Voices and stories of equity: the book of the program of the U. de Santiago that gives an account of the inclusive experiences in higher education

October 4, 2017
Communications Colunga Foundation

"When I was starting fourth grade and with a grade average of more than 6.5, Deivi enrolled in a PSU test to test her score. It did not exceed 450 points. His disappointment grew after unsuccessfully seeking scholarships in the universities of the region, which were only available for the best scores in the test." Thus begins the introductory text to the story of Deivi Baca, one of the many that appears in the recently launched book "Voices and stories of equity".

However, the story has a happy ending: "A few weeks later he received an invitation to go with his mother to the University of Antofagasta. There they explained that because of his good grades he had been selected to attend a program called Propedéutico, which granted him a direct quota to the university regardless of the PSU score and with complete gratuity. 'I was skeptical at first. Everything sounded too good to be true. When I realized it was real, I started crying. It was great. I think the PSU is very unfair, many students are at a disadvantage. In the essays that I gave there were subjects that you have not seen in my life '", Reads the text.

In 105 pages, the book recounts the experiences of Deivi Baca and other students who, thanks to different initiatives, entered higher education regardless of their PSU scores. In addition, details of the inclusive access routes of 25 universities throughout the country are given, as well as the PACE program, which has 29 attached Higher Education Institutions.

The launch, held on September 25, was marked by a conversation held in the offices of the Colunga Foundation, led by the director of the Program of Inclusive Access, Equity and Permanence of the University of Santiago (PAIEP) and the UNESCO Chair of Inclusion to Higher Education of the University of Santiago, Francisco Javier Gil, and comments from Cecilia Barbieri, Director ai OREALC / UNESCO Santiago, Arturo Celedón, Development Director of the Colunga Foundation and Ernesto Treviño, Director Center - UC.

On the occasion, Cecilia Barbieri, Director at OREALC / UNESCO Santiago, highlighted the need to address the existing challenges in the region: "This publication talks about stories of equity, which is one of the challenges that still continue to be more important for the Latin American and Caribbean region. When we talk about the educational achievements that the region has achieved in the last 15 years, it is a region that has achieved a lot: it doubled access to primary education, it doubled access to higher education. Numbers are important, achievements are important, but there are two challenges that are fundamental and require a lot of work: improving quality and equidad ".

For his part, Ernesto Treviño, Director Center - UC, also wanted to highlight the pending challenges in access to higher education: "We have to evaluate what are the steps to not choose or "save" a few. The answer is not easy. Gratuity, for example, is one of the barriers that we face. There are implicit, cultural barriers, of previous formation, of heroic efforts, such as those presented in this book, which are invisible to the eyes of decision makers. It is important to call on the Institutions of Higher Education to consider the admission processes in a different way"

From Fundación Colunga, Arturo Celedón, Development Director, commented on the book. "That each of these young people has managed to fulfill the dreams of their lives, has been able to break the circles of exclusion, has been able to exemplify the dreams of their families, is tremendous. But also the challenge is not to forget those who still have no chance of accessing this right, "he concluded. 

Source: PAIEP Communications

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