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Peru Education Facts


Peruvian children are expected to attend at least one year of preschool from the age of five, and have since eleven years of compulsory schooling. The standard is relatively low in the e-tax-free state schools. Especially in the countryside there is a shortage of both educated teachers, schools and schoolbooks.

The first part of the school system consists of the preschool, which is accessible from the age of three and compulsory for five year olds.

  • COUNTRYAAH: Country facts of Peru, including geography profile, population statistics, and business data.

The children start regular school at the age of six. It starts with a six-year stage. After that, school year seven and eight will follow, as everyone is still reading the same syllabus. For the past three years, students choose one of two tracks: a technical and a more academic orientation. Both are college preparatory.

Almost all children go to the first stage, but around a quarter have dropped out during the last one. Dropouts are most common in rural areas where children are needed for other chores. However, the situation has clearly improved compared to the time around the turn of the millennium. The reason is the expansion of secondary schools.

In Peru there are many universities and colleges, most of which are private. The University of San Marcos in Lima was founded in 1551 and is thus the oldest in South America. Poor students can receive scholarships to study at the university.

Reading and writing skills have steadily increased in recent years, but there are major differences between the city and the countryside as well as between men and women.

  • Andyeducation: Introduction to education system in Peru, including compulsory schooling and higher education.


Proportion of children starting primary school

95.4 percent (2017)

Number of pupils per teacher in primary school

18 (2017)

Reading and writing skills

94.2 percent (2016)

Public expenditure on education as a percentage of GDP

18.1 percent (2017)

Public expenditure on education as a percentage of the state budget

18.1 percent (2017)



Government crisis averted

December 19

President Kuczynski gets a clear sign from Fujimori that her party FP will continue to informally support the government. FP has so far voted in favor of the government’s proposal in Congress, including the budget for 2017, but the cooperation was jeopardized by an FP motion in early December aimed at the Minister of Education. Formally, the issue involved preparations for the Pan-American Games in Athletics to be held in Lima in 2019, but was interpreted as a way to try to prevent plans for rule changes for private universities. Many FP members have large investments in such universities and the issue risked leading to a vote of confidence for the entire government. However, Kuczynski chose not to fight and Education Minister Jaime Saavedra resigned, after which the FP can continue to support the government.


UN appointment halted after protest storm

November 29th

The UN agency FAO is forced to back down and postpone the appointment of a Geneva office, which would go to ex-President Humala’s wife Nadine Heredia. Information that Heredia would be prosecuted while entering the service has triggered a scream in Peru, as the couple is suspected of extensive money laundering.

Humala is suspected of money laundering and bribery

November 12

A court orders former President Ollanta Humala to stay in the country and report to the court once a month, while allegations of money laundering and bribery are being investigated. His wife Nadine Heredia was banned from leaving the country in June. Both are suspected of having laundered the equivalent of $ 1.5 million in money that should have gone to his election campaigns in 2006 and 2011 (see October 2015).


Former security and army commanders convicted

September 27th

Former spy chief Vladimir Montesinos and former army chief Nicolás Hermoza are both sentenced to 22 years in prison for the murder of two students and their teachers in 1993. Both men already serve prison sentences for, among other things, murders committed by death patrols. The Army’s former intelligence chief Jorge Nadal is also sentenced to 15 years in prison for his absence.


Kuczynski takes over as president

July 28

In his speech at the inauguration, new President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski talks about his “social revolution” with the hope that during his five-year term, Peru will become a “more modern, fairer and more equal” society. He does not get an easy match with the weak support he has in Congress, if the behavior of the FP members is something to go for: they do not applaud but instead shout recurring Keiko Fujimori’s name. However, FP has given contradictory signals about its willingness to cooperate. Kuczynski has previously presented the businessman and former Finance Minister Fernando Zavala as the new Chief Minister.

