Argentina - Country Commercial Guide
Education and Training

This is a best prospect industry sector for this country. Includes a market overview and trade data.

Last published date: 2022-03-21

Capital:  Buenos Aires

Population:  45.9 million (July 2021 est.)

GDP (Purchasing Power Parity):  $893.3 billion (2020 est., in 2017 dollars)

Currency:  Argentine peso (ARS) ($)

Language:  Spanish (Official) 

 

UNESCO Student Mobility Number

Argentina has 9,283 students studying abroad according to UNESCO. 

 

CIA World Factbook

39.21% of the population in Argentina is under 25 years old.

 

OVERVIEW

Argentina has a long history of providing tuition-free access to local schools and universities, which in turn helps to generate a qualified workforce.

The education system is composed of primary school, secondary school - level one, secondary school - level two, and university.  Students can attend public institutions tuition-free or can attend private schools.  Four of Argentina’s higher educational institutions are listed in the “Times Higher Education (THE) World University Ranking 2021”.

Local universities offer a range of programs and degrees.  Some popular fields of study in Argentina include: law and business (23%), social sciences (11%), and science, ICT, engineering and design (14%). 

The United States is a leading destination for students from Argentina, according to UNESCO data.  Recent events have affected Argentine academics.  For example, during 2020 and part of 2021, Argentina’s education system was closed for in-person academic activities (March-December) due to the quarantine shutdown.  Moreover, since 2018, Argentina has experienced a sharp economic downturn, affecting families’ ability to fund international education.

Exchange rate problems:  The government of Argentina employs strict capital controls, which affects Argentines’ ability to freely access and pay for goods and services in U.S. dollars.  Additionally, in recent years, the country has experienced high levels of inflation which, have significantly affected purchasing power.  For example, since 2017, the official exchange rate has fallen from about US$1:AR$20 to now US$1:AR$101, and the unofficial “blue” rate is currently roughly double the value.

 

SUB- SECTORS

Undergraduate Education:  Although Argentine public universities are free-of-charge, more than 1,020 students were enrolled in undergraduate programs in the United States during the 2020-2021 academic year.  During academic year 2019-2020, there were 1,057 Argentine students pursuing undergraduate degrees in the U.S.  This was a 1.3 percent increase from the 2018-2019 academic year.

Graduate Education:  During the 2019-2020 academic year, the number of students decreased due to local economic downturn.  During the 2018-2019 academic year, there was a 1.6 percent increase in the number of Argentine students pursuing graduate-level studies in the U.S. from the previous academic year.  For 2020-2021, the number declined further to 803 students.

Non-Degree:  Only 63 students from Argentina were enrolled in non-degree programs in the United States during the 2020-2021 academic year, a 58.8 percent decrease from the previous academic year.  This follows another large decrease in the number of students in 2019-2020, due to the economic downturn in Argentina.

OPT (Optional Practical Training):  During the 2019-2020 academic year, there was a large decrease in the number of OPT students from Argentina in the U.S. due to economic troubles in Argentina and the border closures following the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.  In academic year 2020-2021, the number of Argentine OPT students declined another 8.9 percent to 298 students.

 

OPPORTUNITIES

  • According to the English Proficiency Index released by Education First, Argentina has by far the highest level of English proficiency in Latin America, but there are still opportunities for intensive English program providers, including targeted English programs on selected topics such as finance, law, and accounting.
  • Exchange programs and partnerships with higher education institutions in Argentina is a common method for market entry.
  • Argentine universities are interested in forming partnerships with U.S. higher education institutions to teach Spanish and Latin American studies courses to U.S. students coming to study in Argentina.
  • Popular fields of study for Argentinian students are engineering, law, and business.
  • Undergraduate education in Argentina’s public universities is tuition-free, and long-term study abroad programs often do not make sense for Argentine students from a financial perspective.  However, U.S. colleges and universities may want to consider highlighting short-term programs to students attending public universities in Argentina.
  • The government of Argentina has launched a program to promote academic and professional education for Argentines abroad.  For more information, please visit https://www.argentina.gob.ar/ciencia/raices.

 

CHALLENGES

  • Rising tuition at U.S. universities discourages students from choosing U.S. higher education institutions.
  • High inflation and poor currency exchange rates for Argentine currency make it expensive for Argentinian students to study abroad.
  • The Argentine administration placed a 30% tax on all foreign purchases including tourism and education.
  • Increased competition from other nations, especially European countries.  Many Argentines have historical linkages to Europe. 

 

DIGITAL MARKETING STRATEGIES

The most popular media sites used by students are WhatsApp, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, TikTok, and YouTube. The most popular platforms used by Argentine students are Zoom, Google Meet, and Microsoft Teams.  Students stream videos through YouTube, Instagram, and TikTok.  LinkedIn is one of the sites most used to search for job opportunities, together with university platforms and university bulletin boards.

Parents and students find information on educational opportunities through advertisements on social media, email, and websites.  Some private schools and universities have counselors, but many parents and students listen to recommendations from family and friends regarding education.

 

EVENTS

RESOURCES

U.S. COMMERCIAL SERVICE CONTACT

Elizabet Simon, Commercial Specialist

U.S. Commercial Service – Buenos Aires, Argentina

Phone: (54-11) 5777-4619

Email: Elizabet.Simon@trade.gov