Higher Education

, Volume 55, Issue 3, pp 269–284 | Cite as

Creating (in) equalities in access to higher education in the context of structural adjustment and post-adjustment policies: the case of chile

  • Oscar Espinoza


By analyzing the access of different socio-economic groups to post-secondary institutions by quintile, this paper examines the impact produced by higher education financing policies in Chile during the Pinochet (1973–1990), the Aylwin (1990–1994) and the Frei (1994–2000) administrations. To this purpose, CASEN databases and semi-structured interviews conducted with former and current government officials as well as higher education administrators provide valuable information to measure the impact that higher education financing policies had on different socio-economic groups. Access to post-secondary institutions is seen in relation to two aspects: (a) enrollment rates by type of institution and sector and (b) access of students (18–24 year-old group) by family per capita income level. Major conclusion set up that despite increased participation across all socio-economic groups within the post secondary system, upper and upper-middle income students gained access to higher education disproportionately compared to lower, lower-middle, and middle income groups during the 1987–1998 period.


Access Equity Privatization Structural adjustment and post adjustment policies 



Preparation of this paper was supported in part by Grant provided by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation and the Center for Latin American Studies´ Research and Development Fund at the University of Pittsburgh as well as by the School of Education´ Research Fund, the Institute for International Studies in Education at the University of Pittsburgh, and the National Council of Science and Technology, Project 1050142. I am indebted to Mark Ginsburg and Ann Matear, my friends and colleagues, who made helpful criticisms of earlier drafts. Sole responsibility is of course the author.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media B.V. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Vicerrectoría AcadémicaUniversidad Diego PortalesSantiagoChile

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