15 | NOV | 2019
 How to make higher education universal?
Students waiting in line to present the admission exam - Photo: Guillermo Perea/CUARTOSCURO.COM

How to make higher education universal?

24/07/2018
09:13
Mexico City
Newspaper Leader
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Thousands are rejected from public universities each year, will the incoming administration be able to enroll them all?

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The incoming government is planning to give access to university to every young person who's interested in pursuing higher education.

Every year the situation is the same, as most of the students who apply to public universities are rejected. To increase the enrollment number doesn't seem like an easy task. A week ago, the UNAM published the results of its admission exam, 72,000 people applied, but only 6,000 were accepted. The IPN's situation is quite similar, over 90,000 applied but only a fourth of them will be enrolled. The rest of the states' public universities are in a similar situation.

The moment they're rejected, young students start a pilgrimage to look into private universities. A very small percentage of them will get into a private university because of the costs. The rest of them will apply to all the public universities available once, twice or three times more. That's how it goes until they reach their goal: to continue their education. Some others will desist and will opt for a technical career or they will head to the job market.

For years, one of the biggest challenges this country is facing is giving higher education to all young people. Is it possible to increase the enrollment?

Today, deans from public state universities answered that question to EL UNIVERSAL, they point out that the main obstacle is the lack of resources. The obstacle comes with the budget allocation, as it has only increased according to the yearly inflation, but in reality, the expenses are the same ones as in previous years.

The future President has said that he plans to cancel the admission exams, as education “is people's right”. Nevertheless, the deans highlight the need to maintain a minimum level of academic achievements in order to be admitted into university. They argue that it is a requisite to have quality professionals.

In a country where only 17% of the population between 25 and 65 years has a degree, and the last place on the list between the OCDE members, higher education means an opportunity for thousands of young people who are in the quest for a better future and an honest way to make a living.

The project that the next administration shouldn't focus only on the enrollment numbers, but in the education's quality. Also, the economic sector must offer enough job opportunities, because it will be useless to have a degree if you can't get a job. The challenge is immense, but it presents an opportunity to those who want to pursue higher education.

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