Higher Education Systems and Institutions, Costa Rica
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Gallardo Allen, Eugenia
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Costa Rica was a marginal and sparsely populated province of the Spanish Empire during the colonial period (1580–1821). Those interested in pursuing higher education were therefore forced to travel abroad, especially to Nicaragua or Guatemala, where those who chose to pursue nonclerical studies could degree in Medicine and Law, which facilitated the development of an intelligentsia with liberal ideas (González 2006). The Casa de Enseñanza de Santo Tomás was founded in 1814, at the initiative and with the funding of the residents of the City of San José. This institution of religious orientation, focused on primary and secondary levels, would 29 years later become the Universidad de Santo Tomás, the first higher education institution in the country (Molina 2016).