Private universities and academic excellence: Peru has the second largest number of universities in South America, behind only Brazil, where the population is seven times larger.

Author:Goya, Daniel

But barely 24.4 % of the workers in Lima have attended university, and according to the Society for Foreign Trade in Peru (Comex), about 49.7 % of Peru's economically active population have studied at university.

The offerings in higher education have doubled in the last 40 years, and private investment is largely responsible for this increase. "The State doesn't have the funds to offer innovative education consistent with the demands of today's globalized markets," says Fernando D'Alessio, general director of Centrum Catolica, the business school of the Pontifica Universidad Catolica of Peru (PUCP).

For Jose Pereyra, vice rector of academics and research at the Peruvian University of Applied Sciences (UPC), the scenario of higher education in the mid-nineties was conformist. "The status quo was one of little competition among universities to innovate and look toward broadening the education on offer," he says. "When the UPC appeared, with an innovative, results-oriented vision and with new majors, that had an impact on the market and made other universities knuckle down."

Centrum was launched in 2000 seeking to be an option for those who were interested in a school of global business. Today the school accepts about 1,200 students per year in its Master's programs and offers courses in nine Peruvian cities and in Colombia. "We have decentralized the quality of our training at the national level, and we also operate in Bogota and...

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