Uruguay is a highly educated country with a high literacy rate and a large group of middle and upper class professionals. Education in Uruguay is free, from primary school up to the University and is compulsory for a child from the age of six to fourteen. The university of the Republic is a public and free university in Montevideo. It is one of two universities in Uruguay, the other being the Catholic University of Uruguay, and is the only public one. The only real requirement to attend the University of the Republic is to have completed primary and secondary school. However, the majority of student that attend the university are middle to upper class because of financial pressure on poorer families. A young adult in a poorer family may need to work to supplement the family income, and would have trouble paying for the books and expenses of attending the University. It is also more difficult for people living in rural areas to attend because the only university is in Montevideo and this is an added expense and complication for rural families.
Uruguayans that do attend the university prefer to specialize in professions that they consider prestigious such as law, medicine, administration, and engineering. But there has arisen a discrepancy between the number of jobs the university trains for and the number of jobs available in these prestigious fields. This leads to an emigration of the best educated in search of more jobs and better opportunities- a brain drain so to speak.