Monday, November 6, 2017

Engineering in Argentina: From Worse to Worst

 We started 600 in the Facultad de Ingenieria of the Universidad de La Plata, Argentina. It was in the sixties. I was the first to graduate in my class. I left immediately for the USA and never knew how did finished at all; I know about 25. Most of the students were not studying nor working but living off their parents, the "eternal student" life suited them.

תוצאת תמונה עבור ‪manifestacion facultad de ingenieria de la plata‬‏
Clarin writes that today there are 215805 engineering students in Argentina, and that in 2016 a total of 8303 were granted the diploma of engineer. That is fewer than the 8542 graduated in 2014.

Only one in five engineering students graduates, meaning that 80% of the students are wasting their time and the time of the faculty.  In 2010 the Government launched a well-funded campaign to promote the profession and distributed generous scholarships: Judging from the numbers, the campaign had negative effects.

The cause of this absurd situation is that no government in the last hundred years dared to restrict the entrance to the universities. During the Peron era even those who did not finish high school were accepted in the name of "justicialismo", the regime professed that they could not study because of poverty, political affiliation or police repression, but social justice meant that they too deserved to enter the university. 

The student life in La Plata was cheap and easy, so much that I too spent a whole year without attending class (next year I worked double plus hard).  I did not take money from my parents, I worked as lifeguard in the beach during the four month summer vacation and that was more than enough for the whole year.

FollowUp Nov.23 2017: Argentine submarine lost in the South Atlantic. No one knows what happened, but I assume it may be somehow related to the above note. Poor mariners.

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