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Farewell letter from our Executive Director, Jeff Swiryn, and the introduction of our newest team member

“For the past 18 months, we have been forced to live with an unprecedented level of uncertainty and doubt. Uncertainty surrounding our professional commitments, doubts about our personal lives and safety, and even about the fundamental systems in our world and how we interact with our communities and the environment.

In the Luksic Scholars Foundation, we have tried to maintain a pragmatic approach to these uncertainties. As you know, we had to cancel and postpone many programs and activities, but we also added two team members and created new scholarships at Stanford, London School of Economics, MIT, and Sciences Po, in addition to launching our first Fund to provide more support to the network. 

On a personal level, I have certainly not been immune to the uncertainty and unpredictability! My first baby was born three hours before the end of 2020, I earned an MBA from MIT, and now with mixed emotions I am stepping down as Executive Director of the Luksic Scholars Foundation.

I am extremely proud of the work that we have done as a team, especially since the start of 2020. I have had the unforgettable opportunity and privilege to lead this organization from its organic roots to the consolidated foundation that it is now, thanks to the foresight of the Luksic family, the hard work of my team, and most importantly, thanks to the constant dedication and engagement from you – the Luksic Scholars.

One thing we are now certain of is that uncertainty is a given. But I am confident that the Luksic Scholars network and the foundation are built upon fundamental values and supported by the people that will allow this organization to thrive and continue to develop in exciting ways under new leadership. 

The time has come for a refreshed vision and direction. On that note, I am thrilled to introduce Isabella Luksic as the next Executive Director of the Luksic Scholars Foundation. Isabella has helped lead the transformation of the Luksic Foundation during the past year and has worked with us behind the scenes consistently during this difficult year. Please join me in welcoming her!

Thank you to all the members of this network for your support and contributions over the years. I look forward to keeping in touch personally and to seeing what happens next in this special community!
With gratitude,
Jeff Swiryn.”

New Luksic Scholars Fund will support 13 beneficiaries with funding for executive courses or research projects

A total fund of US $ 46,000 will be distributed among the 13 winners who have carried out their programs supported by Luksic Scholars between 2007 and 2019, both in Chile and abroad, and come from four countries around the globe.

The Luksic Scholars Fund (LSF) is a new funding opportunity, for up to US$ 5,000, offered by the Luksic Scholars Foundation to members of its network – A.K.A Scholars-, in line with the commitment to support the continuous training and personal development of the Scholars community.

Luksic Scholars is part of the Luksic Foundation and has been supporting men and women to continue their higher studies for more than 20 years through scholarships and educational exchanges. Since 2000, more than 20 programs have been developed and 1,600 scholarship recipients have been supported, 900 of whom are now actively part of the Scholars network.

The LSF was created in response to comments and requests for financial support made by the members of the Scholars network, thus emerging as a financing alternative specially designed so that they can take advantage of programmatic or academic opportunities presented during the current pandemic. This Fund offers two sources of funding: one to support continuing professional development, through online executive education; and the other to support innovative and small-scale academic research projects, in any of their stages.

“This initiative will allow us to continue connecting with the Scholars, and also connecting them with their peers and relevant institutions”,points out Jeff Swiryn, Executive Director of the Luksic Scholars Foundation.

In this first edition, the initiative has 36 virtual applications, both in English and Spanish, which were first evaluated by the Luksic Scholars team through a SAFe evaluation (Suitability, Admissibility and Feasibility.)

In the case of research projects, these were also evaluated by an external Evaluation Panel. The committee, composed by Xue Jian, Professor and Associate Dean, School of Economics and Management, Tsinghua University; Steve Reifenberg, Associate Professor, Chair in International Development, University of Notre Dame; Georges de Bourguignon Covarrubias, Investment Director, ASSET AGF; and Stephanie Dazin, Director of Nexo Internacional, from the Economics and Business college at University of Chile, evaluated the applications using criteria of clarity and coherence of ideas; originality and creativity of the project; demonstration of the impact of the project; and feasibility of delivery.

After the evaluations, about 30% of the applications, that is 13 out of 36, were awarded funds, thus reaching a total delivered of US$ 46,000.

“This is an opportunity to help Scholars from all over Chile and anywhere in the world, to get through this 2021, so they can expand their international networks. We look forward to a new iteration in the future, once we evaluate the real impact of this fund on the professional and academic profiles of the winner Scholars“, explains Ben Thompson, Project Coordinator at Luksic Scholars.

