Education in Argentina
Education in Argentina is a responsibility shared by the national government, the provinces and federal district and private institutions, though basic guidelines have historically been set by the Ministry of Education. Closely associated in Argentina with President Domingo Sarmiento's assertion that "the sovereign should be educated" ("sovereign" referring to the people), education has been extended nearly universally and its maintenance remains central to political and cultural debate. Education in all levels, including universities, have always been free and not requiring to pay any kind of fee.
The education in Argentina known as the Latin American docta has had a convoluted history. There was no effective education plan until President Domingo Sarmiento (1868–1874) placed emphasis on bringing Argentina up-to-date with practices in developed countries. Sarmiento encouraged the immigration and settling of European educators and built schools and public libraries throughout the country, in a programme that finally doubled the enrollment of students during his term; in Argentina, Teacher's Day (on September 11) commemorates his death. The first national laws mandating universal, compulsory, free and secular education (Law 1420 of Common Education) were sanctioned in 1884 during the administration of President Julio Roca. The non-religious character of this system, which forbade parochial schools from issuing official degrees directly but only through a public university, harmed the relations between the Argentine State and the Catholic Church, leading to resistance from the local clergy and a heated conflict with the Holy See (through the Papal Nuncio).
Following the university reform of 1918, Argentine education, especially at university level, became more independent of the government, as well as the influential Catholic Church. The church began to re-emerge in country's secular education system during the administration Juan Perón, when in 1947, catechism was reintroduced in public schools, and parochial institutions began again receiving subsidies. A sudden reversal in the policy in 1954 helped lead to Perón's violent overthrow, after which his earlier, pro-clerical policies were reinstated by General Pedro Aramburu. Aramburu's Law 6403 of 1955, which advanced private education generally, and parochial, or more often, Catholic-run schools (those staffed with lay techers), in particular, helped lead to the establishment of the Argentine Catholic University.
The program of deregulation and privatization pursued by President Carlos Menem in reaction to the country's socio-economic crisis of 1989 led to the decentralization of the Argentine secondary school system, whereby, from 1992 onwards, the schools' administration and funding became a provincial responsibility. The policy's weakness, however, lay in that federal revenue sharing did not increase accordingly, particularly given the decision to shift two primary school years to the secondary system.
In spite of its many problems, Argentina's higher education managed to reach worldwide levels of excellence in the 1960s. Argentina educated three Nobel Prize winners in the sciences: Luis Federico Leloir, Bernardo Houssay and César Milstein the highest number in Latin America surpassing countries economically more developed and populated as Ireland or Spain. In addition, as of 2010, Argentines are the only Latin Americans to have ever been honoured with a Rolf Schock Prize.
The Argentine population at large benefits from a relatively high level of educational attainment, by regional standards. Among those age 20 and over, the highest level attained, per the 2010 Census, was distributed thus:
Education in Argentina is divided in three phases. The first comprises grades first to ninth, and is called Educación Primaria Básica or EPB (Spanish, "Basic Primary Education"). EPB is divided in ´two stages, called ciclos ("cycles"):
- EPB I: 1st, 2nd and 3rd school years
- EPB II: 4th, 5th and 6th school years
Once the EPB is completed, the student finishes the mandatory schooling period, so they must start secondary education. EPB is mandatory to all students, as well as secondary education, according to the National Educational Law established in 2011.
The third stage is tertiary education, which includes both college and university education.
Education is funded by tax payers at all levels except for the majority of graduate studies. There are many private school institutions in the primary, secondary and university levels. Around 11.4 million people were enrolled in formal education of some kind in 2005:
Qualification Modes of Grading 
In the Latin American docta the scale to grade up the academic performance in students at the primary and secondary school rest in the 1-10 ladder as is described in the following frame.
|9, 8||Highly Satisfactory|
|5, 4||Barely Satisfactory|
|3, 2, 1||Unsatisfactory|
In the University System however the scale can vary depending on the independent policies and statutes of grading of each independent Argentine University.
