Reviews of National Policies for Education: Tertiary Education in Colombia 2012

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In Colombia, the beginning of a new century has brought with it a palpable feeling of optimism. Colombians and visitors sense that the country’s considerable potential can be realised, and education is rightly seen as crucial to this process. As opportunities expand, Colombians will need new and better skills to respond to new challenges and prospects.

The government is therefore determined to address key challenges confronting tertiary education in the country: expanding enrolment and improving equity, increasing quality and relevance, and making governance and finance more responsive. Colombia has more than a decade of progress under its belt, and the energy to reach ambitious policy goals. Getting there in practice will involve dialogue and consensus-seeking among all stakeholders, as well as new resources and new rules.

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Access and equity to tertiary education in Colombia

This chapter examines student access to and retention in tertiary education, the extent to which different groups of students have benefited from recent enrolment growth, and how opportunities might be made more equal in the future.

The chapter closes with a summary of findings, and recommendations intended to (i) improve the college-readiness of Colombian school-leavers; (ii) ensure that admissions processes operate fairly; (iii) rationalise tertiary institutions’ different funding sources; (iv) enable ICETEX to support more students and improve targeting of students from the poorest backgrounds; and (v) continue offering options to ease loan repayment burdens on young graduates.

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