Beyond the specific demands regarding education, there is a feeling that the protests reflect a "deep discontent" among some parts of society with Chile's high level of inequality.
Protests have included massive non-violent marches, but also a considerable amount of violence on the part of a side of protestors as well as riot police.
The Economist explained the protests as being the result of "one of world’s lowest levels of public funding for higher education, some of the longest degrees and no comprehensive system of student grants or subsidized loans" and a flat job market as the detonant.
BBC have attributed "students' anger" to "a perception that Chile's education system is grossly unfair – that it gives rich students access to some of the best schooling in Latin America while dumping poor pupils in shabby, under-funded state schools." Many newspapers and analysts have traced the protests back to the 2006 Penguin Revolution that occurred during the government of Michelle Bachelet, some claiming that these are the same secondary students who headed the 2006 movement that when in university are heading the 2011 student protests.
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