Mariana Mendonça
PhD in Social Sciences, Instituto de Historia Argentina y Americana "Dr. Emiligio Ravignani", Universidad de Buenos Aires

UC MEXUS residency from October 2018 to December 2018
Mariana Mendonça

I am a sociologist whose primary research interest is the transformation and expansion of Argentina’s higher education system from the mid-twentieth century to present. Specifically, I aim to analyze the creation of new public universities and its impact on the labor power and national economy. In Argentina in 1970, more than 16 national universities were created. This period resulted in the first expansion wave of higher education in the country. The second wave took place during the 1990s, and between 2003 and 2015 the higher education system went through its third expansion.

These cycles did not respond only to changes in Argentina, as other countries in Latin America went through similar expansion waves. In Mexico, the expansion and institutional decentralization process went through different stages. The first one took place in the 1950s, when 13 public universities were created in different parts of the country. Despite this expansion, both in Argentina and Mexico, the university located in the capital cities continued to concentrate the largest number of students in the 1970s.

Consequently, a new phase of renewal of academic and administrative structures began in Mexico. Thus, it is worth mentioning -among others- the creation of new careers, departmental organization and reforms of some of the curricula in force (Gómez, 1998). Although each of these cases is unique in some sense, it is possible to identify a pattern among these waves and search for commonalities in the goals that motivated these transformations in higher education in the region.

During my stay at UC Riverside I intend to compare the Argentinian case with that of Mexico in order to expand knowledge about this period and establish continuities and ruptures in the history of Latin America´s Higher Education System.

More information about Dr. Mendonça’s work can be found here:

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