The Challenges of Public Higher Education in the Hispanic Caribbean

This book examines state policy and higher educational reform in Cuba, the Dominican Republic, and Puerto Rico. The dearth of attention to the postsecondary experience of the Spanish-speaking Caribbean makes this a very special contribution to the literature in the field, where present literature focuses primarily on Central and Latin America, the larger context of globalization, or specific issues like financing, equity, and quality. The authors weigh variables of economic environments, political institutions, and culture as they analyze the evolution of higher educational policy and post-secondary institutional change. Their analyses at once show the commonality of problems across Caribbean national boundaries, and illuminate the ways in which processes of educational change and reform differ between the Dominican Republic, Cuba, and Puerto Rico.

The authors conclude that the convergence of higher education trends and reforms in Puerto Rico, Cuba, and the Dominican Republic are not serendipitous (including the shared experience of “brain drain” emigration to the continental United States), underscoring the need for Caribbean post-secondary institutions and their respective states to explore new linkages and deepen existing transnational interconnectedness. Numerous barriers and challenges remain; the book ends with an extensive discussion of future agendas in higher education and public policy on these islands and in New York City.


Maria J. Canino, editor (University of Puerto Rico) is the co-editor of La politica social ante los nuevos desafios: Cuba y Puerto Rico.

Silvio Torres-Saillant, editor (Syracuse University) is the author of Caribbean Poetics: Toward an Aesthetic of West Indian Literature.