Universities in Bolivia

Universities in Bolivia by City:

CochabambaSanta Cruz de la SierraSucre

About universities in Bolivia

Higher education in Bolivia is regulated by the Ministry of Education and Culture. Students interested in pursuing graduate and post-graduate degrees, can opt to attend either private or public universities in Bolivia.
There are ten public universities in Bolivia offering close to 250 academic programs in six different areas, namely economics & judicial, social & humanities, natural sciences & biology, health sciences, engineering techniques, and agriculture. Besides the state funded institutes, there are 33 private institutions of higher education in Bolivia, offering close to 220 academic programs.
The state of public universities in Bolivia, however, is not very good due to lack of infrastructure. Thus, many private colleges in Bolivia have been doing very well. Even the government has been promoting more private institutes in Bolivia since 1985, to enhance the quality of higher education in the country.
Although the cost of education at private colleges in Bolivia seems very affordable when compared to similar courses in the United States of America, they are quite expensive for the natives. Private universities and institutions in Bolivia are popular even among students of neighbouring countries like Argentina and Brazil. They sometimes even hire professors from countries like Spain and Cuba to teach courses at their programs. Private institutes in Bolivia are working towards collaborating with the American and European universities to set up post-graduate exchange programs for the students.
Only universities can offer bachelor or master degrees in Bolivia. The bachelor’s degree or Licenciado is offered in the science and arts streams and can take four to five years. A master’s degree course in Bolivia is called as Pos-Grado. Some colleges in Bolivia offer short courses or workshops which could be as short as just one class or go up to a few weeks and lead to the conferment of Maestrias. The maestrias is roughly equivalent to the master’s degree in Bolivia. Students interested in pursuing doctoral studies and successfully completing the same are awarded the Doctorado. Some of the other courses that a student could apply for are a two year program to receive University Intermediate Technician degree, a three year program to receive University Superior Technician degree or even a four year program for a Bachelor degree.
Admission to private or public universities in Bolivia requires a candidate to successfully pass an academic test of basic skills taught in the secondary education. Entrance tests are usually different for public and private institutions. Moreover, entrance tests to public universities in Bolivia are considered much tougher than those for private institutions in Bolivia. Experienced professionals who have successfully completed high school, army personnel or police officers may receive special admission.
Recently, the government has undertaken some strong and comprehensive reforms to bring about significant changes to quality of higher education in Bolivia. The educational funds have been decentralized and teacher training improved. Many local needs are being addressed met and the syllabus expanded, thus introducing greater efficiency in the higher education system in Bolivia. Universities are now aligning their courses with the national needs and, thus, helping develop graduates capable of contributing in the country’s growth.


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