The winners

The 13 winners of the LSF have carried out their programs supported by Luksic Scholars between 2007 and 2019, both in Chile and abroad. The beneficiaries have participated in eight different programs and come from four countries around the globe.

Simon Smart, an English citizen residing in Chile, participant in the Babson Luksic Fellows program, in 2013, was awarded the fund to carry out the course: “Circular Economy and Sustainability Strategies”, from the University of Cambridge, Judge Business School.

Ivana Marsic, Croatian, who completed the Harvard Kennedy School Executive Education for Croatia program in 2007, will receive support for her professional career, which she will use to take “Disciplined Entrepreneurship: A Systematic Approach for Building Innovative Products and Ventures”, at the renowned MIT. “I am passionate about entrepreneurship and the process of creating value from scratch. My professional goal is to develop an entrepreneurial generator in Croatia: a company that creates start-ups, which will have to balance experimentation and learning with the selection and implementation of a strategy, through internal teams and scale them globally. The key is to understand what idea is worthwhile and how to maximize the effort to achieve success, “says Ivana.

The Chilean teacher, Francisco Castañeda, was part of the Babson Case Writing Teaching Workshop program in 2010, and will now join the “Business, International Relations and The Political Economy”, a course offered by The London School of Economics and Political Science. “Understanding the major trends in business at a global level allows me to acquire a more concrete vision about how countries like Chile should insert themselves in the international arena. This knowledge will be transmitted to my students,” he explained.

Another Chilean professor who benefited is Alexis Celis, who was part of Babson’s Entrepreneurship Educators Symposium 3 years ago. Celis will carry out the executive education program “Venture Capital: Investing in Early-Stage Startups”, dictated by Columbia Business School.

Belén Guede is a prominent engineer from the Faculty of Economics and Business of the University of Chile and, currently, Product Owner at Zippedi, an Artificial Intelligence start-up for retail. In 2019, he made an exchange to China for 6 months, as part of the Luksic Scholarship for Chile-China Undergraduate Exchange, and applied to take the “Diploma in Chinese Studies”, also from the University of Chile. “The impact of the course on my professional career will be reflected in developing applicable capacities both in the public and private, national and international world, as well as articulating and carrying out commercial activities and inter-institutional cooperation with different actors in China,” says Belén.

The Chilean teacher, Paulina Gutiérrez, who traveled to the United States in 2017 within the framework of the Babson Luksic Fellows program, will take the “Forming Directors” program, taught by the Adolfo Ibáñez University.

The Chilean Alejandra Astorquiza, participant in 2019 of the Babson Symposium in its last face-to-face edition, will carry out a course on “Digital Marketing: strategy, processes and ROI”, promoted by the IESE Business School of the University of Navarra.

Among those who will receive support for his research is Juan Cristóbal Opazo, who was awarded the fund to carry out his study “Evolution of the N-terminal region of the Golgi phosphoprotein 3 (GOLPH3) oncoprotein”. Opazo, made his Visiting Fellowship at Harvard DRCLAS, in 2016, supported by the Luksic Scholars.

Likewise, Josefa Villarroel, Director of the Entrepreneurship Policies Observatory, who deepened her research on this subject at Babson College during 2016, is developing the project “Ara o te hakake – Discovering the Entrepreneurship Ecosystem in Rapa Nui”. “This research project will positively impact my professional and personal development. Additionally, it will contribute to my purpose of contributing to the development of more inclusive and diverse ecosystems, this being the engine of my move to Rapa Nui in 2020”, said Josefa.

Dr. Xiao Chen, of Chinese origin and today located in Canada, is working as Professor of Management at the University of Prince Edward Island. Dr. Chen was part of the exchange of MBA students under the Conducting Business in Chile program in 2016. Chen will use the funds for his research project “Climate change and S&P 500 Organizations’ social, environmental, and governance (ESG) performance: A socioecological exploration.” Dr. Chen notes: “This project cultivates an academic network, beyond the Luksic Scholars community, connecting truly distinctive disciplines of the natural and social sciences.”

Chilean Alejandro Cataldo, who traveled to Babson in 2013, will allocate financial support to his project “Effects of family and economic factors on techno-stress in students due to remote learning. Does inequality generate techno-stress?”

