Isabel Cocker/The Santiago Times Staff
SANTIAGO – Chilean students pay some of the highest tuition fees in the world, second only to the United States, according to the “Education at a Glance 2017” report released earlier this week.
The study released by the OECD, which compared public tuition fees for a Bachelors-level degree, adjusted to PPP and converted to U.S. dollars, suggests that the average tuition fee at a Chilean institute is $7654. In comparison, the United States topped the table with an average of $8202, with Japan coming a distant third with $5229.
The study also noted that the relative cost of tuition at private universities in Chile is lower than the tuition at public institutions, giving a figure of $7156. In Chile, the proportion of students who matriculate at a public university is only 15%, which is the 4th lowest of the study, with the average among OECD countries being 64%.
However, Chile also has a very high wage disparity between those who have studied at university and graduated, and those who left school at 18 without progressing into further education. The study found a 237% difference in the annual wage of the two groups. This makes Chile the country with the second highest wage disparity of this sort, with only Brazil having a wider margin.
One of the more alarming statistics for Chile showed that the proportion of young people not in employment, training or education (often called NEETs). Amongst Chile’s young population 20% are not in work, not looking for work, and not studying. This is above average for the OECD countries.
This statistic has been shown to vary considerably by poverty level, and reporting by El Dínamo suggests that it could reach almost 60% of youths in the poorest 10% of the population.
The study, published annually, encompasses a total of 46 countries: the 35 OECD countries, 2 partner countries which participate in the OECD Indicators of Education Systems program (INES) and 9 other G20 and OECD accession countries which do not participate in INES.