A Personal Experience: Argentine Academia, & Investors

Argentina’s public education system, which allows for a high degree of advanced learning, and so a well-developed professional sector, should be a prodigious draw for investors.
From beginning at the National College of Buenos Aires (Colegio Nacional de Buenos Aires), to a postgraduate degree at the National Nuclear Energy Commission (Comisión Nacional de Energy Nuclear), my life’s work is the fruit of the Argentine public education system. There are many Argentine professionals who have completed similar course work without tuition.

The system allows students to face many challenges, and social mobility can be strong because many who may not have the means nevertheless can receive excellent preparation to reach advanced positions. As such, Argentines can professionally contribute to society, both here and for the world.

Our base of professionals is a source from which to create and manage new & vibrant enterprises. It was the case, somewhat recently, that newly formed Argentine companies reached stock values of more than a billion dollars in a short period. These are the Argentine unicorns (Globant, Despegar and Mercado Libre). Several other so-called centaurs (valuation of more than 100 million dollars) are working to reach this level; and there are the Little Ponies (more than 10 million).

The nation counts on well-trained professionals from all sectors, and Argentine human capital can face market challenges!

Free education began with the foundation of our first cities. From 1613, with the creation of the University of Córdoba, and in 1617 with the creation of the College of Buenos Aires by the Jesuits, our national institution of public education began. Likewise, public health developed in the 1600’s, and originally under the auspices of charitable organizations.

The free education structure does not exclude advancements in paid sectors of education and health as well. The permanent challenge is for the free public level to be equal to or higher than the private level.

Argentine Nobel Prize winners have all been publicly educated. Carlos Saavedra Lamas (Nobel Peace Prize winner, 1936) studied at the National College of Buenos Aires, where his great-grandfather Cornelio Saavedra (president of the Governing Board,1810) also studied. He graduated from the University of Buenos Aires as a lawyer. Bernardo Houssay (Nobel Prize in Medicine, 1947) also studied at the National College of Buenos Aires and graduated from the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Buenos Aires. Federico Leloir (Nobel Prize in chemistry, 1970) graduated from the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Buenos Aires. Cesar Milstein (Nobel Prize in Medicine, 1984) received his doctorate in chemistry from the University of Buenos Aires. Adolfo Perez Esquivel (Nobel Peace Prize, 1980) studied at the National School of Fine Arts and graduated from the Faculty of Fine Arts at the University of La Plata. In summary, five Nobel Prizes were granted: Four who graduated from the University of Buenos Aires and one from the University of La Plata. Perhaps this is the most evident result of the excellence of Argentine public education.

Also salient, one can pursue more than one university career without interference from economic pressure. Here there is the recurring phenomenon of professional graduates in two different careers without unbearable economic pressure. For example, my professor of Legal Engineering of the Faculty of Engineering of the University of Buenos Aires, Eng. Guillermo J. Cartasso, was also a graduate in law and engineering. There are so many examples, including me.

Doubtless, education in Argentina will evolve, and not only through traditional forms but also through the Internet. There are international investment funds like The Rise Fund of 2 billion dollars (with whom the singer Bono has participated) which have invested 20 million dollars destined to the Argentine company Digital House, a coding school where new generations of coders are formed and digital professionals may imagine, innovate and believe what they always dreamed (La Nación, December 12, 2017).

Jorge F. Beramendi