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Higher education in Latin America has deep roots back to the Spanish colonisation in the Hispanic countries. In Brazil, a former Portuguese colony, this sector did not emerge until the nineteenth century and in the Anglophone Caribbean, not until the twentieth. Now in the twenty-first century throughout the region it is subject to the global reach of the neoliberal era with marketisation, quality assurance and international rankings playing very strong roles. The number of private higher education institutions has increased dramatically with problems attached for quality, which is extremely variable. New types of institution have emerged, for example the community colleges in the Anglophone Caribbean offering the first few years of undergraduate study even in small island nations. At the top of the scale there are still quality institutions, but they are locked into the global convention and competition of the international rankings and league tables. So the overall picture is of a higher education sector of unusual variety and variability.
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