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
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.
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.