On the other hand, Chilean professor Sebastián Uriarte, who continued working in the area of ​​entrepreneurship, after participating in the Babson Chilean Symposium for Entrepreneurship Educators SEE in 2015, develops an investigation called “Working with Hybrid Entrepreneurs”. “This project is significant for my academic career, as it will correspond to the final research that I must complete to receive my doctorate. This investigation began in March 2021, being in an initial stage, so the Luksic Scholars Fund will be fundamental to make its implementation viable”, said Sebastián.

Finally, Loreto Cox, PhD in Political Science from MIT, supported by Luksic Scholars during her PhD that began in 2013, is working on “More Options, but Less Willing to Vote When Already at the Ballot Box: District Magnitude and Turnout after the End of the Chilean Binomial System.”

44 Chilean teachers will participate in Babson College’s Symposium for Entrepreneurship Educators

  • Between June 7 and the 17, the tenth edition of the “Symposium for Entrepreneurship Educators” will take place, led by experts from Babson College, the worldwide leading institution in the entrepreneurial field.
  • The aim of the symposium is to train university professors from all over Chile, transferring the entrepreneurial spirit to them, at the same time that they are prepared through the use of pedagogical tools that they can then implement in their own courses.
  • More than 400 teachers in the country have been part of this program in the last 10 years.

The “Symposium for Entrepreneurship Educators” is held in Chile by Babson College, a leading institution in teaching entrepreneurship, in alliance with the Luksic Scholars Foundation, and seeks to teach faculty from throughout the country, tools related to the entrepreneurial profile in addition to innovative educational practices, providing a unique opportunity to all regions of the country.

This program will be carried out digitally between Monday 7 and Thursday 17 of June, and will be conducted by renowned professors Andrew Corbett and Matthew Allen, from Babson, international experts in entrepreneurship and innovation and how to bring these topics to the classrooms.

This is the tenth version of the symposium in Chile, although the first to be held remotely at a national level, after nine face-to-face editions between 2011 and 2019. On this occasion, there is a cohort of 44 Chilean university professors distributed among Santiago, Valparaíso, Concepción, Talca, Coyhaique and other cities in the country.

Some of the participant faculty during this virtual edition

In May, it was held the third edition of Antofagasta version of the symposium, which is exclusively dedicated to teachers from universities located in the northern macrozone of the country.

The symposium looks for the attendees to teach classes more effectively and innovatively in their university classrooms, delivering different teaching methodologies, through effective learning, experimentation, and creativity; and a deep understanding of business, which Babson has called “Entrepreneurial Thought and Action” ®.

The proposal implies an enthusiastic and dynamic participation of the Chilean faculty, who will spend two weeks deconstructing concepts and definitions, while delving into the entrepreneurial mindset.

Professor Andrew Corbett, President of the Entrepreneurship Division, Director of the SEE-Chile Program and Distinguished Professor of Paul T. Babson says that: “Over the past decade, I have taken away so much from working with the Chilean faculty members in the Luksic Scholars-Babson College Symposium for Entrepreneurship Educators (SEE) program.  The entire experience is a great reminder that there are talented, creative brilliant people everywhere.  And that is true within Chile as well.  We have had the pleasure not just to engage with folks in Santiago and at the biggest and best-known schools, but we have been to many cities – La Serena, Concepción, Puerto Montt, Temuco, Antofagasta, and more. And we’ve worked with folks at all types of schools… And the creativity is amazing.  The passion of the people of Latin America is well-known across the globe and I have seen this each and every year I travel back to Chile.”

Andrew Corbett

Corbett, excited but regretting not being able to set foot on Chilean soil this time, adds: “That emotion and engagement is critical because people learn best when their emotions are tapped into. So, one of my biggest takeaways has been a reminder from my Chilean colleagues to be my true authentic self; to bring my emotions and passion into the classroom.  This year has been the same.  Even though we are engaging and working together online, the creativity and passion comes through.  It is truly fantastic! I know that students will learn best when I am my true self and I have my Chilean colleagues to thank for that.”

For nearly three decades, Babson College has been singled out as an example of developing and empowering academic excellence.

This symposium for entrepreneurship educators has already prepared nearly 4,500 educators from more than 1,100 institutions around the world, to form a growing group of innovative teachers in the field of entrepreneurship, who understand the importance of creating connections between theory and practice in education.

