Those who want to perfect themselves in their disciplines beyond the undergraduate level in the country must usually make a decision that is not minor: where to do it? As is characteristic of the centralization of knowledge that prevails at the national level, future students generally face the prospect under the understanding that any postgraduate study must be carried out in the capital, even though the metropolitan region is home to only about 40% of the country population.
By Dr. Gabriel Saldías Rossel, Vice Chancellor for Research and Graduate Studies, Catholic University of Temuco.- For the remaining 60%, planning postgraduate studies in Santiago implies considering additional aspects, such as frequent transfers, accommodation costs, and difficulties in reconciling work and family life with studies.
It is in response to this that, for quite some time, regional universities have reacted to the improvement needs of the population, understanding that it is not only important to create space for new professionals, but also to offer alternatives for them to continue in their path of formation throughout life. We cannot underestimate the value of being “in the right place” when making the decision to go ahead with higher education, which is palpable for those who decide to do it from regions.
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In La Araucanía, in particular, the offer of postgraduate courses grows year after year, offering an excellent range of alternatives that is directly nourished by the cultural, social and productive conditions of the region. Contact with local needs, as well as with their possibilities and challenges, is something impossible to adequately address from outside. The four accredited doctoral programs offered by the Catholic University of Temuco, for example, are articulated in direct relation to what the regional environment requires and demands: agricultural sciences, intercultural studies, territorial planning and education.
To these is added the recently created Doctorate in Social and Political Studies and new programs that we hope to inaugurate soon in the areas of precision health and anthropology and heritage, all areas of interest for regional development.
Each of these training alternatives, as well as the 7 accredited Master’s programs that the institution has in various disciplines, carry with them the added value of relevance and belonging, since these are programs that actively seek to connect local circumstances. with the great discussions that are currently brewing worldwide.
We are certain that the students who decide to carry out their postgraduate studies with a regional perspective are capable of offering decentralized perspectives, bearers of transgressive and innovative knowledge that have been cultivated from the unique experience of belonging, living and studying in the territory. that summons and inspires them.
We must not ignore this edge when thinking about the country project that we aspire to, since it will undoubtedly benefit substantially from the poles of knowledge that regional and decentralized postgraduate programs can build and articulate for the benefit of the entire population.