All posts by Marion Lloyd


Mexico Gets Serious About R&D

After years of paying lip service to the importance of science and technology, Mexico is finally committing itself financially to the priority. And universities in the United States should take note.

President Enrique Peña Nieto, who took office in December 2012, has vowed to raise spending on research and development to 1 percent of gross domestic product by 2018, up from the current 0.48 percent. That level would bring Mexico’s economy in line with those of similar size, like Brazil’s.



Controversial University Policies Undergird Protests in Venezuela


Venezuelan police break up a student protest in Caracas on February 15.

In recent weeks, Venezuela has been roiled by student-led protests, and there’s no end in sight. At least 17 people have been killed, many of them university students, since demonstrations broke out in early February.

While the focus has been on the violent crackdown and the virtual standoff between the country’s new president and the young demonstrators, higher-education policies are a key part of the drama. The Venezuelan …


What the U.S. Can Learn From Affirmative Action in Brazil


President Obama and other White House officials are looking for ways to get more low-income students into college.

Last month’s White House summit on low-income college students underscores a growing consensus in U.S. policy circles: that socioeconomic status should replace race as the basis for affirmative action. The new logic reflects both public opinion and recent U.S. Supreme Court rulings calling for greater scrutiny of race-based affirmative action.

However, it misses a key point. While u…


Chile’s Sea Change in Higher Education


Michelle Bachelet, Chile’s newly elected president

Michelle Bachelet, who won Chile’s presidency in a landslide on Sunday, has vowed to overhaul her country’s economic model to deal with endemic inequality. And she plans to start by providing free higher education for all.

It’s a radical departure from the current system, in which the government accounts for just 15 percent of the sector’s total funding. That share is among the lowest in the world and is less than half that of the United States,…