There are 659 Higher Education Institutions in Colombia. These are recognised and classified by the ministry of education in the following categories:
- Technical Professional Institutions (Instituciones Tecnicas Profesionales)
- Technological Institutions (Instituciones Tecnologicas)
- University Institutions or Technological Schools (Instituciones Universitarias o Escuelas Tecnologicas)
- Universities (Universidades)
482 Institutions in the country are private and they uptake 49.7% of the student population in the country. The other 215 institutions are public (oficiales), hosting 50.3% of the student population. There are currently 2,408,000 higher education students nation-wide. 65% of students are currently pursuing an undergraduate degree and 25% are enrolled in the technological track. The rest are enrolled in specialization programs, and at the masters and PhD level. The most impacted field is economics, followed by engineering and the human and social sciences. For more information on the academic offer in the country you can visit the National System of Information for Higher Education (SNIES) website at https://www.mineducacion.gov.co/sistemasinfo/SNIES/ or go directly to the Ministry of Education at https://www.mineducacion.gov.co/portal/Educacion-superior/Sistema-de-Educacion-Superior/231240:Instituciones-de-Educacion-Superior.
4 different types of titles are awarded depending on the nature and duration of the program:
- Technical Degree (1-2 years)
- Technological Degree (3 years)
- Bachelor’s in Education (4-5 years)
- Professional Degree (4-5 years)
A High School diploma and a National Standardized test are the basic requirements for entry to a Technological Degree, Bachelor’s or professional. Other requirements are determined by individual universities. Each university has their own application process. In some cases, internal examinations have to be taken for admission. Further, some schools perform in person interviews. In the case for specialized degrees such as medicine and law, the Colombian system allows for entry straight after high school, having no requirement for a pre-med or similar courses. For Master’s and Doctorate programs, a Bachelor’s degree is required, often in a specific field determined on a case by case basis (More information on the recognition of titles obtained in foreign universities here). All degrees are taught in Spanish and in some programs, knowledge of English is desirable in order to access academic texts and sources.
Fees vary greatly depending on the location of the university and the degree. Prices should be consulted at the university site. This article presents a general comparison of expenses between fields and cities to study.
Information for International Students
Colombia is a very attractive destination for international students due to its culture as well as the possibility of learning Spanish. Beyond academics, more information about traveling to and living in Colombia can be found at https://www.colombia.travel/es.