Cuba’s universities reduced admissions by 26 percent in the 2011-2012 academic year, the National Statistics Office, or ONE, said. Its report says that for 2011-2012, Cuban universities have enrolled a total of 351,116 students, almost 123,000 less than the 473,309 recorded in the previous academic year.
The system of higher education has slashed enrollment in all areas, but particularly in social sciences and the humanities, which nonetheless continues to have the second-largest number of admissions with more than 77,200 students. ONE notes that the highest number of students in the country are taking medical science courses with a total of 118,914.
According to official data, the Cuban university population reached its peak in 2008-2009 with 711,000 students, of whom more than 80 percent were enrolled in degree programs in social sciences and the humanities.
Cuba, with a population of 11.2 million, announced in 2010 that the country had more than 1 million university graduates as a result of the revolution’s decades-long policies of training professionals.
The plan of economic reforms promoted by the government of President Raul Castro stipulates that university quotas must be “at the level needed to develop society and the economy.”
The Web site of Cuba’s Higher Education Ministry said that for the 2012-2013 academic year, some 69,270 new openings are planned, most of them in the fields of pedagogical, medical, technical, agricultural and economic sciences, in that order.