This article aims to describe the characteristics and transformations of the Chilean higher education system of the last three decades, focusing on three relevant processes: privatization, massification and social reproduction. The general hypothesis states that the Chilean tertiary education system has introduced radical changes since the reform of 1981, changes that have made a highly privatized and socially segmented system. The research method used was the collection of quantitative secondary data, which was extracted from various sources. The results of the analysis indicate that the Chilean system, on the one hand has become massified, diversified and feminized, and on the other hand, has reached one of the highest privatization levels in the world. Also, the system shows segmentation and social reproduction mechanisms, which crystallize in Chilean society.