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USACH participates in AUGM Young Researchers Conference: academia is a key player in the transformation of a more egalitarian society

La jornada realizada en Brasil, dejó en evidencia la exigencia social de crear y desarrollar nuevos conocimientos en pos de los ciudadanos y sus problemas en los países latinoamericanos, cruzados por estallidos sociales y políticos.


The conference, held in Brazil, demonstrated the social demand of creating and developing new knowledge for citizens and their problems in Latin American countries, crossed by social and political outbursts.

As every year, the Montevideo Group Association of Universities (AUGM) carried out a new edition of the “Young Researchers Conference” the last week of October and brought together hundreds of papers produced by scientists from Chile, Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay from all areas of knowledge, at the Federal University of São Carlos (UFSCar), Brazil. As part of the Association, USACH represented our country with papers in different areas of knowledge.

The activity was marked by the contingency, considering the current context where the social explosion in Chile and other countries such as Bolivia stress the right for their demands to be heard. As a public university and a social change agent, USACH promotes proactive research that seeks to improve the quality of life for people in all fields. It disseminates knowledge gathered at the national, Latin American and world level, so the works presented at this conference set out to provide solutions to real problems that are happening at the global level.

Gabriel Astorga, a Master in Economics student of the Faculty of Business and Economics, presented his research at the Young Researchers Conference on detecting corruption in the public sector based on a new econometric model, which allows you to obtain an estimated net worth of each staff member, by sector of work, age and pay grade, and to detect those outside the normal range established.

"We contrast information from other databases of other public agencies where people have statements, such as the Internal Revenue Service, Civil Registration, Conservator of the Estate, which provides the net worth of each person as results," says Gabriel. The work was the result of his undergraduate degree thesis, done jointly with a partner, seeking to contribute to a more just society from their profession and to respond to the social unrest due to the corruption cases arisen in various public sectors.

 "This is an extraordinary tool to curb corruption at the global level and for officials not to take advantage of their political positions, because they are working with the money of everyone. There are more than 173 countries in the world that have similar statement system to ours, in which our model can be applied as a tool for transparency," underlines Astorga.

Gabriel´s study was highlighted in the Conference, with a final speech representing Chile, "It was a welcomed opportunity to make what is happening to the rest of the Latin American countries known, to raise awareness and also share with other researchers in the region and to realize that we have the same problems, which is very enriching intellectual, and personally," he concludes.

The participation of USACH in this type of instances at the international level, seeks to strengthen academia and to disseminate their progress, in this line, Anoek van den Berg, Director of International and Inter-university Relations points out, "The fact that there is space to encourage and make visible the research work of our students is key to play up the importance of the contribution of academia in generating proposals for improving the quality of life from the sciences, humanities and other disciplines, especially taking into account the social and political context in almost all Latin American countries," she adds that, "These are spaces that show the fundamental need of research to provide real solutions for the real problems we face in our societies, based on scientific evidence."  

With a commitment to further disseminate national and international research, USACH will host next year’s conference and will receive undergraduate and graduate researchers from Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay on our campus.