By Steven Mather
From: Venezuela Analysis
Caracas, July 27th, 2010 (Venezuelanalysis.com) – President Hugo Chavez told graduates from the Sport University that the government has created thirteen new universities since it first came to power.
While speaking to the 326 graduates - 323 Venezuelans and three Guatemalans - Chavez compared the state of higher education to the situation he found on arriving to the presidency 11 years ago.
"What they were creating here were private universities, while at the same time they were drowning public universities,” said Chavez.
Among the 13 universities founded by the government are the Bolivarian University of Venezuela (UBV), a national university that forms part of the higher education mission, Mission Sucre, which currently has 230,000 students. It was created seven years ago.
There is also the National Experimental University of the Armed Forces, which has 237,000 students, and The National University of Arts, which has 2,300 students, the National Experimental University of Sur del Lago, which has 6,000 students, and the government has also recently created six more technical universities in various different states.
Chavez also highlighted the new indigenous university, which has a campus in Amazonas state and another one in Bolivar state, and a total enrolment of 810.
Finally, the Sports University of the People of the South (Universidad Deportiva de los Pueblos del Sur) has over 15,000 students.
Chavez also announced that the state was making available 16.1 million bolivares (US$ 3.7 million) to fund salaries of 405 new professionals taken from the graduates of the Sports University and the Cuban International School for Physical Education and Sport.
"We have approved for you all the resources for your incorporation into these jobs working for national sports," said Chavez.
Those in the new posts will work together with health and education social programmes, the Ministry of Sport and the Sports University to implement a strategic plan to improve national sports.
"The objective of this graduation is to guarantee that all Venezuelans can play sport, have recreational activities, a healthy life and that sport becomes a tool for the construction of a society of equals," said Chavez.
The Sports University has three distinct degree programmes: Physical Activity and Health, Technical Management of Sport and Sports Training.