These institutions offer a wide range of study programmes.  Also, there are 3 types of academic certificates in Chile- academic degrees, professional degrees and technical titles. 

In Chile, there are both state funded and private institutions. The state-funded universities in Chile are a part of the Council of Rectors of Chilean Universities (el Consejo de Rectores de las Universidades Chilenas, or CRUCH), and are known as ‘’traditional universities’’.

Higher Education Institutions 

In Chile, there are three types of higher education institutions: 

Universities (Universidad): In Chile, there are public as well as private universities. These universities provide undergraduate and graduate degree programmes. 

Professional Institutes (Institutos Profesionales): Professional institutes in Chile are private and provide specialised education programmes lasting 2 to 3 years. A professional title (Titulos Profesionale) is awarded after the completion of the programme.  

Technical Training Centers (Centros de Formacion Tecnica): The technical training centres in Chile are private higher education institutions that provide higher technician programmes lasting 2-3 years. A degree Tecnico de nivel superior (Technician) is awarded after the successful completion of the programme. 

Higher Education Qualifications

The universities in Chile award academic degrees. Following academic degrees are awarded:
  • Licenciatura bachelor degree: The duration of this degree is 4 to 6 years, depending on the field of study. 
  • Master degree (Magister): This degree is offered by universities only. The duration of the master degree programme is 1-2 years.
  • doctorate degree (Doctorado): This degree is awarded by universities in Chile. This is the highest academic qualification and lasts for 3 to 5 years. 
Following are the professional qualifications:
  • Professional titles (titulos professional): This is an undergraduate qualification that is awarded by universities and professional institutes in Chile. 
  • Technician (Tecnico): This is an undergraduate level degree offered by the technical training centres in the field of vocational and technical education. The degree programmes lasts for 2 to 3 years and lead to a title of Tecnico de Nivel Superior.

Admission Requirements

Entry to the higher education institution study programmes is based on the secondary education completion certificate/diploma- Licencia de Educacion Media. Also, students are required to undertake an entrance exam- University Selection Test (Prueba Seleccion Universitaria, or PSU) in order to gain admittance into the higher education institutions in Chile. For detailed information on higher education admission requirements, click here.
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