Chile- China Exchange program is extended for 3 new years

  • The agreement with the Facultad de Economía y Negocios of the University of Chile will allow 60 undergraduate students to access the scholarship.
  • The program is renewed for three more periods.
  • The call for the 2022 period is already open.

The Luksic Scholarship for Chile-China Undergraduate Exchange program, of the Luksic Scholars Foundation, extends for three more years, thus affirming the commitment with the Facultad de Economía y Negocios (FEN) of the University of Chile, and allowing 10 undergraduate students per semester, and for six semesters, to have the possibility of studying and living in China.

The Luksic Chile-China scholarship allows FEN students to spend a semester in the eastern country, either at the Guanghua School of Management, at Peking University (located in Beijing); or at the School of Management at Fudan University, located in Shanghai.

To date, 39 students from the three FEN careers have carried out their exchange in China on the basis of their academic and personal merit.

This year, the call is resumed for the period 2022, after a two-year hold due to the pandemic.

Regarding the impact generated by participating in this type of calls, the Director of the International Nexus of the FEN Undergraduate Schools, Stephanie Dazin, points out that “This program develops in greater depth cooperation links between leading business schools in China and the FEN, so that students can benefit and gain strength in academic and cultural research; study exchange, and study tours. In addition, it seeks to increase the intercultural, linguistic and networking approach between FEN students and students from China.”

The call is open, and will be available until July 2. More information can be found at: https://pregrado.fen.uchile.cl/beca-luksic-scholars-para-china-otono-2022-now-open

Babson College will train teachers from the north of Chile in entrepreneurship and education subjects

  • Between May 3rd and the 13th, the third version of the seminar “Babson Symposium for Entrepreneurship Educators, Antofagasta” will be held by experts from this world-renowned institution.

50 teachers from Arica to La Serena will go through a very enriching pedagogical experience in the third version of the “Babson Symposium for Entrepreneurship Educators”, organized between the Universidad de Antofagasta, through its Office and Transfer and Licensing (OTL-UA) and the Luksic Scholars Foundation.

The seminar will take place online between Monday 3rd and Thursday 13th of May, and will be hosted by faculty Andrew Corbett and Matthew Allen from Babson College, two expert professors in topics related to innovation and entrepreneurship, especially taken to different areas, such as the pedagogical and the educational.
In this version of the program, teachers from the universities of Antofagasta, La Serena, Atacama, Arturo Prat, Tarapacá and Universidad Católica del Norte, previously selected, will participate to receive pedagogical content, tips and tools, for them to improve their teaching in a more effective and innovative way in the classroom.
For this, a series of sessions will be carried out, such as “Search for needs for the generation of Ideas” and “The mentality for entrepreneurial education and teaching of entrepreneurial thinking and action”, among other important topics.
The global contingency will not be absent: The “Teaching in a Pandemic: Online and other modalities” session will reinforce the pedagogical tools of teachers and their adaptation to the new teaching formats that the current Covid-19 pandemic requires.


For Alejandra Portillo, director of the Office of Transfer and Licensing (OTL-UA), developing this program generates multiple benefits for the educational community.
“In order to generate development in the educational field, it is essential to be able to provide tools to teachers and specialize in teaching entrepreneurship and new technologies. That is why we are so happy to be able to carry out a new version of this program together with world-class experts and an institution such as Babson College that ensures quality and innovation in its content.”
For the OTL-UA director it is very relevant “to be able to support our peers from other universities, thanks to the support of the Luksic Scholars Foundation, which translates into 200 scholarships in the 5 years that this program lasts.”
While Jeff Swiryn, Executive Director of the Luksic Scholars Foundation, states: “We are very happy to be able to provide a new edition of this recognized Babson program in Chile. Even going through this pandemic, we want to validate our commitment to education and professional development, and this is a great opportunity for this, for 50 teachers from the north of the country will acquire knowledge of experts in entrepreneurship, and then spread good practices to their students and their communities.”
Susana Rubilar, Deputy Director of Technology Transfer and Entrepreneurship at OTL-UA, said that “this program is essential to promote and develop an entrepreneurial ecosystem within the university, since instances like these allow us to reach teachers from. The entrepreneurship perspective, which they will then share with their students, transmitting the spirit of entrepreneurship.”
The online version of this program has been able to adapt to new educational demands “and we hope that all participants can enjoy and learn new practices that they can then apply in their virtual classrooms,” she added.


