Brazil’s State University of Campinas is the highest ranked education campus in Latin America, according to Times Higher Education’s Latin America University Rankings 2017.
Brazil’s universities dominate the index, claiming 32 out of 81 ranks, although only 18 made it to the top 50, down from 23 last year.
Mexico’s performance has also diminished. Of its 13 educational institutes, 6 made the top 50, down from 8 last year. Argentina and Ecuador have found a place in the index for the first time, with Chile grabbing more places than last year.
Chile has 15 universities in the top 50, up from 11 last year, while Colombia has 5 in the top 50, up from 4, and there are 7 newcomers to the ranking overall.
Analysts say Argentina and Chile have high proportion of students enrolled in higher education institutes and that both the countries boast high-quality research facilities.
The universities were judged by their teaching, research, knowledge transfer, and international outlook.
Times Higher Education has attributed Campinas’ ranking to the university’s increased investment in research facilities and equipment. However, Brazil’s economic crisis is spilling out into the country’s education sector, with research scholars and professors choosing other occupations or leaving the country for better opportunities abroad.
Even officials at the University of Campinas have admitted that their budget had shrunk to 2008 levels: “We have to restrict our investment in new buildings. It will affect the research and the functioning of the university,” confided Marcelo Knobel, rector of the University.
Nevertheless, analysts conclude that Brazil will remain the leading higher education nation for the foreseeable future, given that it has the highest level of national investment in research and development.