San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Public Universities Graduate Only 25% of Students

PUBLIC universities in Costa Rica boast only a 25% graduation rate, according to a study by the Office of Higher Education Planning (OPES) of students from 1996-2002.Of the country’s four public universities, State University at a Distance (UNED) has the worse rate, with 13%; the Technology Institute of Costa Rica (ITCR) has the best at 40.8%; the University of Costa Rica (UCR) graduates 34%; and Universidad Nacional (UNA) graduates 29%.Students who do not graduate bounce from major to major for more than eight years, transfer to private schools or fail out, the daily La Nación reported.The study also found that of the graduates, 61% are women.A total of 71,000 students are studying in public universities, with an average annual cost per student of ¢1.7 million ($3,500), although the cost to the student is much lower.

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