Babson College is recognized as the number one university in teaching entrepreneurship worldwide, and stands out as an example of the development and empowerment of academic excellence.
The agreement signed with this entity contributes to teaching these subjects in a more effective and innovative way in the classroom, delivering case studies under different teaching methodologies, in addition to effective learning.
This program has already prepared more than 4,400 educators from more than 1,100 institutions around the world, to form a growing group of innovative teachers in the field of entrepreneurship, who understand the importance of creating connections between theory and practice in teaching.
A commitment that will undoubtedly help improve the quality of education in the northern macrozone, thanks to the joint work carried out between the Office of Transfer and Licensing of the University of Antofagasta (OTL-UA) and the Luksic Scholars Foundation.

MIT SLOAN Latin America Office shares its 2020 highlights

Even given these difficult times, the Office continues to carry out its mission of sharing MIT knowledge and research in the region, despite the challenge of being physically distanced from alumni, partners, students, and our audience in Latin America.

Installed in Santiago in 2013, MIT Sloan established then its first physical presence outside the United States in Chile. This initiative allows for the enhancement of MIT’s presence in the region and plays a key role in advancing the Institute’s strategic goals.

The mission of the MIT Sloan Latin America Office (MSLAO) reflects MIT’s commitment to improving the world through the development of principled, innovative leaders who are prepared to manage—and lead—in a complex global economy.

The MSLAO supports activities focused on energy, water, and sustainability; innovation and entrepreneurship; and growth and productivity.

Below is a snapshot of some of the activities and highlights of the past year.


In the beginning of April, the MSLAO moved its regional activities online. Since then, the MSLAO has led or been involved in more than 40 virtual events ranging in topics from the macroeconomic implications of the pandemic to energy and sustainability to artificial intelligence and cybersecurity and education and e-mobility, among many others. We have collaborated with a range of institutions from the private and public sectors as well as foundations to offer these webinars. To view recordings from some of these past events, please visit our YouTube channel. 


The MSLAO’s engagements were not limited to virtual interactions. MIT faculty and staff made use of their seed funds from last year to conduct research projects in Brazil, Colombia, Chile, Ecuador, and Peru. In 2020, the MSLAO received the most applications ever for seed funds and awarded six projects funds for research starting in 2021.

100K LATAM          

In 2020, the MSLAO in collaboration with the Instituto Tecnológico de Buenos Aires (ITBA) launched the third edition of the 100K LATAM. The entire competition was conducted virtually with over 3,400 entrepreneurs across 16 countries in Latin America from 1,385 startups. On November 17th, the winners of the regional competition were named:

Launch – Eco Panplas (Brazil)

Accelerate – EcoScience Lab (Mexico)

Pitch – BioSynáptica (Argentina)


In the beginning of 2020, the inaugural class of the MIT Sloan and Universidad de Chile Data Analytics Certficate ended a successful first year of the program with a two-week visit to Boston/Cambridge where they participated in a variety of data analytics-related courses taught by renowned MIT and MIT Sloan faculty. To learn more about their experience, please click here.

The second cohort of students began their classes entirely online this past July. Their two-week immersion, which would have taken place at MIT in January 2021, has been rescheduled to July in the hope that they will be able to travel to the United States and have a safe and pleasant on-campus experience in the summer.


To keep up to date on MIT’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic and the research being conducted to help confront the pandemic, information can be found at the following two links:



Designer, MBA, entrepreneur and mother: Luksic Scholar Catalina Hernández shows how ideas can become business

Catalina Hernández Infante, Luksic Scholar from Chile, who participated in both Conducting Business in China (CMIX) in 2009, and then in the Babson Chilean Symposium for Entrepreneurship Educators (SEE) in 2017, received her Bachelor Degree in Design, followed by an MBA from Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile.

She’s also an entrepreneur, known for being the founder of Kaikai, a design souvenir brand in Chile, which she has sold earlier this year.

“During my MBA, I realized that this idea I had when I was 15 years old, to make beautiful souvenirs and designs, was not only just an idea but a business opportunity.”

Catalina teaches an Entrepreneurship course at the Business School of Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile in Santiago.

– You’re a designer and an entrepreneur; can you tell us about your journey? What inspired you to take this path?

