Category Archives: Latin America

Mexican Police Raid 3 Campuses to Shut Down Student Protests

Police raided three teachers’ colleges in western Mexico on Monday after dozens of students had taken over campuses to protest changes in the curriculum, reports the Associated Press. The takeovers started over a week ago to protest the colleges’ plans to require English and computer-science courses. Some students argue that the institutions are meant to prepare teachers for rural areas where the teaching of basic skills should be the priority. Mexico has a long history of campus takeovers by st…

Brazil’s Professors End 4-Month Strike

The main teachers’ union in Brazil has announced the end of a four-month strike by tens of thousands of university professors. Faculty members at 56 of the country’s’s 59 elite federal universities had joined in the strike, which was started to pressure the government to increase salaries and offer better working conditions, among other demands. The job action also affected many federally run technical colleges. The government acceded to few of the professors’ demands and has insisted that t…

Brazil Will Reserve Seats at Public Universities for Low-Income Students

Brazil’s Senate has passed a law that will vastly increase the number of underprivileged students in the country’s federal universities and technical schools. The president is expected to approve the main parts of the bill. Under the new law, 50 percent of all places at the free public universities will be set aside for students who studied in state -run secondary schools. The distribution will be weighted by color and race. Of that 50 percent, half of the available openings will be given to…

Vatican Orders Peruvian University to Stop Using ‘Catholic’ Title

A top university in Peru has been told by the Vatican it can no longer call itself Catholic, reports the BBC. The Pontifical Catholic University of Peru, in Lima, has clashed with the more-conservative Catholic leadership in the country and in Rome. In 2007, the university had a public fight with Lima’s archbishop over the sale of a parcel of land. The university has also refused to allow the archbishop to serve on its governing board.

Student in Brazil Faked Abduction to Avoid Homework Assignment

Susan Paola Fadel Correia, a Brazilian college student, has confessed to faking her own abduction as way to avoid handing in a end-of-year class project, reports the Associated Press. According to police in the state of Para, she said she was kidnapped last week by three men, who tied her up and held her for 24 hours. In fact, she spent the time at the house of a friend. The student has been charged with making false accusations.

Brazil Seeks End to Professors’ Strike Over Promotion Policies

In an attempt to end a monthlong strike by public-university professors, the Brazilian government has agreed to hasten new guidelines for promotion and career development. Strikers, unhappy at the rigid ways federal universities are run, say it can take 30 years for even the most talented professors to reach the tops of their departments. The protesters want the authorities to review the current system, something the government has dragged its heels in doing. The two sides on Tuesday held their …

University Enrollment in Cuba Drops by More Than a Quarter

Because of cuts in government spending, Cuban universities have slashed enrollment by nearly 26 percent, to around 350,000 students, reports McClatchy Newspapers. Raúl Castro, Cuba’s ruler, has sought to fix the island nation’s fragile economy by reducing spending on education, food, and health. The government is also seeking to produce more scientists in fields that can help modernize the economy, with less emphasis than in the past on the humanities and social sciences.

Brazil’s Highest Court Upholds Racial Quotas for University Admissions

Brazil’s Supreme Court has ruled that racial quotas are constitutional, a move that brings to an end the first of several legal challenges and validates affirmative-action programs at dozens of the country’s top universities, reports Agence France-Presse. The court voted 10 to 0 in favor of the quotas, saying they were a legitimate way of helping black students gain access to public universities and help combat racial inequality. The case was brought by the right-wing Democratas party against th…

U.S. Commits to Sending More Students to Latin America and the Caribbean

The U.S. government wants to increase student exchanges with Latin America and the Caribbean, committing to sending 100,000 American students to study in the region over the next 10 years, Hillary Rodham Clinton, the U.S. secretary of state, said Monday at a forum on ties between Brazil and the United States. In addition, the government wants to bring the same number of Latin American and Caribbean students to America each year. The forum, which was focused on education and business cooperation …

Ecuador Overhauls Its Higher-Education System

In a far-reaching effort to overhaul its higher-education system, Ecuador is threatening to shut down 24 private and two public universities if they don’t make major improvements, reports The New York Times.

Rafael Correa, the country’s president, has made reforming Ecuador’s 71 universities a key priority, saying that “Ecuador probably has the worst universities” in South America. The former university economics professor fought a tough battle with universities over a new education law.

Among o…