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ERIC Number: EJ784058
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Feb
Pages: 26
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-0010-4086
Is There a Latin American Model of the University?
Bernasconi, Andres
Comparative Education Review, v52 n1 p27-52 Feb 2008
Recently, Latin America has seen the advent of research activities to meet the call for research that long preceded them and of the full-time research faculty who engage in them. These developments have taken place as the region partakes in contemporary worldwide trends that have affected universities elsewhere: the consequences of the increased economic value of knowledge, the pressures to increase self-funding via tuition charges and sale of services, privatization, the demand on researchers and teachers to work more closely with firms, the multiplication of schemes to provide more accountability, and new modes of academic activity grouped under what critics call "academic capitalism" and advocates refer to as "capitalization of knowledge." In this new scenario of massification, diversification, and economic change, what, if anything, is left of the Latin American idea of the university? Has a new model emerged? Are there different paradigms for different institutional types or strata? Are there national variations worth considering? In this article, the author approaches these questions through a cross-national, regionwide survey of recent literature on universities in Latin America, with emphasis on the countries whose universities have occupied a regional leading and influential position and for which the literature is most abundant and accessible: Argentina, Brazil, Chile, and Mexico. The choice of three of these four nations is also guided by the detailed documentation and analysis provided by Levy (1986) on the history and evolution of the higher education systems of Brazil, Chile, and Mexico up to the mid 1980s, which serve as a baseline for exploration of the two ensuing decades. Argentina, not one of Levy's country cases, is nonetheless relevant not only for being the origin of the Co'rdoba reform, but also because of the size of its tertiary education sector (third in numbers of students enrolled after Brazil and Mexico), and the significance of its academic accomplishments, which, measured by the numbers of ISI-indexed articles published between 1981 and 2002, is second only to Brazil (closely followed by Mexico). (Contains 19 footnotes.)
University of Chicago Press. Journals Division, P.O. Box 37005, Chicago, IL 60637. Tel: 877-705-1878; Tel: 773-753-3347; Fax: 877-705-1879; Fax: 773-753-0811; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Argentina; Brazil; Chile; Mexico
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A