© 2020

Higher Education in Latin America and the Challenges of the 21st Century

  • Simon Schwartzman

About this book


This book presents an overview of the region with one of the fastest growing higher education sectors in the world. Until the beginning of the 1980s, universities were restricted to the elites in Latin American countries, with less than 5 million students enrolled in its courses. In the last four decades, however, the region went through a boom of higher education institutions and now has more than 25 million students enrolled in more than 3,800 universities – approximately 10% of all students enrolled in higher education courses in the world with four times more higher education institutions than Europe.  

The boom of Latin American higher education is analyzed in this contributed volume by leading experts from the region. They discuss the causes and consequences of this massive expansion and the challenges they pose for different stakeholders such as governments, private entrepreneurs, teachers, researchers, students, policy makers, educational managers and many other social groups. Topics discussed in the volume include:

  • Massive expansion of tertiary enrollment in Latin America
  • Expansion of private higher education 
  • Proliferation of new kinds of institutions, different from the classic university model
  • The challenge of developing quality assurance and accreditation systems 
  • Internationalization of academic research and teaching in Latin America
  • The challenge of integrating academic research and technological innovation 

Higher Education in Latin America and the Challenges of the 21st Century will be a valuable resource for educational researchers, sociologists, political scientists and other social scientists dedicated to the study of the expansion of higher education and its social implications in different parts of the world. The book will also be of interest to policy makers s and both public and private agents interested in understanding the global dynamics of higher education.  


Higher education Latin America University Internationalization Research capacity Accreditation Technological innovation

Editors and affiliations

  • Simon Schwartzman
    • 1
  1. 1.Instituto de Estudos de Política EconômicaRio de JaneiroBrazil

About the editors

Simon Schwartzman is an Associate Researcher at the Instituto de Estudos de Política Econômica/ Casa das Garças in Rio de Janeiro, and a member of the Brazilian Academy of Sciences. He studied sociology and political science at the Federal University of Minas Gerais and the Latin American School of Social Sciences (FLACSO, Chile), and holds a PhD in political science from the University of California, Berkeley. He was professor of Political Science and scientific director of the Research Center on Higher Education at USP between 1990 and 1994, and President of the Brazilian National Statistical Office (IBGE) between 1994 and 1998.  He is the author of, among others, A Via Democrática: Como o Desenvolvimento Econômico e Social Ocorre no Brasil (Elsevier, 2014); Brasil: A Nova Agenda Social (with Edmar Bacha, Editores). Rio de Janeiro, LTC, 2011; and  Políticas educacionais e coesão social : uma agenda latino-americana (with Cristian Cox), Rio de Janeiro, Elsevier; São Paulo: iFHC, 2009. 

Bibliographic information

  • Book Title Higher Education in Latin America and the Challenges of the 21st Century
  • Editors Simon Schwartzman
  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020
  • Publisher Name Springer, Cham
  • eBook Packages Education Education (R0)
  • Hardcover ISBN 978-3-030-44262-0
  • Softcover ISBN 978-3-030-44265-1
  • eBook ISBN 978-3-030-44263-7
  • Edition Number 1
  • Number of Pages XVI, 152
  • Number of Illustrations 3 b/w illustrations, 17 illustrations in colour
  • Additional Information Jointly published with Editora da Unicamp, Campinas. Original Portuguese edition published by Editora da Unicamp, Campinas, Brazil, 2014
  • Topics Higher Education
  • Buy this book on publisher's site