Higher Education in Venezuela
Higher education in Venezuela is free for citizens as declared under the 1999 constitution and receives 35 percent of the education budget. In 2002, more than 70 percent of higher education students came from the wealthiest of the population. To address this problem, the government established the Bolivarian University System.
The government decided to funnel money into the university system rather than concentrating on improving primary and secondary education. In 2002, there were 860,000 students enrolled in higher education, making up 11 percent of the total student population. The number increased dramatically to 2 million in 2011.
Originally created by President Huga Chavez, UBV is part of Mission Sucre, a government scholarship program. In an effort to democratize access to higher education, politicized study programs to the public with minimal entrance requirements were established. The UBV has campuses in at least 335 municipalities throughout Venezuela.
The higher education institutions are divided into universities and technical schools. Universities award students with titles that translate literally into Engineer (Ingeniero) after completion of a five-year program. Some may award Diplomados with the time to obtain one varying.
Technical students are awarded the title of University Higher Technician (Técnico Superior Univeritario) or Licentiate (Licenciado) after completion of a three-year program.
Post graduate work is awarded with master's and doctorate's degrees as in the United States.
Popular Universities in Venezuela
The highest ranking institution in Venezuela is the Universidad Central de Venezuela (UCV). It ranks 33rd in all of Latin America rising from 52nd in 2011. The Universidad Simón Bolívar is a close second at 35th highest ranking.
Also making Latin America's top 100 is the Universidad de los Andes Mérida and Universidad Católica Andrés Bello.
Tuition Fees in Venezuela
The cost of university study for International Students normally includes tuition and fees, housing, health insurance, books and living expenses. Students who have or need an F-1 or J-1 visa must show their funding support based on the estimated cost of one academic year. This is done on a Promissory Note of Financial Support form.
The current estimated cost of one year for undergraduate students is $29,253 and $33,790 for graduate students. It should be noted that these estimates also include the cost of meals and personal expenses.
Eligibility for Study Visas
A Venezuela Student Visa is available to non immigrants for those wishing to pursue studies in the country. This can be obtained through your local Consulate or Embassy. Check their website to find out what documents are needed.
Why Study in Venezuela?
Venezuela has an excellent university system. In addition to a top education, you will be immersed in one of the most beautiful and geographically diverse countries in the world. It will be the experience of a lifetime.