The privatisation of education in Uruguay

Eloísa Bordoli, Pablo Martinis, Mauro Moschetti, Stefanía Conde and Marcelo Alfonzo

published 29 September 2017 updated 4 January 2022

Over the last few decades, pro-privatisation policies have taken a central place in many processes of educational reform on a global scale. In Latin America, these policies have assumed a key role in educational reform processes, especially since the 1990s.

In this context, and unlike most Latin American countries, Uruguay stands out for having remained relatively out of the privatisation agenda widely spread in the region. However, recent research noticed a significant change in the discursive order that has contributed to the set up of a new privatisation-friendly climate. This change of speech is evidenced in a renewed impetus in the undervaluing of the public services that contrasts with a growing association of private provision with higher levels of efficiency and quality.

This study maps the different manifestations of educational privatisation in Uruguay. By describing the normative frameworks that enable the participation of private actors, it identifies the actors, discourses and positions that support an incipient but renewed thrust that have promoted privatisation policy in education.