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IFC Supports Education in Chile with $30 Million Financing to Fundación DUOC


In Washington, D.C.:
Ludi Joseph
Phone: (202) 473 7700
E-mail:
ljoseph@ifc.org

Adriana Gomez
Phone: (202) 458 5204
E-mail:
agomez@ifc.org


Washington, D.C./Santiago, Chile, November 24, 2009—IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, will promote access to affordable professional and technical education for low- and middle-income students in Chile with $30 million in financing to Fundación DUOC, a leading educational institution.

Through its network of 12 campuses, DUOC provides a range of technical, vocational, and professional education to 50,000 students. With IFC’s support, the university will expand its facilities and programs, reaching more students with limited access to higher education.  The percentage of young Chileans in the 18–23 age group attending higher education institutions is 17–22 percent for poor people and 79 percent for the highest-income bracket.  

“IFC’s financing will help DUOC increase its course offerings in business, construction, health care, and engineering,” said Marcelo Von Chrismar Werth, Rector, DUOC.  “These programs are highly relevant to the demands of the local labor market, preparing students to enter the workforce with strong practical skills. The project shows our commitment to good citizenship and corporate social responsibility.”

Guy Ellena, IFC Director for Health and Education, said, “The project will expand the availability of higher education to lower-income segments, which is crucial in Chile.  It will also increase access in one of the most densely populated areas of the Santiago Metropolitan region, which has few education opportunities for its mid- to low-income inhabitants.”

Enrique Cañas, IFC Regional Manager for Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Paraguay, and Uruguay, said, “IFC's financing to DUOC is consistent with IFC's strategy in Chile to support private sector participation in education projects that target underserved segments. Projects like DUOC help create opportunities for better jobs and quality of life.”
 
In October 2007, IFC worked with DUOC and Banco de Crédito e Inversiones, one of Chile’s largest banks, to introduce the first private student loan program in the country.  

IFC’s role in education in Latin America and the Caribbean includes expanding access to quality education for people from all income groups, introducing innovative means of financing and delivering education services, improving quality and standards, helping students and institutions obtain access to financial support, and complementing public financing and provision to achieve public education goals.

 IFC is the only international financial institution focused exclusively on the private sector, the engine of sustainable development in emerging markets. Along with IBRD, it is currently seeking a capital increase to strengthen its ability to create opportunity for the poor in developing countries—including by increasing access to affordable education in Chile.

About IFC
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, creates opportunity for people to escape poverty and improve their lives. We foster sustainable economic growth in developing countries by supporting private sector development, mobilizing private capital, and providing advisory and risk mitigation services to businesses and governments. Our new investments totaled $14.5 billion in fiscal 2009, helping channel capital into developing countries during the financial crisis. For more information, visit www.ifc.org.

About Fundación DUOC
Established in 1973, DUOC owns and manages a network of post-secondary education centers in Chile with 12 teaching sites catering to over 50,000 students and employing more than 3,700 staff.  It provides for the education needs of low- and middle-income families while developing highly competent and ethically responsible professionals. For more information, visit www.duoc.cl.