Primary education 
Accepted between ages 6 and 14. Primary education comprises the first two EGB cycles (grades 1–6). Because of the system that was in place until 1995 (7 years of primary school plus 5 or 6 of secondary school), primary schools used to offer grades 1–7, although most are already converted to accept 8th and 9th, others chose to eliminate 7th grade altogether, forcing the students to complete the 3rd cycle in another institution.
Secondary education 
Secondary education in Argentina is called Polimodal ("polymodal", that is, having multiple modes), since it allows the student to choose his/her orientation. Polimodal is obligatory and its completion is a requirement to enter colleges across the nation. Polimodal is usually 3 years of schooling, although some schools have a fourth year.
Conversely to what happened on primary schools, most secondary schools in Argentina contained grades 8th and 9th, plus Polimodal (old secondary) but then started converting to accept also 7th grade students, thus allowing them to keep their same classmates for the whole EGB III cycle.
This is different however, in the city of Buenos Aires (and several provinces), where Polimodal does not exist. The capital keeps in use the Traditional Argentine education system, composed of seven years of primary education (EGB I and EGB II, with the last two years composing EGB III) and five years of secondary education (the first three of which are of a more general education, with more focus on the specialization starting in the last two years). The secondary education system is thus divided in three large groups, "Bachiller" schools (very similar to grammar schools with a huge emphasis on humanistic studies), "Comercial" schools (focusing on economic sciences and everything related to it) and "Escuelas Técnicas" (with a focus on technical and scientific assignments, this one having the particularity of lasting six years instead of five, it used to be called "Industrial") each one subdivided in more specific orientations related to its main branch. Currently there are no plans to adopt the Polimodal system in the city of Buenos Aires, but rather, several provinces with that system are seriously considering a reform of it, with many opting for the traditional system still used in Buenos Aires. Examples of provinces that use the Traditional system include (besides the capital): Córdoba, Río Negro, and La Pampa.
In December 2006 the Chamber of Deputies of the Argentine Congress approved a new National Education Law restoring the old system of primary followed by secondary education, making secondary education obligatory and a right, and increasing the length of compulsory education to 13 years. The government vowed to put the law in effect gradually, starting in 2007.
Argentina's network of vocational schools, many under the auspices of the National Technological University (UTN), have historically given students viable alternatives, as well.
Higher Education in Argentina 
Argentine higher education system is based, since its conception during the colonial period, on the old and dogmatic Spanish higher education system, which is basically a Continental education system (opposed to the Anglo-Saxon Model). A historic event took place in the "Cordobazo", a highly-popular series of reforms that took place in the oldest university of the Country, the Universidad de Córdoba that finally paved the way to the modernization of the Argentinian higher university systems as it is known nowadays. Since its foundation, it was focused on the teaching of Professions offering Professional degrees.
It is divided in three levels .
- Tertiary Education level: 1- to 3-years degrees related to education or technical professions like Teachers, Professorship, Technicians.
- University level: 4- to 6-years Professional education taught at Universities offering many different degrees Licentiate, Engineering degree, Medic Title, Attorney Title, Professorships, Translation degrees, etc.
- Post-graduate level: This is a specialized and research-oriented education level. It is roughly divided in a first sub-level where a Specialist degree or Master degree can be obtained and a higher sub-level where a Doctorate degree could be achieved.
One important aspect is that Public universities at Tertiary Education level and at University level are tuition-free and open to anyone. Although it is not required to pay any kind of fee at universities, hidden costs of education, like transportation and materials, are often neglected and a lack of a well-developed and widespread scholarship system makes it hard for students from low-income families to enroll in public universities: for each eight students from the 20% upper-income class, there is only one student from the 20% lower-income class. In contrast, post-graduate education requires some form of funding and it is generally not free.
Additionally, financial pressure to freshman college students force them to join the work force before graduation, thus it is very common for young students to have full-time jobs and at the same time study at the University. This is considered beneficial because when the students graduate they already have working experience, though this could also be one of the causes of the high ratio of dropouts.
College education 
Argentina maintains a network of 39 National universities, financed by the Ministry of Education since 1946. Private and parochial universities are also abundant, numbering 46 among the active institutions and they enroll about a sixth of the collegiate student body (see University reform in Argentina and List of Argentine universities). Summing up, over 1.5 million students attend institutions of higher learning in Argentina, annually (roughly half the population of college age).