“When I graduated from Pontificia Universidad Católica with my Bachelor’s in Design, I had wanted to start working in museums and in cultural projects, as my interests were in these fields: art and culture, cinema, and exhibitions. So, I started working for museums at a little design studio, and I really loved my job. It was great for a designer to be able to see my projects become a reality because, as a design student, you make lots of renders and projects, but the semester ends and your project is like if it said ‘bye-bye.’ Luckily, I’ve been able to see my projects come to life. 

One day, out of the blue, my boss said, “Catalina, I’m tired and I want to close the studio” and I responded, “let’s be partners.” Mind you, at that time, I had never imagined being an entrepreneur, a consultant, or a freelancer. He said “no, no, no”, until one day he came to me and said “yes”, so we started a studio.

I was the one doing invoices, writing out checks, and learning how to look for new customers and new projects… I remember making these big spreadsheets, and it was in that moment, that I realized I was truly an entrepreneur. 

A few years later, I entered the MBA program at Pontificia Universidad Católica, because I had realized how little I knew about business and, in my 2nd year of the master, I had the opportunity to go to China [through the Conducting Business in China (CMIX) program through the Luksic Scholars Foundation]. During my MBA, I realized that this idea I had when I was 15 years old, to make beautiful souvenirs and designs, was not only just an idea -but a business opportunity.”

(…) it was great to be selected as part of that group and to go abroad, because I felt valued. I was a young woman, a designer, and still was able to be in a completely different environment.”

Throughout my MBA program, I also had a full-time job; it was a very busy time. Then I started working on Kaikai with my same partner. I quit my job at the little studio, Al Tres, and started working full-time at Kaikai to get funding and development and, ultimately, to look for sales points.

In Kaikai, I did most everything but I’m not an illustrator, even though I developed all of the prototypes. I was the main creator and, in the beginning, I was working alone. We were then 6 people. When we started 10 years ago (in 2011), there wasn’t much of a market for what we were looking to do, and also in terms of competitors. Now there’s a lot more.”

-What was the best part of your Conducting Business in China (CMIX) program experience?

“This program was an amazing opportunity to cross the world. At that time, MBA programs were mostly intended for male engineering students who were employees at big companies. That was the average profile, so it was great to be selected as part of that group and to go abroad, because I felt valued. I was a young woman, a designer, and still was able to be in a completely different environment (to go to a place so physically far from Chile and culturally different as well). To this day, more than 10 years later, we still have a WhatsApp group – we are all friends. It’s a community.”

And, what was the best part of your Babson SEE program experience?

“I’m a part-time entrepreneurship teacher and I teach from the perspective of an entrepreneur, not necessarily as an academic as I don’t write papers or such – I’m hands-on. This has been a great compliment. I still teach today in the undergrad program. I went to Viña del Mar for the Babson experience and it was a very useful experience for me because they have a different way of thinking about entrepreneurship – it was very personal. They ask you to think about yourself, it wasn’t just about methodology or case studies, but more about who you are.”

– What advice would you give to fellow Luksic Scholars, especially those who are entrepreneurs?

“It’s very important to let things flow because, ultimately, I think things will happen regardless – and sometimes, as an entrepreneur, you’re very stressed, pushing to get everything done, but sometimes you have to let things flow. It doesn’t mean that you’re not working hard, you have to work hard, but you must trust your gut and intuition. It’s a mix and balance between hard work and trying to be more zen and trusting your intuition.”

– What’s coming next?

“Well, I’m a mother of a 2-year-old, I sold my company, and I still have my part-time job as a teacher. Since my son isn’t going into school, I’ve been able to spend a lot of quality time with him. I’m enjoying this time right now. I’ve been in the working world since I graduated university – as a designer and an entrepreneur owning a business – and you always have to ‘push, push, push…‘, so this is the first time in my life where I can say ‘I know where my job ends‘, and that’s great.
Now, my two cousins and I are starting to make the first MVPs for a new fresh milk business from free and happy cows linked to our family’s dairy farm.”

Welcoming the first generation of Luksic Scholars to LSE

The new Luksic scholarship supports postgraduate students from Chile joining the School of Public Policy at LSE.

The COVID-19 pandemic was a huge blow that threatened my plans to study at LSE, and I wouldn’t have been able to be here today without this scholarship.” Olivia Mullins.

The first cohort of outstanding young policymakers from Chile have started their LSE studies, thanks to a new Scholarship Fund supported by the Luksic family.

