Growth and diversity have characterised higher education in OECD countries for fifty years. Chile is no exception and has experienced dramatic increases in the number of students, the range of institutions and the programmes that they offer. But wider participation and diversification are only part of the story. Chilean society remains highly unequal in economic and social terms, and the quality of the academic, technical and professional programmes on offer is uneven. The establishment of a culture of quality in higher education which goes beyond accreditation, and the provision of accurate and reliable information, have become issues of concern not only to institutions, students and employers but to a wider public.
This report analyses the performance of the relatively young higher education quality assurance system (SINAC-ES). It provides a set of key principles that the OECD review team believes both reflect international practice and are relevant for Chile. The report makes a set of recommendations about the place of the SINAC ES in Chilean higher education and society; the focus of its work; its structure and leadership; and the functions of licensing; accreditation and information that it carries out.