Ministry of Education

The Chilean Ministry of Education oversees education management as well as guaranteeing access to all of its four levels and modalities:

  • Preschool: Aimed at children between six months and six years of age. Only the last year of preschool (kindergarten) is mandatory.
  • Primary school: From 6 to 13 years of age.
  • Middle or secondary school: Aimed at teenagers from 14 to 17 years of age. Students may choose standard education, oriented towards those who wish to enter university, or la technical-professional education, which prepares students to join the workforce once they finish school.
  • Superior: It takes places in professional institutes, technical education centers and universities.

Higher Education in Chile

The Chilean higher education system is comprised of different types of institutions which offer professional or technical programs. The difference is in the type of program and academic honors they offer.

  • Universities: Offer professional degrees and superior technician degrees, as well as all sorts of academic degrees.
  • Professional Institutes: Provide professional and technical programs, as well as higher education programs, but they may not grant academic degrees.
  • Technical Formation Programs: Only offer superior technical programs.

Types of Universities

In Chile there are three types of universities.

  • State Universities: Created by law, they belong to the State. There are 18 of said universities.
  • Private University with partial state funding: These are private universities and their subsidiaries, created in before 1980. There are 9 of them.
  • Private Universities: All universities created after 1980, according to what was mandated in the DFL 1 of 1980 or Law 18.962 of 1990. There are 34 of them.

In Chile, universities that belong to the Chilean Universities Rector’s Council (CHURC), are known as traditional. This is a group of 27 state-funded and private institutions.

About accreditation

Accreditation is a public certification given by an external organism (National Accreditation Commission) or an Accreditation Agency) after evaluating the quality of education provided by the institution. It may be of an institutional modality (accredited university) or program modality (accredited program).

Depending on the level of achievement and the evaluation criteria, the accreditation may be given for a maximum of 7 years. By that time the institution or program must submit to evaluation and re-accreditation.

Postgraduate programs can also be accredited (masters’, medical specialties and doctoral programs) for a maximum of 10 years.

Accreditation is a component of the Nacional System of Guarantee of Quality, and a fundamental element for the gain of students benefits and the validation of degrees in countries that have partnership agreements with Chile. You find further information here.