Established to provide financial aid to Chilean students enrolled in the Master of Public Administration (MPA) or the Master of Public Policy (MPP) at LSE, the scholarships are needs-based and support ten beneficiaries per year. The programme offers an extraordinary opportunity for talented young professionals to gain knowledge and skills they will later use to improve lives and livelihoods through policymaking.

In the midst of exceptionally challenging global circumstances created by COVID-19, the scholarships are already having a profound impact on the students whose LSE experience has just begun. We are delighted to meet members of the first cohort of Luksic Scholars, hear how they are settling in at LSE, and learn about their plans for the future.

“The COVID-19 pandemic was a huge blow that threatened my plans to study at LSE, and I wouldn’t have been able to be here today without this scholarship. The courses I am taking are both fascinating and challenging. I’ve met people from every corner of the world, and with a wide variety of experiences and outlooks.”

Olivia Mullins
(Master of Public Administration 2021)

“Coming to LSE to study this programme has always been my dream. LSE’s culture and community represent a unique mix of international backgrounds. The active student life, public lectures, and exposure to diverse political views are teaching me as much as the courses. My long-term goal is to become a Chilean Congresswoman. Deep in my heart, I think I can add tremendous value to transform Chile into a truly developed economy.”

Maria Josefina Hubner
(Master of Public Administration 2021)

“This scholarship was my only option to become part of LSE. I am very grateful for this opportunity, and I am determined to make the most out of this experience. After my graduation, I will work to translate the knowledge received into efficient public reforms to ensure equality of opportunities in Chile and drive social change.”

Maria Ignacia Pinto Retamal
(Master of Public Administration  2021)

“I started my studies only a month ago, and I am deeply impressed by how much I have learned so far. LSE is a modern and global university where you learn from great professors and brilliant classmates from all around the world. I am thrilled with my decision to come here; I feel challenged and motivated.”

Ignacio Loeser
(Master of Public Administration 2022)

“My LSE experience will allow me to grow as an individual and academic. After I graduate, I plan to return to my country and be an agent of public policy change. The critical situation in Chile will require professionals capable of rethinking economic policy from all spectrums: from the creation and implementation of public policies to structural reforms in terms of citizen participation, education, health, and social security.”

Camila Arroyo
(Master of Public Administration 2022)

Source: https://www.lse.ac.uk/supporting-lse/your-gifts-in-action/2020-2021/luksic-scholars

Dreams and hard work: Andreas Guillén’s Journey to Sciences Po University

“When the plane took off, I shed some tears,” recalls Andreas Guillén Meza, a young graduate of the Instituto Nacional in 2019, who moved to the city of Poitiers, France, on September 10th, to begin his studies in Social Sciences at the esteemed University of Sciences Po.

The emotion came as no surprise: this 19-year-old, from the Colbún commune in the Maule region, had never flown before or had even been outside of Chile. After being awarded the Sciences Po Quiñenco Scholarship for Chile, Guillén began a journey that will keep him living abroad for at least the next five years.

Andreas says that he has always known he has wanted to study political science. From his early years in elementary school, he had a love for history, geography, and cartography, which later developed into a hobby of making presentations on the composition of parliament, the political forces within ministries, and public policy debates.

“While I was at the Instituto Nacional, I was part of many debate groups which helped me to broaden my view and meet and interact with people from very different political positions. This helped to enrich my view of the political spectrum, break down previously-held myths and even debate better”, remembers Guillén.

Another one of his hobbies is vexillology: a discipline consisting of the study of flags. Today, Guillén is part of the nascent Chilean National Vexillology Corporation, which he has been a member of since 2018. He has a collection of nearly 100 flags that he took to France to decorate his room with; truly materializing his passion for the international arena.

Alongside a clear path of interests, this young student also had another dream: to study in France. “At the National Institute I took French classes which allowed me to learn the [French] language. In addition, my teachers supported me in completing the DELF at various levels to continue strengthening my knowledge of the French language and culture. I knew that I wanted to study there at some point in my life”.

October 9th, 2019 is a date that Guillén remembers very clearly. That day, representatives from Sciences Po University and the Luksic Scholars Foundation came to the National Institute to present a program to the students that would allow for one, young Chilean to study at said university with a scholarship financed by Quiñenco.

