Local November 23, 2019 | 6:17 am

OEI report establishes greater female participation in higher education in DR

Santo Domingo.- The representation of the Organization of Ibero-American States for Education, Science, and Culture (OEI) in the Dominican Republic presented on Tuesday the report “Diagnosis of Higher Education in Latin America 2019,” which states that in almost all countries in the region have greater participation of women in higher education.

In Latin America, the vast majority of countries have percentages of female participation above 50% in 2017, standing out above 60%: Dominican Republic (63.88%), Cuba (62.37%), Argentina (61, 69%) and Panama (60.46%). Mexico is the only Latin American nation that does not exceed 50% female participation in higher education, with 49.86%.

The report was presented by Dr. Otto Granados, president of the OEI Advisory Council and former secretary of Public Education of Mexico, at an event that took place in the Business Event Hall of the AIRD Business Tower.

In 2017, only Bolivia and Peru showed a percentage of women who graduated below 50%, reaching only 45.29% and 48.42, respectively. The highest rate is presented by the Dominican Republic (65.78%), Argentina (65.62%), Panama (65.04%) and Honduras (64.18%).

Other countries that also exceed 60% of women graduates are Puerto Rico, Uruguay, Costa Rica, and Brazil.

However, the document argues that although women have higher participation rates in terms of the number of students and graduates, this has not yet translated to their participation within the teaching staff of higher education.

For the region of Latin America and the Caribbean, the percentage of women dedicated to teaching in higher education does not reach 50% in any of the years considered in the study (2010-2017).

The report was prepared by the OEI within the framework of the new institutional work plan to advance the development of the Ibero-American Knowledge Area, agreed at the Salamanca Summit in 2005 by the Heads of State and Government of the Ibero-American community.

The challenge of improving quality

In the presentation, Granados said that the problem is no longer the growth of educational enrollment, now it is to improve the quality, reputation, and excellence of higher education in Latin America.

He said that with the report, they also want to encourage the participation of teachers and students to reflect on the issue because there is an industrial revolution with new dilemmas that pose a reformulation of higher education, which allows progress in a culture of quality.

In saying the opening words of the act, the Minister of Higher Education, Science, and Technology, Alejandrina Germán, noted that the OEI report presents the excellent news that Latin America crossed the barrier of 30 million university students. “This growth indicates that we can be sure of the value of the family and society that they grant to higher education as a life project to build a better future,” Germán said.

The Minister of Economy, Planning, and Development, Juan Ariel Jiménez, thanked the OEI for bringing the issue of higher education to the center of the debate in the Dominican Republic. He said that at the stage of development in which the Dominican Republic is and with international events, education is playing an increasingly important role.

“A diagnostic report like the one presented today is so important to help us in the discussions we should have as a society and to work together to improve the education system. This will allow our citizens to enjoy better and higher standards of living: a product of the improvements in their competences,” said Minister Jiménez.

The closing words of the activity were pronounced by the rector of ISFODOSU, Julio Sánchez, who welcomed the presentation of the report and the debate it generates to improve the quality of higher education.

The OEI representative in the Dominican Republic, Catalina Andújar, was present at the event.

The activity was organized in coordination with the Ministries of Economy, Planning and Development and Higher Education, Science and Technology, as well as the Higher Institute of Teacher Training Salomé Ureña (ISFODOSU), given the strategic role of Higher Education for sustainable development, productivity, and employability.

According to the report, in 2017 it is observed that in most Latin American countries there is a tendency to increase the percentage of students studying in private institutions, Peru and the Dominican Republic stand out in this line. With an increase of 12.2 and 6.7 percentage points, respectively.

The act involved Dominican authorities, university rectors, and institutions of higher education in the country, technical teams, and representatives of various agencies linked to the sector.

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