According to Education Ministry data, the number of university freshmen in Argentina per year increased by 67.6 percent between 2012 and 2021. That means – according to the data published in the portfolio’s “Síntesis de información universitaria” report – that the total university system registered a growth of 39.7 percent in the students matriculated for both undergraduate and postgraduate studies.
In numbers, the report prepared by Education Ministry experts gave the number of freshmen rising from 423,920 in 2012 to 710,699 in 2021, while in that decade the total student population at undergraduate and postgraduate level rose from 1,824,904 to 2,549,789. The number of graduates also rose by 29.4 percent. Inclusion of pre-university studies at all the 132 universities nationwide gives a grand total of 2,730,754 students in 11,769 courses.
The Education Ministry report also showed 30.5 percent of those entering university to be aged between 17 and 19.
According to the data compiled in 2021, a third of students opted for social sciences, slightly down from previous years. At the other extreme, only 2.5 percent of total students selected pure science, while just over a quarter (25.5 percent) went for training in science and technology.
The number of students changing direction was also monitored, determining that in 2021-2022, 23 percent of students chose to change their course of studies after the first year. Of these, 10.8 percent decided to change the branch of knowledge altogether, a trend observed more in females (14.2 percent) than in males (8.8 percent).
In 2021, seven percent of all undergraduates and 4.43 percent of postgraduates chose to pursue their studies remotely. This Open University-style approach to courses has increased 82.7 percent between 2012 and 2021, undoubtedly boosted by the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
One controversial issue is the number of foreign students. In 2021, these totalled 117,820 in all Argentine universities. Of these, 99,693 were undergraduates (or 3.9 percent of the total) and 18,127 postgraduates (10 percent). Almost all of the foreign students come from the Americas (95.93 percent) with 2.9 percent from Europe and 1.17 percent from the remaining continents.