Dude, Where's My Ranking?: Causal Effects in the Implementation of New Rules at Secondary School, for the Access to Universities in Chile.

Monday, 16 July 2018: 10:40
Oral Presentation
Nelson PAULUS, Universidad de Santiago de Chile, Chile
The research explores the transition process from secondary schools to selective universities and the effects produced by changes in admission criteria and rules.

Specifically, the research attempts to explain how the change in the required scores used in the Unique Admission System (SUA) to entry academically selective universities (which include as a new element the relative position of the students in the context of his generation of classmates), configures the so-called "ranking effect". This effect consists in the migration from secondary public schools of excellence to ordinary secondary schools, a process that this research links to individual decisions made by students and families in order to optimize their chances of a place in a selective university.

The research develops a paradigmatic case study in the context of a specific neighborhood in Santiago de Chile, in which a specific and remarkable flux between two secondary schools is noted. By means of interviews with directors, teachers, students and parents, the study traces the decision-making process that the students undergo while facing this unexpected change in the rules for application and admission to selective tertiary education institutions.

Finally, the research explores some dramatic situations in the context of which the students were victims of bullying in their new schools.

This research is relevant as it questions the non-expected results at the biographical level of public policies, from a sociological perspective, usually neglected both in policy design and evaluation as well as in social research on secondary education and college admission systems.