Chilean Schools can be divided as follows:
Most Chileans enrol in State schools. As part of the new School Reforms (introduced in 2016), state schools are 100% financed by the state.
Fully private schools
which receive no funds from the state and many are linked to religious organisations or other communities e.g. British Schools. Fees vary from US$150 to US$1,200+ a month.
Private schools that receive a government subsidy: at the primary level, 29% of the population attends this kind of school.
Private technical vocational schools – a small percentage of Chileans enrol in these schools which are run by industrial groups; most offer apprenticeships within five areas of specialisation – commercial, industrial, technical, agricultural and maritime.
Universities fall into two categories:
Universidad de Chile and Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile are the two most recognised traditional public universities. Established prior to 1981, these are generally the most prestigious and have a standard comparable to international standards.
Established after 1981 and are less prestigious than the traditional universities.
Chile has relatively high access to education: universal coverage at primary school level was achieved in the mid-sixties; secondary education reached 90% in the late 80’s. Primary and secondary education is available at both private and public schools. General literacy levels are at 99% for both men and women although equity remains an issue; the impact of socio-economic status on students’ mathematics performance is one of the largest among OECD countries.
Public expenditure on primary to tertiary educational institutions per full-time student in Chile stood at USD 4 279 in 2018 compared to USD 10 000 on average across OECD countries. Chile has the highest share of private expenditure on all levels of education with 40% of education expenditure coming from private sources. Similarly, private funding also remains relatively high at primary, secondary and post-secondary non-tertiary level, at 21% of all expenditure, compared to the OECD average of 9%.
Over the past decade, Chile’s government introduced education reforms aimed at raising student learning and reducing inequality. During his campaign trail, President Gabriel Boric promised to pardon student debt and increase investment in education, among other reforms.