Education in Argentina
In Argentina, the education system is a responsibility shared by the national government, the provinces, federal districts and private institutions. The Ministry of Education is in charge of setting basic national guidelines, while curricular decisions are generally made at the provincial level.
The education system is composed of four levels: Early Childhood Education, Primary Education, Secondary Education and Higher Education. Early Childhood Education includes Kindergarten (ages 2-4) and one year of Pre-school (age 5). Elementary education is from grades 1-6 or 7 and secondary education is from grades 7 or 8-12, depending on the province. All students are required by law to complete 13 years of schooling, from pre-school through 12th grade. Higher education includes universities and tertiary institutions.
The academic calendar is from March to December, with a short winter break in the month of July.
The Argentine grading scale is from 1 to 10. “Good” GPAs vary considerably depending on the field and institution.
10 Sobresaliente (Outstanding)
8-9 Distinguido (Distinguished)
6-7 Bueno (Good)
4-5 Aprobado (Pass)
2-3 Insuficiente (Insufficient)
0-1 Reprobado (Fail)
In Argentina higher education was exclusively public and free until 1958, when new legislation was introduced permitting the creation of private universities. The public universities are financed by the federal government and do not charge tuition.
Research has shown that 63% of the students graduating from high school choose to attend a university. Over a million students are enrolled in the Argentine university system. Eighty-five percent of these students attend national public universities. The University of Buenos Aires, with 250,000 students, is the largest one in the country.
Traditionally, Argentine universities have followed a European model in terms of academic structure and offer specialized programs with few elective courses. Today, most public and private universities offer undergraduate and graduate programs.
In 1995, the government established an independent institution, CONEAU, which is in charge of institutional evaluation and accreditation of graduate and undergraduate programs.
Undergraduate programs are very specialized and center on a specific area of study from the very beginning. The basic undergraduate degree program, called the Licenciatura, requires, on average, 5/6 years to complete (in addition to one year of introductory courses required at some universities). The Licenciatura degree allows students to apply directly to doctoral level programs without any other additional degrees.
At public universities there are no entrance exams, students simply enroll in the different undergraduate programs. However, at the University of Buenos Aires students are required to pass a certain number of introductory courses.
Until 15 years ago, graduate studies, except in a few subjects at the doctoral level, were virtually unknown in Argentina. However, in the last years there has been a tremendous growth in the number of graduate degree programs offered by Argentina’s public and private universities.
Teacher Training Colleges and Technical institutions grant professional degrees. This sector trains individuals to work in the teaching, health and technology-related professions, among others.
List of Argentine university websites and their location on the Argentine map