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Predictors of Vulnerability in Latin American Higher Education

  • Aleix Barrera-Corominas
  • Diego Castro Ceacero
  • Joaquín Gairín SallánEmail author
Chapter
Part of the Intercultural Studies in Education book series (ISE)

Abstract

In the Latin American context, the Inter-American Development Bank (IADB) cites indigenous groups, physically disabled people, populations with a low human development index (HDI), and women as potential groups at risk of, or suffering, social exclusion. Access to higher education has increased substantially in Latin America, but inequalities in access to, and completion of, higher education remain. In this regard, identifying vulnerable groups and exclusion factors is a priority in Latin America’s university systems. The aim of this chapter is to understand in depth governing boards’ perceptions of exclusion factors in higher education institutions in Latin America. Nineteen institutional representatives of Latin American universities were interviewed, selected from amongst the 24 institutions involved in the ACCEDES project. In addition, the 19 university governing board members interviewed were grouped into 3 focus groups, comprising between 4 and 7 participants each. Considering that exclusion factors are affected by contextual and geographical characteristics, participants were grouped according to the three geographical regions of Latin America (including North America and South America). The first focus group was held in Cuba and included representatives of North America and the Caribbean islands (i.e., Panama, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Mexico, Guatemala, the Dominican Republic, and Cuba). The second focus group was held in Venezuela and included representatives of the South American Andean region (i.e., Peru, Bolivia, Colombia, and Venezuela). The last focus group was held in Paraguay and included the South American southern countries (i.e., Chile, Argentina, Uruguay, Brazil, and Paraguay). In conclusion, we have identified five key factors that help better understand exclusion from higher education in Latin America: (1) personal characteristics, (2) family situation, (3) institutional features, (4) public policies, and (5) the developmental phase of university students.

Keywords

Higher education Vulnerability Achievement Access Exclusion Inequalities 

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Aleix Barrera-Corominas
    • 1
  • Diego Castro Ceacero
    • 1
  • Joaquín Gairín Sallán
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Applied PedagogyUniversitat Autònoma de BarcelonaBellaterraSpain

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