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Sunday, October 08, 2006


Forget about oil-rich demagogues and retro-progressive populists: Latin America's real long-term problem to compete in the global economy may be the poor quality of its universities.
The 2006 editions of the two most authoritative rankings of the world's best universities -- put out respectively by the London Times Educational Supplement and by the University of Shanghai -- have now been published, and they coincide in giving pretty bad grades to the region's higher education institutions. Read the full column here. What do YOU think?


Blogger roberto e said...

Some of the best Math and Science ,
engineering universities in America
always obtain both Private and Government funding
which for the most part is spent wisely.Except for the politically correct dominant studies.
Alot of that money is starting to go to Asian universities as well.

Like you said ,if Asian Universities can pull it off,
why not LATAM?
Because the culture of learning the practical, and indispensable including English and American/European applications to
technological subject matter is more important in Asia than ideology!

Ideology is rampant at US campuses but none of those students will last in the US workforce beyond
a career in sociology or human resources. Pretty low paying white collar jobs at that.

Its worse in LATAM.
Part of the problem is not just government corruption which makes politically correct US schools look efficient.
Anoither big problem is the culture of giving and or leaving a legacy.
There are two few Latin entrepenueurs who think and have a vision like Mexico's Carlos Slim
or like some of the Monterrey $$
sponsoring schoariship's at that city's MIT.

For the most part it's make your money, send the kids and the money out and leave little or no legacy.

Philantropic ideals such as those started in the US on a large scale by the Robber Barrons and continuing 100 years later to the present time
are all to rare in Latam except for a very small handful!!

And the tax systems in place does not encourage it to the extent that the US system does.
I am not an educator but I can say that what comes out of the Iberoamerican university(Jesuits) in Mex city
is a far better student than what comes out of UNAM
Same here in the USA especially at the High School level

9:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

from Paul Thorsen

Andres, by what standard are the Latin American universities being judged against? Research? is that it? In American universities, it's the professors who do the research, not the students.
I have a BS degree in mechanical engineering, and I can tell you when I went to the computer lab late at night to finish a program, the only other people I saw there in the lcomputer ab were Chinese people and Mahatma Gandhi Indians. I think that right there tells you more about any research. I think any univeristy is only as good as its students, just like any country is only as good as its people. A people with a violent and criminal nature will create violent and destructive soceties with the crime and violence out of control.
But people with integrity like the Chinese and Japanese will create orderly and prosperous societies, as what now exists. And Mahatma Gandhi Indians are fast approaching that level. It's all about the people.

11:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This time I have no objection with Andres.

We can say that the IMF, in crisis time, usually cut all kind of investments like higher education. But, the real problem is the lack or lost of the effort culture of our societies.

Latam politicians take decitions wich effects are viewed in few months. The education is a long term investment, and doesn't add votes for the nearest election.


Ruben P.
Rosario - Argentina

7:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

from Paul Thorsen

Rueben, you are totally correct, it's lack of effort in the Latin American people. It's too easy for you people to just sneak into the USA, steal jobs from us and smuggle money back home to support your family. I think if you people were told outright that the theft would no longer be permitted and that you people would be on your own, I think then you might see Hispanics in computer labs on Friday and Saturday nights as you now see Chinese and Mahatma Gandhi Indians there.

8:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Discipline is the key for the Asian success. Universities are not for everybody (as many in Latin America think) but for the best of the best. And those who are among that bunch and can not afford to study should be able to get scholarships.

Here in America we are falling in that trap, believing that demanding from students is unfair. That is why we are slowly loosing ground in hard sciences even though our monetary resources are enormous.

We still get the Nobels, but buck for buck, on the average, we are very inefficient compared with other countries like China or India. We should be doing far better.

3:41 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As long as my local university
gives job in my own nation...
I do not care.
Do you?

6:59 AM  
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