Higher Education

, Volume 74, Issue 1, pp 147–161 | Cite as

The moral dimension in Chilean higher education’s expansion

  • Peodair Leihy
  • Jose M. Salazar


Chilean higher education has expanded greatly in recent decades, primarily through drawing on the private contributions of students and families, and an increased number and variety of institutions. In the context of attempts to address criticism that the sector is not free, public or high-quality enough, this article examines the association between education and its moral and ethical dimensions, and their separate yet complementary consideration alongside economic development, through the two centuries of the Chilean state’s existence. Since the beginning of the current decade, discontent with the framing and performance of higher education as a whole has grown. The overview traces this process not as fresh crisis, but part of a social question pondered repeatedly in the past and supported with varying success through educational and political initiatives. This historical (and historiographic) approach illuminates the limits of conceiving of higher education as either an economic good or as a human right, and an overlooked need to support its benefits through policy. Not simply an interpenetration with economic thinking, but also a lack of sufficient appreciation of Chile’s fundamental and singular character, present as challenges in understanding expanded access’s function and its prospective contribution to growing debates around ethics and inequality.


Ethics and morals Chile Massification System expansion Market Moral economy 


  1. Agamben, G. (1998). Homo sacer: Sovereign power and bare life. Stanford: Stanford University Press.Google Scholar
  2. Assael, D. (2007). Arquitectura: Salario ético o salario justo? Plataforma Arquitectura, 22 September. Accessed 27 July 2016.
  3. Barozet, E., & Fierro, J. (2012). The middle class in Chile: The characteristics and evolution 1990–2011. Berlin: Konrad Adenauer Stiftung.Google Scholar
  4. Bello, A. (2015 re-edition of 1843 address), I. Jaksic (Ed.), Todas las verdades se tocan. Valparaiso: UV Editorial.Google Scholar
  5. Bernstein, B. (1970). Education cannot compensate for society. New Society, 15(387), 344–351.Google Scholar
  6. Bilbao, F. (1844). La sociabilidad chilena. El Crepúsculo, 2(2), 52–53.Google Scholar
  7. Boas, T., & Gans-Morse, J. (2009). Neoliberalism: From new liberal philosophy to anti-liberal slogan. Studies in Comparative International Development, 44(2), 137–161.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Bourdieu, P. (1984). Distinction: A social critique of the judgement of taste. Cambridge, MA: Harvard UP.Google Scholar
  9. Brunner, J. J. (1982a). Tendencias de cambio en el sistema de educación superior Chile: 1973–1982. Santiago: FLACSO.Google Scholar
  10. Brunner, J. J. (1982b). Argumento y realidad en la universidad chilena. Santiago: FLACSO.Google Scholar
  11. Brunner, J.J. (1990). Educación superior en América Latina. Bogatá: Fondo de Cultura Económica.Google Scholar
  12. Brunner, J. J. (2009). Educación superior en Chile: instituciones, mercados y políticas gubernamentales (1967–2007). Santiago: Ediciones UDP.Google Scholar
  13. Brunner, J. J., & Peña, C. (Eds.). (2011). El conflicto de las universidades: Entre lo público y lo privado. Santiago: Ediciones UDP.Google Scholar
  14. Clark, B. (1960). The ‘cooling-out’ function in higher education. American Journal of Sociology, 65(6), 569–576.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Contardo, O. (2007). Siútico: Arribismo, abajismo y vida social en Chile. Santiago: B Chile.Google Scholar
  16. Contreras Sánchez, P. (2009). Salario ético en tiempos de crísis del protagonismo de la institucionalidad católica chilena. Universidad de Chile (doctoral thesis).Google Scholar
  17. de Rosales, D. (1877–1878 [Ed. Vicuña Mackenna], orig. completed 1642). Historia general del Reino de Chile. Valparaíso: Mercurio.Google Scholar
  18. Dewey, J. (1929). The quest for certainty. New York: Minton, Balch.Google Scholar
  19. El Mostrador. (2016). Ottone trata de ignorantes a líderes de los estudiantes y dice que en Chile no hay neoliberalismo, 25 April. Accessed 27 July 2016.
  20. Eyzaguirre, J. (1948). Fisonomía histórica de Chile. Mexico City: FCE.Google Scholar
  21. Fleet, N. (2011). Movimiento estudiantil y transformaciones sociales en Chile: una perspectiva sociológica. Polis, 10(30), 99–116.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Fukuyama, F. (1995). Trust: The social virtues and the creation of prosperity. New York: Free Press.Google Scholar
