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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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Conclusions and recommendations

As has been acknowledged throughout this report, the Colombian tertiary education system has many impressive strengths. Participation has been growing, widening and becoming better distributed across the country. The tertiary system covers the full range of the Colombian economy’s needs for skilled manpower, if not necessarily to an equal extent. The government has clear and well-founded plans and aspirations for future tertiary growth and development. The Colombian government and people are well aware that they need not only more, but also better and fairer, tertiary provision – growth in coverage must be accompanied by quality, relevance and equitable access.

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