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International Perspectives on Higher Education Admission Policy

A Reader


Edited By Virginia Stead

The promise of this admission policy reader arises from the embodiment of research from 58 authors, six continents, 20 time zones, 20+ first languages, and a broad array of research methodologies. Four sections aggregate key themes within the text:
(1) National Perspectives on Higher Education Admission Policy;
(2) Theoretical Approaches to Higher Education Admission Policy;
(3) Applicant Recruitment and Student Support Services in Higher Education; and
(4) Diversity and Equity in Higher Education Admission Policy Implementation.
This book's global chorus of professional experience, investigation, and insight is unprecedented in its breadth and depth, illuminating a rare swath of challenges and opportunities that Internet-sourced international higher education makes visible. Although each chapter is an independent research report, together they generate a new landscape for admission policy orientation, exploration, and activism. The sheer range of policies and organizational infrastructure will alert all readers to many complexities within the admissions process that remain invisible within single or multiple but similar cultural and political contexts.
Many of these authors have demonstrated courage along with their intellectual acumen in tackling politically sensitive, culturally taboo, and personally dangerous topics within their research. Theirs is a moving testimony to the global quest for fairness within the world of admission policy implementation and to the power of access to higher education. Together, we are determined to advance equitable admissions praxis within all institutions of higher learning and promising futures for all students.
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9 Higher Education for Latin America: Two Challenges in a Field of Opportunities


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Higher Education for Latin America

Two Challenges in a Field of Opportunities

Ricardo Cuenca


The history of higher education in Latin America is characterized by constant change. Since their origin, which stressed professional formation for students under the Napoleonic model, Latin American universities have shifted from an emphasis on leading the way into modernity at the end of the nineteenth century to political and intellectual hegemony in the mid-twentieth century (Jiménez, 2007; Levy, 1986). None of these changes, however, has affected the concept of higher education, especially university education, as much as the change associated with the expansion of higher education. This process became established in the early twenty-first century as the “massification” of higher education. It remains clearly associated with the principles of “mass society” and the resulting standardization and homogenization of social subjects (Jaspers, 1933; Ortega y Gasset, 1985; Ortiz, 1998).

In this chapter, I would like to share some ideas about the challenges that massification of higher education in Latin America, specifically university education, poses for the construction of public agendas. First, I will present a very general overview of the current situation of higher education in Latin America. I will then discuss two challenges for public policy on higher education, and, finally, I will share with you some reflections that I hope will contribute to the debate. This essay seeks to open new lines of discourse.

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