Keywords: Chile, Vocational Training in University, Students with Intellectual disabilities  

Universidad Andres Bello

Universidad Andres Bello is a university based in Santiago, Chile. They have developed a three-year vocational training programme for young people with intellectual disabilities, fully included in the university campus. The programme develops employment and social skills according to the interests and goals of the individual and supports their transition to work. Since 2015, there have been 360 graduates, 72% of whom are now in employment. The programme, which is partly funded by student fees, has been replicated in universities in Spain and Mexico.

About the practice at a glance
Name of OrganisationUniversidad Andres Bello
Type of organisationUniversity
of Implementation
Year started2006
Funding modelFee paid by family + scholarships provided by partners


  • 360 students have graduated, 72% of whom are now in employment.  
  • 136 currently in the program over their 3 campuses
  • Studies show a high increase in social skills, autonomy and self-esteem in the young people who have taken the program.  
  • Has influenced some laws in Chile related to equal opportunities and labour inclusion of people with disabilities. 


We asked projects to outline their impact model (also called Theory of Change) – their main target groups, the key activities they offer these target groups, and what impact they want to achieve:

Target GroupActivityImpact
Young people with cognitive disabilities
Be a regular student in the University

Devleopment of social skills; improving their autonomy
FamiliesSupport their son or daughter in the challenges that these studies pose The capacity of giving the opportunity of being more independent
Other university students Share their university time with people with disabilities Be capable to share with them as peers and know them in a working world


They have supported 3 universities to replicate this educational method: University of La Coruña, Spain in 2013. University of Anahuac, Mexico in 2010. Catholic University of Buenos Aires UCA in 2009 

They want to Replicate the program and share the methodology with other universities in the region. 


They say Replication is a strategic priority and fits with their mission: provide every student an integrative and excellent educational experience for a globalized world.


Develop expertise to announce our work and spread our experience.