Students prefer traditional universities:
Poll indicates string preference for U Chile and La Catolica
ChilNet extracts from El Mercurio, La Epoca
17 January 1997
University of Chile and Catholic University continue to lead the
list of preferences for college-bound students, a poll released
recent proliferation of private universities, Chile's students
believe the country's traditional institutions of higher learning
offer the greatest opportunities for high quality education,
Market Opinion Research International (MORI) found.
28 and December 11, 1996, MORI associates polled persons 18 years
or older in Chilean cities of more than 40,000 inhabitants. The
survey is considered representative of 67 percent of the national
population and its margin of error is estimated at 2.8 percent.
When asked what
Chilean university offers the greatest opportunities for success,
34 percent mentioned Catholic University, and 29 percent the
University of Chile. The Universities of Santiago and Concepcion,
where many middle class students attend college, were the choices
of 4 percent.
income groups, however, 19 percent did not know what was the best
survey results, the high regard for quality of education at
Catholic University is shared by all socio-economic groups.
Eduardo Echeverria, La Catolica's public relations officer, says
the poll results dispell the myth of Catholic University as an
elitist school. "Any student with a good college entrance
exam (PAA) score can get in, regardless of socio-economic
background," he says.
The esteem with
which the University of Chile is held, however, appears to
increase with the level of education of the person polled. Of
professionals with college degrees, 38 percent believe the U
Chile is the best, as do 39 percent of respondents between 26 and
40 years old. MORI director Marta Lagos says this may be a
reflection of the past prestige of this state university among
those who studied there during its better times.
Eduardo Morales of the University of Santiago, on the other hand,
said the low polling preference for the USACH does not reflect
its "broad academic, research, and extension
computer sciences, law and civil engineering are the careers that
hold most promise, according to young people who participated in
the survey. Following close behind are other engineering fields,
architecture, and business administration.
Marta Lagos said
that private universities are still too new to gain confidence
from Chileans. Outside of Santiago's upper class neighborhoods,
no respondent mentioned them as colleges of choice. *