“I had never heard of Sciences Po, but I immediately knew that this was the perfect program for me: a scholarship to study political science at one of the best universities in France,” Guillén recalls.

From that moment on, he focused on complying with the requirements to apply [for the scholarship] while preparing for the PSU. However, he knew he could also not leave his future in the hands of one, single alternative so he continued working on his admissions process to the University of Chile.

Alas, his efforts did not go in vain. He was the first Chilean to submit all of the necessary documentation to apply to the Sciences Po scholarship and after a promising interview with representatives of the university, Andreas felt for the first time that his dreams could come true.

“At the end of April I began studying at the University of Chile, which is a great college, so I was able to come to terms with the situation. If the scholarship worked out, fine; but if not, I would give it my all to have a good career here in Chile, ”says Guillén.

The same day he started classes [at the University of Chile], he received a message from Sciences Po University letting him know that he had been selected to study Social Sciences at the headquarters in the city of Poitiers, specializing in Latin American studies. Two or three weeks later, he would receive a second email from Sciences Po claiming that he was indeed the recipient of the Sciences Po Quiñenco Scholarship for Chile program.

“My mom tells me that while I was reading the email I didn’t show any signs of emotion. I just kept quiet. I remember we hugged and probably shed a few tears. 2019 was not an easy year for us in terms of family life and personal matters so this was great news to start a new year with,” recalls Andreas.

From that day on, everything turned into preparation for his new life. Today he lives far away from his family with other students in Poitiers, a city located in the heart of France that boasts a strong university tradition and has about 90,000 inhabitants. It’s here where he will study for the next two years.

Adapting to this new stage of life did not come without its difficulties. Shortly after Andreas arrived in France, the first outbreaks of coronavirus started to appear in the Old Continent. As a result, Andreas now finds himself in a school routine that combines in-person classes with some remote classes, while at the same time, trying to personally settle in a new place that will be his home for the next 24 months.

After this period of two years is up, students then have to choose a country, other than France or Chile, to complete their third year of undergraduate studies, before going to Paris for two more years to complete their postgraduate studies.

“It is still unclear to me which specialization courses I will take, or which country I will go to for my third year, but I still have time to analyze and evaluate all the factors that will influence my decision,” says Andreas, while also commenting that the surroundings of Poitiers remind him of his native Colbún. “Their fields and rivers are very similar. It gives a bit of nostalgia”, he concludes.

New scholarship fund for postgraduate studies at the London School of Economics

  • Luksic Scholars Foundation announced a new scholarship fund for up to 10 Chilean beneficiaries per year who have already been admitted to the School of Public Policy at the London School of Economics.
  • The university will be in charge of the students’ admissions and the distribution of financial aid from the fund provided by the Foundation.

With the aim of fostering leadership and contributing to the development of individuals, Luksic Scholars Foundation announced in August the creation of a new scholarship fund, supported by the Luksic family, at one of the most prestigious universities in the United Kingdom, the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE).

The fund, intended for Chilean students admitted to the School of Public Policy of the LSE, whether in the Master of Public Administration (MPA), or the Master of Public Policy (MPP), will provide financial aid for up to 10 beneficiaries per year.

Both master’s programs have a special focus on public policy and administration, taking into consideration a global perspective and placing emphasis on training professionals in applied economics, statistics and quantitative methods, political science, political philosophy, and other social sciences.

The Executive Director of the Luksic Scholars Foundation, Jeff Swiryn, points out that “with this new scholarship fund at LSE we emphasize our interest in promoting opportunities for Chileans to pursue advanced degrees at some of the best universities in the world.”

Professor Andrés Velasco, Dean of the School of Public Policy at the LSE, stated that “we look forward to welcoming the first generation of Luksic Scholars to our school. This is an extraordinary opportunity for young men and women with a strong commitment to public service to acquire the skills and know-how they will then put to work improving lives and livelihoods in Chile.”

LSE is in the stage of defining its candidates. The university is in charge of the admissions of its students and the distribution of financial aid, and these decisions are made exclusively and independently after the evaluation of each case, since it is a needs-based award.

This opportunity will be available to some of the candidates who are currently being evaluated by the university, and also for the next academic session, 2021-2022, whose applications cycle will be stipulated by LSE.

With this new scholarship fund, Luksic Scholars Foundation has now consolidated 20 programs to date that offer study opportunities for outstanding students and professionals mainly from Chile.