MEXICO CITY (Sputnik) — Protests took place in the Chilean capital Santiago, as well as in Valparaiso, Temuco, Valdivia and Concepcion, the Vanguardia news portal reported.
Clashes with police resulted in 140 arrests, with some instances of injuries reported, including the beating of one journalist.
Student protest have become increasingly common in the Latin American country since the government announced plans to introduce free education that have been slammed as ill-conceived and discriminatory.
While some 165,000 students can attend 30 universities for free this year, critics have pointed out that the reforms only cover households with the lowest incomes while leaving the rest ineligible. Several universities have also been exempt from the plans.
Education in Chile is one of the most expensive in the world, with Chilean students paying up to five times as much as their peers do in Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries. The problem has persisted since the rule of Augusto Pinochet, whose military government subjected the country to neoliberal market reforms.