More foreign students choose...

02/05/18 They already reach 15% of total enrollment; in Economic Sciences, the percentage doubles; they choose it because of its location in the international ranking. "As a foreigner I wanted a...


They already reach 15% of total enrollment; in Economic Sciences, the percentage doubles; they choose it because of its location in the international ranking.

“As a foreigner I wanted a degree that travels with me, that can take it to another country and be recognized as a title of a very good university”. These are the words of Trace Palmer, from Alabama, United States. She’s a student of the Master of Business Administration in the Faculty of Economics of the University of Buenos Aires (UBA).

“I chose the UBA for the academic excellence with which it is known in the world. Besides, the MBA program that I am doing has already received the A from the National Commission for University Evaluation and Accreditation. That is the highest level assigned”, explains the 25-year-old student with a degree in Media Studies and Hispanic Literature from Washington University in St. Louis.

Unlike undergraduate degrees that are taught free of charge, UBA postgraduate programs are subject to fees. The offer includes 287 specialization courses, 141 master’s degrees and 40 doctorates in Social, Basic, Human, Applied and Health Sciences.

Every year thousands of foreigners choose to study the postgraduate courses of the UBA for the growth of their academic training. According to official data of the university, of the 30,000 postgraduate students that are taught in the 13 faculties, 4500 are foreigners. They mean 15% of the annual enrollment. That percentage is doubled in the Faculty of Economic Sciences. Thus, of the 2300 students who make a specialization in this house of studies, 690 come from other countries.

For Palmer, in the globalized world you should always find something that makes a difference. He considers that, as an American, having an international degree adds legitimacy in terms of knowledge of culture and the possibility of obtaining more competitive jobs.

“A very marked difference is that in the United States when you are studying, you are a student. In Buenos Aires, on the other hand, almost everyone has a job, and in an MBA they all attend from 19 to 22, after working all day”, explains Palmer. He has a perfect Spanish that his girlfriend, from Buenos Aires, “argentinized”. Enthusiastic, he adds: “I imagine they are very tired, but the batteries are still there and they are very involved. I was surprised by the commitment that the students have, which is not the same thing that happens in my country, where the job is to be a student”.

10 months ago, Fredy Peña came from Colombia with the purpose of studying in Argentina. She’s 25 years old and a graduate in Arts at the Francisco José de Caldas District University in Bogotá. She had visited Buenos Aires on several occasions and had loved the city for the cultural movement.

Through the Internet, she sought postgraduate degrees in different universities, but none of them called her attention. Until she found a Master’s Degree in Cultural and Creative Sector Administration. “I loved the curriculum, it helps me to follow my training process,” explains Peña, who works in the gastronomic field in Palermo.

In addition to the curriculum, Peña says he chose the UBA “because it is one of the best universities in Latin America.” The last international ranking, QS, ranked the UBA in the 75th position among the best 100 universities in the world and first among the Ibero-American ones. This ranking is led by four universities in the United States -MIT, Stanford, Harvard and Caltech- and by the British Cambridge.

Although Christian Narváez and Rodrigo Retana come from different places in Latin America, both chose the UBA for their postgraduate studies. Narváez, 28, arrived from Cuenca, Ecuador, to pursue a postgraduate course in Computer Security. Retana, 24, left Costa Rica to pursue a Master’s Degree in Electronic Commerce and Internet Business.

“I was between Spain and Argentina. And I came to Buenos Aires for the prestige of the UBA and also because one of my passions has to do with the livestock industry. So I wanted to come and learn more about this topic”, says Renata, who is waiting conclude the legal procedures to look for work.

Family experiences

The decision of Narváez arose from the experience of a relative of his who studied in the UBA and by the comments that he found on the Internet about the university. “It’s great to come to study in Buenos Aires and have a UBA degree. It is one of the best in Latin America, and having a degree like that also helps us a lot to return to our country and get a better job,” says the student. .

Narváez also highlights the academic requirement of the faculty, where there are different fields of study. “As a systems engineer you do not just stay in what is programming, but you can learn more about issues, such as computer forensics, which calls me much more attention. And in this postgraduate I have the opportunity to study it,” he adds.

Two years ago, Lui Chang arrived from Shandong, China, to work in the Argentine branch of the Geshouba company. And he was able to accommodate his time to study intensively the postgraduate course in Foreign Trade. In addition to highlighting the location in the international rankings, Chang says that he prefers the public university because of its long history. “Here the teacher gives work to solve in a group, in China always the works are done alone,” says the foreign student.

Iri Hatani is a graduate in Economics from the University of Doshisha, Japan, and a graduate student in International Economic Relations. He says in the Buenos Aires classrooms “there is more energy because students speak and have interests”. In his experience, “in Japan there is no noise, people even sleep in class. But here you are more focused because you have to give your opinion”.

Born in Kyoto, Hatani also took a Spanish course in Buenos Aires at CUI. And among the reasons why he chose the UBA to pursue his postgraduate studies, he does not hide his surprise at having learned on the Internet that “Che Guevara studied medicine here, and also because there are many foreign students”.

The phenomenon, in numbers:

  • 30,000 students: They take a postgraduate degree in one of the 13 faculties of the University of Buenos Aires. Of that number, 4500 students come from different places abroad, including China, Japan and the United States
  • 486 options: It is the offer of postgraduate courses of the UBA. It includes 287 specialization courses, 141 master’s degrees and 40 doctorates in the 13 faculties that make up this house of higher education
  • 30% in Economics: Although 15% of the annual postgraduate enrollment corresponds to foreign students, that figure is doubled in the options offered by the Faculty of Economic Sciences
  • 75 in the QS ranking: The UBA is among the top 100 universities in the world according to that international ranking. It is the first among the studios in Latin America. It is also the largest in the country, with more than 300,000 students

By: Carolina Otero for La Nación

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