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In 2008 the Chilean government set aside $6-billion for Chileans to earn graduate degrees in other countries

Country Overview

Chile is a ribbon of land marked by the Andes Mountains to the east and the Pacific Ocean to the west. It declared independence from Spain in 1810, but fighting continued until 1818. The country annexed its northern territories in the War of the Pacific in the late 1800s, at about the same time it subjugated indigenous Mapuche Indians in its south. Its government was popularly elected until 1973, when Augusto Pinochet overthrew Marxist president Salvador Allende in a U.S.-backed military coup. Pinochet ruled for 17 years, leaving several thousand people dead or missing. Since 1990 the constitution has been democratized, the judicial system has been made more free, and the economy has grown swiftly on the back of trade in copper. Poverty, too, has been reduced by half. Two of Chile's poets, Pablo Neruda and Gabriela Mistral, have won Nobel Prizes and are revered the world over.

Climate

Much of Chile therefore has a mountain climate with perpetual snow and glaciers. Away from the mountains, the north is a desert. Most of the population lives in the lowlands of Central Chile, whilst the southern part of the country is rugged and densely forested with a cool wet changeable climate.

Northern Chile is one of the world's driest regions. Here, despite being almost rainless, the weather is often cloudy and cool. Annual average rainfall totals can be as low as 14 mm. Average daily maximum temperatures range from 17 C (63 F) in July to 28 C (82 F) in March.

Central Chile has a Mediterranean climate with warm and virtually rainless summers, whilst the winters are mild and moderately wet. Frost and snow occasionally occur inland, but are rare on the coast.

At Santiago the daily average maximum temperatures range from 14 C (58 F) in June to 29 C (85 F) in January.

Southern Chile tends to be wet all year round, featuring frequent disturbed, changeable weather. Annual precipitation can be as high as 5000 mm (200 inches) much of which falls as snow farther south and on the higher mountains. On the coast, winters are rarely very cold, but summers are cool and cloudy.

GDP

$244,500,000,000

Population

16,601,707

Overview of Higher Education

Revenue from copper mines has fueled Chile's investments in higher education, including $6-billion set aside in 2008 for study-abroad scholarships for graduate degrees. Education experts say that is by far the largest per capita investment in study-abroad scholarships by a Latin American government. Chile is also spending tens of millions of dollars on improving its state universities and developing programs in the humanities, arts, and social sciences—in part in a bid to attract foreign students and professors.

In 2004 some 565,000 students were enrolled in the country’s public and private universities, professional institutes, and centers of technical and vocational training.
 
Undergraduate study generally lasts three to five years. Postgraduates must study an additional two years to obtain a master’s degree and an additional three years beyond that  to obtain a doctorate. Professional institutes also offer courses of study that span four or five years, leading to a professional title.
 
(Sources: BBC, The Europa World of Learning)

Number of Colleges, Universities, Technical Institutes

Number of Colleges, Universities, and Technical Institutes (total): 51

Number of Higher Education Students

Number of students enrolled: 753,000

Contact Information

Ministry of Education

Ministerio de Educación Alameda 1371 Santiago, Chile

Web site: http://www.mineduc.cl/index0.php?id_portal=1

Phone:+56 6964286

E-mail: tmarshall@cruch.cl

Contact: Maria Teresa Infante Marshall, Executive Director of CRUSH