Argentina does not have a standard and common system of examination after high school, thus admission to universities is strictly defined by each university. Moreover, a steady degradation in primary and secondary education created a huge difference between the required level to enter a university and the level achieved by the high school students. Some universities like University of Buenos Aires cope with this issue by creating a 1-year shared program called CBC that students need to complete in order to join the university. This acts like some sort of admittance "filter".
Graduate School 
The doctoral fields of study in Argentina are generally research-oriented doctoral studies, leading mostly to the awarding of the degrees of Doctor of Philosophy, Doctor of Science, Doctor of Medicine, and Doctor of Law, among others. Enrollment in doctorate programs in Argentina is available to candidates having earned a Licentiate, Professorships Engineer's degree or Master's degree in a related area of study.
Doctoral fields of study mostly pertain to one of five fields of knowledge: Applied Sciences, Basic Sciences, Health Sciences, Human Sciences and Social Sciences. The doctoral studies offered by the Argentine universities include multiple fields and do have national and international validity of the degrees granted.
Academic regulations governing doctorates, and their corresponding fields, in Argentina prescribe that all graduate courses must be accredited by the National Commission for University Evaluation and Accreditation. This entity stands as a public and decentralized body working under the jurisdiction of the Department of Education, Science and Technology. It administers the process of evaluation and accreditation for all doctorate programs, and is responsible for the institutional evaluation of all such programs at a national level. Graduate programs, including the Doctorados (PhDs), set standards per guidelines set forth by the Ministry of Science and Technology, together with the Universities Council.
Additionally, external evaluations of the doctoral programs are carried out by the National Commission for University Evaluation and Accreditation, or private entities created to that effect, together with the participation of academic peers. Argentine institutions of higher education provide further accreditation by international establishments to many of their courses of studies.
See also 
- University reform in Argentina
- Science and technology in Argentina
- Argentine University Federation
- List of universities in Argentina
- Domingo Faustino Sarmiento
- Latino, Rosa María (March 2010), "Familia Infancia y Genero", La travesía de la libertad ante el Bicentenario, X Seminario Argentino-Chileno, IV Congreso Interoceanico de Estudios Latinoamericanos. (Mendoza, Argentina), Simposio 10: 9, ISBN 978-987-9441-40-4 Text " booktitle: La travesía de la libertad ante el Bicentenario, X Seminario Argentino-Chileno, IV Congreso Interoceanico de Estudios Latinoamericanos. " ignored (help)
- Esti Rein, Mónica. Politics and education in Argentina, 1946-1962. M.E. Sharpe, 1998.
- Delgado, Marta. Descentralización Educativa: entre una vieja utopía y la cautela (Spanish)
- Economy Ministry: National budget
- Secretary of Academic Policies
- Science and Education in Argentina
- Argentine Higher Education Official Site
- Rolf Schockpristagare
- INDEC (2010 Census): Población de 20 años o más por máximo nivel de instrucción alcanzado
- INDEC: sistema educativo
- Clarín (Spanish)
- "Realidad y propuestas para la Universidad Argentina", Alieto Aldo Guadagni, Academia Nacional de Educación
- Encyclopædia Britannica, Book of the Year. Statistical Appendix: Argentina.
- Doctorate Engine Seeker - CONEAU by Areas Disciplinarias
- Doctorates in Argentina
- Disciplinary Election in the Argentine University System Secretary of Academic Policies
- Postgraduate Career Guide Secretary of Academic Policies
-  National Commission for University Evaluation and Accreditation
-  Ministry of Science and Technology
-  External evaluation — CONEAU
- Argentine Government website for international students
- Learning in Argentina
- Ministry of Culture: Argentine Education
- Statistics and more statistics about education in Argentina
- Ministerio de Educación, Ciencia y Tecnologia
- National Commission for University Evaluation and Accreditation
- Science and Education in Argentina
- Argentine Higher Education Official Site
- The Argentine Education System
- Argentina School trip funding