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Universidad Católica ranked first among Chile’s universities

universidad catolicaStudy rates universities with student, faculty, academic criteria.

A study publishedranking Chilean universities revealed a rather unsurprising trend – Chile’s higher education system is dominated by its older “traditional” universities, while most other private universities lag behind.

The Group of Advanced University Studies and El Mercurio published their findings Friday, releasing a ranking of universities based on their quality in undergraduate teaching. Nine of the top 10 universities belonged to the Council of University Directors of Chile (Cruch), an organization comprising the country’s 25 oldest and most prestigious schools.

Universidad Católica took first place, followed by Universidad de Chile and Universidad de Concepción in second and third place, respectively.

Some private universities such as Universidad Adolfo Ibáñez, which accounted for the tenth university in both rankings, consistently appear among or near top Cruch universities in published rankings. However, private universities are often plagued with a stigma of lesser quality, further propelled by the recent scandal involving Universidad del Mar and Universidad Pedro de Valdivia, both private institutions.

The two universities’ directors were arrested this month after a scandal over their accreditation was uncovered. Both directors were caught bribing CNA officials in order to receive accreditation. In this study, only accredited universities were evaluated and ranked.

The study rated universities on criteria such as the percentage of faculty with doctorates, the number of students per professor, student retention rates and standardized test scores. The ratings consisted of four general categories worth varying percentages of the university’s overall score: students (15 percent), academics (25 percent), academic well-being (45 percent) and institutional management (20 percent).

In descending order, Universidad de Talca, Universidad Austral de Chile, Universidad del Bio-Bío, Universidad Católica de Valparaíso, Universidad Adolfo Ibáñez, Universidad de Santiago de Chile and Universidad de La Frontera were ranked fourth through 10th.

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