J. Salvador Peralta, University of West Georgia
Thiago Pezzuto Pacheco, Hertie School of Governance
© American Political Science Association, 2014
Throughout Latin America, the recent return to power of parties and leaders from the political Left precipitated a widespread reexamination of neoliberal1 policies, including those related to higher education. From Guatemala to Uruguay and most countries in between, leftist leaders condemned neoliberal economic policies as unresponsive to the people and therefore in need of transformation. In the area of higher education, this new agenda has meant the introduction of policies that aim to increase access for all, reduce tuition costs, and reverse–or at least regulate–the trend toward privatization and diversifi cation. Not all Latin American countries have been able or willing to implement these policies, however.
This article explores higher-education policies in Latin America, focusing on two central questions: What are current trends in higher education in Latin America? How are left-of-center governments in Latin America responding to pressures and incentives to transform higher education in the region? We argue that although the rise of the Left in Latin America precipitated a reexamination of higher-education policies in the region, leftist governments have been largely unable to implement reforms that realize their discursive pronouncements.