Zika alert in the north

July 13

The authorities issue a special health warning that lasts for three months in the northern half of the country due to the Zika virus. To date, 102 people in Peru have been confirmed to be infected by the virus, including 34 pregnant women. In Brazil, nearly 1,600 children have been born with birth defects since their mothers were infected by the virus, which is mainly spread through mosquitoes.


Kuczynski wins in decisive election round

June 5

It becomes very even in the crucial second round of the presidential election. Only after four days can Pedro Pablo Kuczynski claim victory, having received 50.1 percent of the votes against 49.9 for Keiko Fujimori.


Left candidate supports Kuczynski

30 May

Left candidate Verónika Mendoza urges voters to vote against Fujimori in the second round of the presidential election. “The only way to prevent Fujimorism is to vote for PPK,” she says in a statement aimed at Pedro Pablo Kuczynski, Fujimori’s opponent. The left can thus be said to support the right to keep Fujimorism away from power.

Secretary General of Fujimori’s party is nominated for money laundering

15th of May

TV channels in the United States and Peru report that FP Secretary General Joaquín Ramírez is under investigation by the US drug agency DEA. He is said to have laundered $ 15 million in favor of Keiko Fujimori, in connection with the 2011 election. The indictment is troublesome for Fujimori who is trying to convince voters that she is indomitable and a true Democrat, despite the fact that Fujimorism for many voters is almost synonymous with corruption and authoritarian rule. The charges against Ramírez lead to him being replaced.


Success for Fujimori in presidential and congressional elections

April 10

In the presidential election, a first round of elections is held where the result that is expected is that Fujimori and Kuczynski move on to a second round. She gets 40 percent of the vote and he 21 percent. Third place left candidate Verónika Mendoza with 19 percent. In the Congress, Fujimori’s People’s Force (FP) gets 73 of the 130 seats, thus securing its own majority. The Broad Front (FA) receives 20 seats, Peruvians for Change (PPK) 18, Progress Alliance (APP) 9, Public Action (AP) 9 and PAP / Apra 5 mandates.

Several dead in guerrilla attack

April 9

Eight soldiers and two civilians are killed when rebels attack a shipment of election materials and people to guard polling stations, in the Junín region of central Peru. In another attack in Apurímac, two soldiers are killed.

Big protest against Fujimori

April 5

Tens of thousands of Peruvians demonstrate against the leading presidential candidate Keiko Fujimori, on the anniversary of the constitutional coup her father Alberto Fujimori conducted in 1992. Many say they fear that Keiko Fujimori will pardon her father if she becomes president.

Criticism against the electoral authority

April 5

The United States Organization (OAS) has been criticizing the electoral authority since nearly half of the candidates ahead of Sunday’s election have been suspended or withdrawn themselves. One reason is a new electoral law that was adopted in January and has led to the disqualification of several candidates. Although only days remain until the election, the charges against Pedro Pablo Kuczynski are not dismissed. He, like Keiko Fujimori, is accused of distributing cash grants and gifts during his election campaign. Both are considered leading candidates.

Fujimori may take part in the elections

April 1st

The Election Authority states that the accusations of voting against Keiko Fujimori do not disqualify her from participating.


Two presidential candidates suspended

March 9

Neither Julio Guzmán nor César Acuña are allowed to take part in the elections, the highest election authority JNE states. Guzmán’s party has not properly nominated its candidate, according to JNE, while Acuña is accused of distributing cash grants to voters. Guzmán, who sailed second in February in opinion polls, accuses JNE employees of going “Fujimorism” affairs (see Political system) and of being afraid of being exposed to corruption. Acuña accepts the decision. Many Peruvians are upset about the outcome, which means that voters’ choices in the elections are limited because of what many consider to be technicalities, at least in the case of Guzmán.


Many candidates in the presidential election

January 11

When the time comes to register for the April presidential election, some 20 candidates have signed up. Leading the polls is Keiko Fujimori, who lost with little margin to incumbent President Ollanta Humala in 2011. She is followed by Pedro Pablo Kuczynski, César Acuña and the two former presidents Alan García and Alejandro Toledo.

Peru Best Colleges and Universities