Colombia has a lot to offer when it comes to higher education, with its multiple options for all types of students.
In Colombia, the young man who has finished his secondary studies and decides to undertake the journey towards a university career, has a lot to know.
The Colombian educational system exclusively contemplates two types of studies: undergraduate and postgraduate. In the first case, it is about university careers, those that are authorized within the higher education system and that correspond to the fields of action of technology, science, humanities, art, technology and philosophy.
Undergraduate programs allow the graduate to obtain the knowledge and skills to perform in a profession, discipline or occupation in the aforementioned fields, distinguishing the following educational areas: Educational Sciences, Health Sciences, Economics, Administration, Accounting and related, Mathematics and natural sciences, Social Sciences, Law and Political Sciences, Engineering, Architecture, Urbanism and related, Fine Arts, Humanities and Religious Sciences and finally Agronomy, Veterinary and related.
Postgraduate programs in Colombia are focused on the same fields of action and in the same educational areas mentioned above, but there is a greater variety in terms of types of programs. You can find specializations, masters, doctorates and postdocs.
In order to access a postgraduate study, it will be a requirement that you have graduated from an undergraduate degree.
How is the Colombian university system made up?
The Colombian university system is diverse in terms of the number of alternatives it offers to the young student.
Universities, Professional Technical Institutions and University Institutions or Technological Schools are classified as Higher Education Institutions.
The classification of Universities in Colombia corresponds to those institutions that carry out activities related to scientific or technological research and provide academic training in professions, disciplines and occupations. In these study centers it is also possible to access postgraduate programs, with specialization studies, masters, doctorates and post-doctorates being those established by law.
All universities in Colombia must teach programs in Basic Sciences.
Professional Technical Institutions
This kind of institution is characterized by offering training programs in occupations that are linked to operational and instrumental areas. Professional Technical Institutions can teach professional technical programs at the undergraduate level and professional technical specializations at postgraduate level.
University Institutions or Technological Schools
This type of institution offers training programs in occupations, as in the previous case, but also academic training programs in specific professions or disciplines and technical, professional and technological specialization programs.
Currently, those who are interested in studying in Colombia can access more than 350 Higher Education Institutions distributed throughout the Colombian territory.
We must also emphasize that within the university system, study centers, whether universities, Professional Technical Institutions, University Institutions or Technological Schools, can be classified as state or official and private or solidarity.
In public or state higher institutions, students can access training practically free of charge. And we say “practically” because these study centers usually charge a fee that corresponds to the annual tuition paid by each student. The interesting thing is that socioeconomic information will be previously requested from the future graduate in order to calculate a tuition cost according to the possibilities of each student.
In private or solidarity higher institutions, the value of the annual or monthly fee is defined by each institution, as in the case of public and state centers, but in this case, the entire degree must be financed by the student.
Higher degrees in Colombia
Previously we specified that in Colombia knowledge is imparted in a specific group of educational areas, in total there are nine and correspond to Education Sciences, Health Sciences, Economics, Administration, Accounting and related, Mathematics and Natural Sciences, Social Sciences, Law and Political Sciences, Engineering, Architecture, Urbanism and related, Fine Arts, Humanities and Religious Sciences and finally Agronomy, Veterinary Medicine and related.
The degree to be obtained will largely depend on the type of institution that imparts it and its academic offer, but in general terms, in all universities and University Institutions or Technological Schools, it will be possible to access the title of Bachelor, Professional, Professional Technician , Technologist, Teacher, Specialist, Magister or Doctor.
In the Professional Technical Institutions, for their part, the titles of Professional Technician and Specialist are offered.
In Colombia the credit system is used, which implies that students pursuing a career in the country must complete a certain number of credits per semester. It will be when the student meets the final number of credits, the moment in which he will obtain the degree.
Where to study in Colombia?
If the time has come for you to decide where to study in Colombia, you should know that there are regions of the country where university activity is much more intense. Big cities are the best example of this.
Only in Bogotá Distrito Capital, the Colombian capital, can be found some 104 higher institutions, which obey the state order and the private one in practically the same number. It is in Bogotá precisely where the largest university educational offer in the country is found, where the best universities in Colombia are found and also the oldest, University of Santo Tomás.
A smaller academic offer, but also very interesting, can be found in Medellín. There are 35 higher education institutions, public and private. These 35 institutions are part of the 41 that are located in the Department of Antioquia.
The departments of Cundinamarca, Santander, Barranquilla and Boyacá also offer interesting alternatives with regard to higher level studies and institutions with a long history and national recognition.