  23. Garrido, J., Herrera, H., & Svensson, M. (2012). La excepción univesitaria. Santiago: Ediciones UDP.Google Scholar
  24. Goffman, E. (1952). On cooling the mark out: Some aspects of adaptation to failure. Psychiatry, 15(4), 451–463.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Gutiérrez, C. (2011). Chile ¿eliminar o reproducir la segregación social?. Santiago: CEIBO.Google Scholar
  26. Guzmán, J., & Larraín, H. (1981). Debate sobre nueva legislación universitaria. Realidad, 2(22), 12–32.Google Scholar
  27. Guzmán-Valenzuela, C. (2016). Unfolding the meaning of public(s) in universities: toward the transformative university. Higher Education, 71(5), 667–679.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Habermas, J. (1975). Legitimation crisis. London: Heineman.Google Scholar
  29. Hayek, F. (1945). The use of knowledge in society. American Economic Review, 35(4), 519–530.Google Scholar
  30. Latour, B. (2005). Reassembling the social. Oxford: Oxford UP.Google Scholar
  31. Leihy, P., & Salazar, J. (2012). Institutional, regional and market identity in Chilean public regional universities. In R. Pinheiro, P. Benneworth, & G. Jones (Eds.), Universities and regional development: A critical assessment of tensions and contradictions (pp. 141–159). Oxford: Routledge.Google Scholar
  32. Mac-Iver, E. (1900). Discurso sobre la crisis moral de la republica. Santiago: Imprenta Moderna.Google Scholar
  33. Marginson, S. (1997). Markets in education. Melbourne: Allen and Unwin.Google Scholar
  34. Marginson, S. (2011). Higher education and public good. Higher Education Quarterly, 65(4), 411–433.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Marsden, G. (1994). The soul of the American university: from Protestant establishment to established nonbelief. New York: Oxford UP.Google Scholar
  36. Merisotis, J., & Wellman, J. (1998). Reaping the benefits: Defining the public and private values of going to college. Washington, DC: Institute for Higher Education.Google Scholar
  37. Merton, R. (1968). The Matthew effect in science. Science, 159(3810), 56–63.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Morgan, J. (2016). How to balance public and private contributions to higher education? Times Higher Education, 11 February.  Accessed 27 July 2016.
  39. Murray, C. (2012). Coming apart. NY: Simon and Schuster.Google Scholar
  40. Ortega Luco, A. (1884). La cuestión social. Santiago: Barcelona.Google Scholar
  41. Palacios, N. (1914; 1904 orig.). La raza chilena. Santiago: Ediciones Chilenas.Google Scholar
  42. Parada, J. (2010). Universidades publicas y privadas: Un enfoque tridimensional. Estudios Sociales, 120, 183–205.Google Scholar
  43. Pinochet Le-Brun, T. (1909). La conquista de Chile en el siglo (Vol. XX). Santiago: Ilustración.Google Scholar
  44. Pinochet Le-Brun, T. (1915). Un año empleado publico en Chile. Santiago: Casa Editora Tancredo Pinochet.Google Scholar
  45. Pusser, B. (2006). Reconsidering higher education and the public good. In W. Tierney (Ed.), Governance and the public good (pp. 11–28). Albany: SUNY Press.Google Scholar
  46. Quevedo, S. (2016). Rector USS: Me molesta que el Cruch se crea administrador de la moral. Publimetro, 17 May.!NGAec8DVVIxh/. Accessed 27 July 2016.
  47. Rand, A. (1963). The goal of my writing. (Commencement address), Lewis and Clark College, Portland OR, 1 October.Google Scholar
  48. Readings, B. (1995). The university in ruins. Cambridge MA: Harvard UP.Google Scholar
  49. Recabarren, L. (1904). El derecho popular. Taital: La Voz.Google Scholar
  50. Rouquié, A. (1989). América Latina: Introducción al extremo occidente. Mexico City: Siglo XXI.  Google Scholar
  51. Salazar, J., & Leihy, P. (2013). The invisible handbook: Three decades of higher education policy in Chile (1980–2010). Education Policy Analysis Archives, 21(34), 1–34.Google Scholar
  52. Samuelson, P. (1954). The pure theory of public expenditure. The Review of Economics and Statistics, 387–389.Google Scholar
  53. Sandel, M. (1998). What money can’t buy: the moral limits of markets. Oxford: Tanner Lectures.Google Scholar
  54. Sepúlveda Garrido, P. (2015). ¿Qué es ser de clase media en Chile hoy? La Tercera, 13 December. Accessed 27 July 2016.
  55. Smelser, N. (2015). Dynamics of the contemporary university: growth, accretion, and conflict. Berkeley: UC Press.Google Scholar
  56. Thompson, E. P. (1971). The moral economy of the English crowd in the eighteenth century. Past & Present, 50, 76–136.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Williams, R. (1958). Culture is ordinary. London: Verso.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.División AcadémiaUniversidad de ValparaisoValparaisoChile

Personalised recommendations