Universidad Andrés Bello Launches Laureate Center for Youth Studies

In Chile, youth between the ages of 15 and 29 represent almost 25% of the total population. To better serve the needs of this critical segment, Laureate and Universidad Andrés Bello (UNAB) collaborated to create the Laureate Center for Youth Studies, (LCYS) which aims to make substantial contributions to youth-related public policies in Chile through relevant research.

The Center, directed by renowned academic Dr. Juan Antonio Rock, is hosted by the UNAB School of Economics and Business. It focuses its research on the key areas of youth citizen participation, education and employment, economic opportunities, health, and culture.

“It is a fundamental task to contribute to improving the well-being of youth considering the high impact of this group in the future development of our country. Especially considering that youth are at the center of our work as an education institution,”

said Dr. Rock.

The Center was inaugurated in September in a special event held at UNAB Campus Las Condes. In attendance were leaders of industry, government, and academia. “The Laureate Center for Youth Studies is of key importance to UNAB, as the largest university in Chile, responsible for providing education to a significant percentage of Chilean youth. Our classrooms and labs generate new knowledge and we are committed to excellence in research,” said UNAB Rector Dr. José Rodríguez.

Laureate Center for Youth Studies Presents First Major Research Project

During the launch event, the Center presented the findings of its first major study: “Determinants of the Decision of Neither Working Nor Studying by Youth in Chile,” which focused on the main variables affecting the youth NEET (not in employment, education, or training) segment. The research project was directed by Dr. Juan Luis Correa, economist and researcher at the UNAB School of Economics and Business.

In Chile, there are 528,574  NEET youth between the ages of 15 and 29 according to the 2017 National Socioeconomic Characterization Survey (CASEN). Despite the downward trend of recent years, the NEET rate remained at 13%, creating a challenge for society, government, and industry. Earlier this year, government and industry leaders pledged their commitment to reduce the NEET rate by 30% by 2020.

During the event, Social Development Minister Alfredo Moreno emphasized that NEET youth represent a social issue that involves different stakeholders, including the government, universities, the private sector and non-profits. “This issue is so complex that it is not possible to solve only through public or private efforts, but rather through a coordinated effort by all stakeholders,” said Moreno.

The event concluded with an in-depth analysis of the issue by a panel of experts, including Mirko Salfate, Director of the National Institute of Youth (INJUV); Gonzalo Rodríguez, Director of Techo Chile; Sebastián Errázuriz, CEO Actitud LAB; Viviana Giacaman, political scientist and Director of Democracy Quality of Fundación Chile 21; and Mauro Basaure, UNAB academic.