Since the Higher Education reform bill was presented, the criticism it arouses has been continuous. Various voices have expressed their support for what is seen as a substantial modification of the system, but very few have, in fact, defended the contents of this project outright. The University of Chile has not shied away from the debate, and through various initiatives has played an active role in the discussion. Leading the way has been the University Rector and President of the Consortium of State Universities, Dr. Ennio Vivaldi , along with the multiple activities, which together represent the same desired goal: an inclusive Higher Education law that reestablishes public education as the main pillar for the development of the country.
The articles included in this dossier represent these efforts. The report on the initial controversy created in the wake of the bill’s introduction, by journalists Felipe Ramírez and Francisca Palma, provides the necessary context for the discussion. The presentations made by Rector Ennio Vivaldi and by Fernando Atria, an academic from the Faculty of Law, represent the views of our institution, and reinforce our university’s commitment to the public debate surrounding these issues. These presentations were made at the opening ceremony of the Educational Reform Discussion Series, which took place on June 26th of this year on the main campus of the University of Chile.
Along these lines, the column by Carlos Ruiz, professor of the Social Sciences Faculty, focuses on the obstacles that prevent the reform from restoring public education to the center of national development; the conversation between Patricio Basso, former Executive Secretary of the National Council of Accreditation, and Mario Waissbluth, a board member of the Fundación Educación 2020, supplies the debate with perspectives that are not always considered in the media-driven discussions concerning higher education.
The debate concerning the quality and the structure of the higher education system is a central theme for Palabra Pública. By means of this dossier and the ones to follow, our goal is to encourage a discussion that is necessary in Chile.