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The Peruvian Higher Education System

The Ministry of Education is responsible for higher education in Peru. Higher education in Peru is provided by universities, technological institutions and schools of higher education.

Main Laws Regulating Peruvian Higher Education 

Law: General Law of Education 
Year: 1982

Law: Act no 26439 
Year: 1995
Deals with: Consejo Nacional para la Autorizacion de Funcionamiento de Universidades (CONAFU)

Law:  University Law (Ley Universitaria) No. 23733 
Year: 1983
Deals with: Universities

Understanding the Peru Higher Education System

Higher education in Peru is divided into two levels:
  • University level
  • Non-university level

Non-University Level

Non-university level studies in Peru comprises of higher vocational and technical education. These are offered by the higher technological institutes, the higher pedagogical institutes, academies of music and fine arts, national schools for public administration and public health, and diplomatic academy. Higher technical education institutes (IETS) also offer post-secondary education in Peru.
  • Duration: 3 to 5 years
  • Qualification awarded: Expert (Experto), Professional (Profesional) and Technical (Tecnico) in their respective disciplines.

Post-secondary Technical and Vocational Training

Vocational and technical training at the postsecondary level is provided by the higher institutes of technology- IEST (Institutos y Escuelas de Educacion Superior Technologicos), higher institutes of arts- ESFA (Institutos y Escuelas Superiores de Educacion de Formacion Artistica), and the higher institutes of teaching- ISEP (Institutos de Educacion Superior Pedagogicos).

At this educational level, students are required to submit and defend a feasibility project along with the completion of training and coursework. 

University Level Studies

University level studies have two stages: undergraduate and graduate. Undergraduate studies leads to bachiller, and graduate leads to specialist, masters and doctorate degree. 

Higher Education Institutions

Higher education institutions in Peru are: universities, technological institutes and schools of higher education. 

Universities (Universidades)

Universities in Peru provide academic as well as technological research programmes at the undergraduate and graduate level.  Universities also offer higher professional education programmes.

To get a complete list of universities in Peru, click here.

Technological Institutes and Schools of Higher Education (Institutos y escuelas de educacion superior tecnologicos)

These institutions offer following programmes:  

Technical training (Formacion Tecnica)

  • Duration: 2 years
  • Credits: 88
  • Qualification awarded: Tecnico (Technician)

Vocational and Technical Training (Formacion Profesional Tecnica)

  • Duration: 3 years
  • Credits: 132
  • Qualification awarded: Profesional Tecnico a Nombre de la Nacion

Vocational Training (Formacion Profesional )

  • Duration: 4 to 5 years
  • Credits: 200
  • Qualification awarded: Profesional a Nombre de la Nacion.  
For the list of higher institutes of technology (IEST) in Peru, visits the official website of Directorate General of Higher Education and Vocational Technical.

For complete list of higher institutes of arts (EFSA) in Peru, click here.

The schools of higher education, technological institutes and pedagogical institutes also provide higher professional education courses of study that leads to the title of Professor (Profesor).
  • Certificate awarded: Profesional a Nombre de la Nacion and Professional artist (Artista Profesional)

Teacher Training

The higher institutes of pedagogy (IESP) provide teacher-training programmes.
  • Duration: 5 years
  • Credits: 200
  • Qualification awarded: Title of teacher (Profesor) along with the specialization area and the level of education
For the complete list of higher institutes of pedagogy (IESP) in Peru, click here.

Higher Education Qualifications

Undergraduate Studies (Pregrado)

The first 2 years of the university level studies are general studies (estudios generales). After completed of general studies, specialisation starts of 3 to 5 years. Students are required to finish a final project (trabajo de investigacion) and proficiency in a second foreign language is needed.
  • Duration: 4 to 6 years
  • Qualification awarded: Bachiller
  • Credits: At least 200 (for general studies- minimum 35 credits) 

Professional Qualifications

To get a professional qualification, students are required to defend a final paper and submit a project or assignment.
Qualification: Professional degree (Titulo Profesional) / Engineering degree (Titulo de Ingeniero)

In order to qualify for the Professional degree in law (Titulo Profesional de Abogado) a 1-year work placement must also be finished.

Graduate Studies (Postgrado)

Second Specialty-Diploma/Specialties (Segunda Especialidad- Diplomaturas/Especialidades) 

These programmes offer in specific subject areas that lead to professional development and also benefit the society. 
  • Credits: 24
  • Duration: 1-2 years

Master’s Degree Programmes (Maestria)

Students must hold a bachiller degree or an equivalent qualification for admission into the master’s programme. Masters programmes in Peru are offered only by universities. 
  • Duration: 1-2 years
Master’s degree programmes are of two types:
  • Professional master’s programme (maestria de especializacion)
  • Research-oriented master’s programme (maestria de investigacion o academicas)
Students are required to complete the coursework and publicly defend a final thesis/project. It also includes proficiency in a foreign language.

Qualification awarded: Grado de Maestro/Magister

Doctorate (Doctorado)

Students who hold a master’s degree are eligible for doctoral studies. This qualification is the highest possible qualification to be obtained in Peru. Doctorate degree programme in Peru is offered by universities only. 
  • Duration: At least 3 years (6 semesters)
Students are required to research and prepare a doctoral thesis. The doctorate studies ends with a public defence of the thesis. It also required proficiency in two foreign languages.

Qualification awarded: Grado de Doctor 

Admission Requirements

Students must have completed secondary education and hold the Official certificate of completion of secondary education in order to gain admittance into the university-level studies in Peru.  Admission requirements vary by programme and level of study. Each higher education institution has its own entry requirements. Click here to know in detail about the admission requirements and procedure for higher education in Peru. 
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