Study in Uruguay
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Study in UruguayWritten and researched by K White
Uruguay is a small country of 3.3 million inhabitants on the Atlantic coast of South America, in between Argentina and Brazil. Though unremarkable in terms of its size and profile on the world stage, Uruguay is set apart from its neighbors by its prosperity, beauty, and overall stability. It has one of South America's most highly developed economies, and low levels of corruption and economic inequality has helped to develop a reputation as a small oasis of stability in the developing world. It is also known for being politically progressive, as it was the 1st country in South America to legalize same-sex marriage and commitment to a clean environment is considered to be a model for countries around the world. With its lush tropical rainforests, and busy urban centers, Uruguay provides a uniquely beautiful setting in which to pursue an education.
Overall, Uruguay has an effective education system, and its primary and secondary schools are significantly better than those in most neighboring countries in South America. Politically and culturally, education is seen as extremely important, and a high priority is placed on ensuring that children get the education that they need to succeed. Uruguay's literacy rate, at 98.3% is the highest in the region–an indication of the Uruguayan people's commitment to education. Recent developments have included the enactment of a “one laptop per child” program that seeks, as its name suggests, to place the cheap and reliable portable computer in the hands of every primary school student.
Primary and secondary schooling in Uruguay is good, but it is certainly not without problems. The main issue facing primary and secondary education in Uruguay is a severe imbalance in population density. Uruguay has a few large cities in which 80% of the population reside, while the rest of the country is extremely sparsely populated. The result of this is that urban schools are severely overcrowded, while rural schools serve only a few students at a time, and lack of funding, resources, and staff prevent them from meeting the needs of students. There are, however, programs going into effect that promise to address many of these issues by providing more adequate equipment for students and teachers in the country.
Education in Uruguay is free from kindergarten through the undergraduate level, and a college education is nominally available for every Uruguayan citizen. In practice, economic facts prevent many poor and working class students from taking advantage of the availability of higher education, but the efforts of the government to extend education to all citizens have nonetheless had a marked effect on the quality of higher education in Uruguay.
Of the 5 universities located in Uruguay, all are in the capital, Montevideo. Though they are few in number, they are diverse in terms of size, structure, and academic programs. With 4 private universities and one large public university, Uruguay's higher education sector has a number of options for domestic students and foreign nationals alike. Although most popular programs are prestigious professional specializations such as law, engineering, medicine, and economics, technical and vocational training is also available.