Universities modify or eliminate their entrance tests due to lack of applicants

Omar Pérez, vice-chancellor of the Universidad de los Andes Táchira, pointed out that the new students of the universities have lower academic performance, as a consequence of the deficient Venezuelan educational system

Venezuelan universities have been forced to modify their admission mechanisms due to student desertion, according to the National Alliance All for Education.

Among the institutions that have had to change their strategies is the University of Los Andes, Táchira nucleus (ULA-Táchira). Omar Pérez, vice-rector of this house of studies, indicated that this university can be entered for high academic performance, status as an outstanding artist and selection tests made by specialists.

He stressed that these tests do not apply to theThe courses with less demand, such as Mathematics, Spanish and Literature and Education, “in which the most serious cases are,” according to Pérez. He revealed that, in these degrees, of 130 available places, “seven students apply.”

According to figures from the Living Conditions Survey (Encovi), for 2019, only 775,000 students were enrolled in universities, which represented 24.7% of the more than three million young people between the ages of 18 and 24 who had in the country.

The most requested careers, such as Medicine, Modern Languages ​​and Social Communication, They have their own forms of income. In the case of Medicine, candidates must pass a psychological test before taking the knowledge test.

However, these entry systems are subject to change. This year, for example, it was requested that admission be mainly for high academic performance.

The vice-rector of the ULA-Táchira highlighted that in recent years many students with low performance have entered, which is a consequence of the deficiencies of the educational system at all levels.

Goodbye to admission tests

Gabriel Díaz, a member of Todos por la Educación Aragua, affirmed that the Libertador Experimental Pedagogical University (UPEL) no longer takes internal admission tests. “What we have is a series of questions in the online pre-registration to see their levels of general knowledge,” Díaz explained and affirmed that, despite this filter, all applicants enter due to few applications. The only careers in which a test is applied are Physical Education and Music, to assess the aptitudes of the candidates.

Raúl López Sayago, rector of UPEL, said in January to SuchWhich that, since 2016, a decrease in students enrolled in teaching careers had been observed “which reached 40%”.

Researcher Tulio Ramírez pointed out in February 2022 that Upel enrollment had fallen 73% between 2008 and 2020. He added that students go through an introductory course after admission, which has been taught for two years, to motivate and strengthen students academically.

Díaz maintained that in the Aragua nucleus of the University of Carabobo internal tests are done, but that “they are applied after going through an introductory course in which you can enter with grades (of high school) of 10 and above.”

On the other hand, Armando Díaz, another member of Todos por la Educación in Carabobo, reported that he did not have any interviews to enter his master’s degree in Political Science and Public Administration, despite the fact that the admission process indicated that he had to go through two. “There was no need to make filters. For today’s university it is a blessing to have people wanting to study”, he explained.

Professor Petrica Aguilera, coordinator of the dean’s office of the Universidad de Oriente (UDO), Nueva Esparta core, also stated that some autonomous universities in the country do not apply entrance tests. In the UDO, indicated Aguilera, it is required to be enrolled in the Office of Planning of the University Sector (OPSU) and the high school average to discern who is prepared.

More students, less profile

The UDO, unlike other universities, has seen an increase in its enrollment. In 2018, only 100 students entered, while in 2022 the number of new admissions rose to 750 and in the nucleus of Nueva Esparta, more than 500 students have entered so far in 2023. “It is encouraging because that says that young people they want to study,” Aguilera stressed.

The professor recalled that the Ministry of Higher Education decided to eliminate internal tests “due to the situation in the country” and He maintained that this responds to the idea that this way more students can enter the university. However, she explained that a higher income does not mean that these students have the required profile. “We are in the task of helping them as teachers so that they can achieve their objectives,” she said.

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He assured that many drop out of their studies as they progress. “In a career or a salon, 40 start and fewer and fewer remain because they discover that it was not their career,” he pointed out.

For his part, López Sayago said in January that enrollment had decreased in the nuclei of Caracas, Maracay, Maturín and Barquisimeto, but that in areas of the interior of the country such as San Fernando de Apure, Machiques in Zulia and Santa Elena de Uairén “good numbers have been maintained” and there have even been increments.

López Sayago also pointed out that the area of ​​education most in demand is that of foreign languages. “We have a very interesting enrollment in English, French, Italian and Portuguese” and he explained that the reason is that many students want to work outside the country.”

The UCV remains

The Central University of Venezuela (UCV), for its part, maintains the Admission System for Academic Merit and Comprehensive Diagnosis (Simadi) for five years. This system contemplates the grades of students from the first to the fourth year of high school together with an online evaluation of verbal and logical reasoning.

According to Larry Tadino, professor of the Samuel Robinson program at UCV, the Simadi came to replace the old internal tests and is applied to applicants for all careers, regardless of the level of demand for each one.

The secretary and candidate for rector of the UCV Amalio Belmonte highlighted the importance of the modalities of admission. In 2015 he pointed out: «The massive admission and without demands does not correspond to the true mission of the university». He expressed that, if that was the north for higher education by the government, the National Educational System would have to be looked at in depth.

In addition, he stressed at that time the government’s responsibility to improve the socioeconomic and educational conditions outside the universities, so that they stop hindering the entry and completion of higher education. He also argued that a good education does not guarantee personal fulfillment, but that for this it is essential “to combine quantity and quality educational policies with sound economic policies that stimulate productivity and development.”

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