Amid economic turmoil, swathes of Argentinian students are opting to study at public universities instead of their pricier private counterparts – even if it means dropping out of courses they’re already enrolled on so that they can switch to a cheaper university.

With Argentina’s economy shrinking by 2.5% in the last year and unemployment rising to 9%, opportunities for students to fund themselves through work were scarcer. And with a year’s combined costs of tuition fees, accommodation and other living expenses spiralling into five figures, the rate of drop-outs at private institutions has rapidly escalated.

Stark differences emerging between private and public universities’ fortunes

The University del Salvador has seen drop-outs increase by a third from the previous academic year, while a hefty 30% of all students that enrol at the Argentine Business University (AUDE) end up leaving their courses. Conversely, The University of Buenos Aires – which does not charge fees for undergraduate degrees – has seen first year enrolments increase by nearly 20% since 2017.

In a bid to reduce their drop-out numbers, many private institutions have begun to offer more cost-cutting provisions, such as loans and scholarships.

Read more on this story from the Buenos Aires Times.