One year in: impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on technical tertiary education in Latin America and the Caribbean

July 14, 2021


This brief discuss the impact of COVID-19 on technical tertiary education in countries supported by the Advance Program and El Salvador to assess  the impact to date of the pandemic on selected technical tertiary education programs in several countries in the Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) region. In cooperation with USAID’s Bureau for Latin America and the Caribbean, Advance carried out a desk review and analysis of program documents and reports, and in March 2021 distributed a survey to 38 individuals and held stakeholder consultations with staff at Advance-supported institutions, in addition to institutions in El Salvador.  

The brief organizes the findings into six different themes: access, enrollment, retention, and completion; adaptation of content and delivery to virtual modalities; quality of learning; labor market interventions; finances; and competition and collaboration. It can be used by organizations working with technical tertiary education programs in the LAC region and elsewhere that seek to understand the experiences of students, teachers, and administrators over the past year, how institutions are adapting, and what might be ahead in the short- to medium-term. The document can serve as a starting point for discussion on which steps might be prioritized to continue building institutional capacity to connect technical tertiary education students—particularly those from disadvantaged backgrounds—to better opportunities in their home countries, through the pandemic and beyond.


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