Population: 32.3 million (2022 est.)
GDP (Purchasing Power Parity): $371.29 billion (2020 est., in 2017 dollars)
Currency: Nuevo Sol (PEN)
Language: Spanish (official) 82.9%, Quechua (official) 13.6%, Aymara (official) 1.6%
UNESCO Student Mobility Number
Peru has 35,379 students studying abroad according to UNESCO.
CIA World Factbook
42.64% of the population in Peru is under 25 years of age.
Peru has approximately seven million school-aged (i.e., 5-16 years old) students and one million university students. Over the last decade, the country has made progress in education with enrollment levels increasing substantially and access to primary education reaching 70% of K through 12 aged students. However, while access has improved markedly, Peru has faced challenges in improving the quality of its education. Peru has a learning poverty rate of 56%; i.e., 56% of students at the age of ten cannot adequately read or understand simple text.
Education inequality also remains an issue with place of birth and socioeconomic status largely defining one’s access and opportunities. Unsurprisingly, those from isolated or rural areas outside the main population centers suffer the most from this inequality.
Impact of Covid-19
According to the World Economic Forum, Peru ranked 127th in the quality of its education system in 2020, down from 124th place in 2019 (latest available). The Covid-19 pandemic brought about perhaps the largest disruption to Peru’s education system in over a century. The subsequent economic downturn resulted in a major reduction in educational investment, both privately and publicly, and a suspension of in-person learning forced students to learn from home. However, many students lacked access to even the most basic technology to effectively continue their studies, thus exacerbating education inequality.
According to Peru’s National Institute of Statistics, in 2021 internet accessibility in metropolitan Lima was 75.1% while in the rest of the country it was 58.7%, figures that contrast with rural areas, where only 18.5% of households have this service.
In 2021, with the appearance of the third Covid wave and its impact on the country’s economy, only 10% of the 350,000 students who transferred from private to public schools returned to their previous schools.
Hybrid education option (face-to-face and virtual) remain popular, which has increased the demand for equipment and technological solutions with high costs due to the rise in the value of the U.S. dollar. As part of the National Strategy for Educational Reinsertion and Continuity, the Ministry of Education (MINEDU) faces the unique challenges of promoting the return to school of the 124,533 students whose studies were interrupted between 2020 and 2021, as well as promoting the continuity of the 347,368 students who were enrolled but are at risk of dropping out in 2022. However, according MINEDU in 2021 the rate of dropouts decreased from 3% in 2020 to 1.5% at pre-school and primary school levels.
Public Spending on Education
The amount of money allocated to education in Peru’s 2022 budget was nearly 8% greater than that allocated in 2021, totaling approximately $9 billion or nearly 18% of the total budget, the highest in the last three years. In 2022, Peru was ranked 48th in the world in terms of annual investment in education, down from 46th place in 2020.
According to the Institute of International Education (IIE) Open Doors 2022 Report, the number of Peruvian students in the U.S. increased by just under 8 percent to 3,835. After the pandemic, many Peruvian higher education institutions have continued to offer online courses, as well as invest in technology and infrastructure to adapt their campuses to a new “hybrid” format. Many have expanded their course offerings, in part to address needed skills including data analysis, digital transformation, and digital marketing. One trend has been an increase in courses on online selling, as well as six-month creative marketing programs and other e-commerce-related courses.
As stated above, Peru has approximately seven million school-aged (i.e., 5-16 years old) students and one million university students, many of which come from the middle class, where families seek education that is affordable and practical. Public schools in Peru are managed entirely by MINEDU and are free of charge. Private schools are managed independently but operate under MINEDU regulations and directives and can charge widely different rates depending on a school’s offerings, infrastructure, reputation, and teacher quality.
Private schools have been key to Peru’s educational development and growth. According to a report by Apoyo Consultoría published in 2021, private regular basic education schools has reached 83% of the Peruvian provinces and compared to public schools, private schools have more qualified teachers, fewer students per teacher, more activities, and superior infrastructure. Thus, private schools often yield better academic performance and fewer dropouts (though challenges remain in finding enough qualified teachers). Futura Schools and Innova Schools, two private school chains that offer slightly more affordable options, operate in more than ten provinces, often offering remote education and providing better infrastructure, teaching, and assessment than public schools. However, overall, the cost of private school education in Peru has and continues to be disproportionately high compared to average incomes and thus very much out of reach for a substantial portion of the population. Registration/enrollment fees often run into the thousands of dollars per pupil and monthly tuition costs can run into the hundreds of dollars for a country whose GDP per capita is just under $7,000.
The private market for education in Peru presents several opportunities for U.S. firms. There are different school networks that provide innovative education and seek to cut the cost of higher education, as well as expand their geographical reach within Peru.
Universities in Peru are now focused on digitalization to provide better services to students in a hybrid environment. Universities are working to develop new laboratories, workshops, and academic software, as well as increase the number of classrooms to meet demand. Investments for adaptation also include new licenses for technology platforms, applications to track students, and even systems to improve air purification.
Because Peruvian universities are expanding their geographic reach, U.S. IT companies in the education field can offer partnerships through technological support, as well as best practices in education methods through special platforms and instructional learning design. Foreign universities, such as la Universidad de Tarapacá from Chile and the Instituto Tecnologico de Monterrey from Mexico, have begun investing in the Peruvian education market.
The Peruvian government has recently awarded a contract to the United Kingdom for the construction of 125 schools throughout the country that will benefit 142,000 Peruvian students. The U.S. Commercial Service at the U.S. Embassy has been working to connect potential U.S. sub-contractors to the UK implementation team.
DIGITAL MARKETING STRATEGIES
During Covid, Peruvian students used Zoom, Google Teams, and MS Teams for their virtual classes and primarily relied on Google for research. The most common platform used to promote professional opportunities is LinkedIn and the most popular streaming platform used in Peru is YouTube.
The primary way Peruvian students receive information about educational opportunities abroad is through the international relations offices at their schools and universities. U.S. study state consortia and/or education institutions should utilize primarily LinkedIn and Facebook for their digital outreach.
- International Congress of Educators: https://congresodeeducadores.upc.edu.pe/
- National Science and Technology School Fair
- - Date TBD:
- U.S. Commercial Service – Peru: https://www.trade.gov/peru
- Peruvian Ministry of Education: https://www.gob.pe/minedu
- Regional Education Center of Lima: https://www.drelm.gob.pe/drelm/
- Peruvian National Institute of Statistics: https://www.inei.gob.pe/
- National Council of Science, Technology and Technological Innovation:
U.S. COMMERCIAL SERVICE CONTACTS
Laura Robinson, Commercial Assistant
U.S. Commercial Service – Lima, Peru
Phone: +51 967719126
Jorge Prado, Commercial Specialist
U.S. Commercial Service – Lima, Peru
Phone: +51 956023507