Argentina is the second-largest country in South America. It is boarded with Bolivia and Paraguay on the north and with Brazil and Uruguay to the north-east. Chile is situated to the west. The eastern side faces the South Atlantic Ocean. The country occupies a strategic position relative to sea lanes between the South Atlantic and the South Pacific Oceans (Strait of Magellan, Beagle Channel, Drake Passage).
Over 96% of the Argentinians are literate. Education is free and compulsory for children between 14 – 16 years old. In December 2006 the Chamber of Deputies of the Argentine Congress approved a new National Education Law making secondary education obligatory and a right, and increasing the length of compulsory education to 13 years. The government vowed to put the law in effect gradually, starting in 2007. Argentina has 25 national universities and other private universities. The Universidad de Buenos Aires (UBA) was founded in 1821 and is the largest institution of highest education of the country. Other major national universities are the Catholic University of Argentina (1958), the National Technological University (1959) and the National University of C—rdoba (1613). The major library of Argentina is the National Library (1810) in Buenos Aires, with about 2 million volumes.