Posted on March 16, 2017 2:35 pm
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Categories: Education

Will Peace Improve Colombia’s Higher Education? As of Now, ‘Few Academics Can Write English’ (E)

[…] Indeed, there seems to be general agreement about the strength of the top Colombian universities. Four institutions – the University of the Andes, the University of Antioquia, the Universidad del Norte and the Pontifical Bolivarian University (UPB), Medellín – feature among the top 50 in Times Higher Education ’s Latin America University Rankings for 2016. That is more than any other country except Chile (11 places) and the regional giants Brazil (23 places) and Mexico (eight). Citation data provided by Elsevier (see graphs opposite and on page 37 and charts on pages 36 and 39) also suggest that Colombia is quickly increasing its research output, whose quality bears comparison with the strongest performers in the region, especially in physics and astronomy.

Colombia was identified last year by Times Higher Education as one of seven nations with the potential to become significant players in global higher education ( “The new breed on the charge”, Features, 24 November). This was on account of its respectable research quality, its increasing research output and its high and growing student enrolment rate.

A report called Education in Colombia, published by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development last April, also praises many aspects of Colombian higher education. However, it is highly critical of the country’s “outdated, inequitable, and inefficient” system for distributing public resources. Established in 1992, this system allocates 48 per cent of the entire budget for public universities to just three of the 32 institutions, and leaves 20 out of 39 public technical colleges without “regular” subsidies. Given that total student numbers have more than quadrupled since 1992, the system’s “rigidity, lack of definition and scope” make it a major obstacle to progress, the report says. Times Higher Education