Friday, September 29, 2023

“Quality is more than buildings”: Uniandes rector for statutory education reform

In a joint letter, five rectors of the famous private universities in the country, including the University of the Andes, the University of EAFIT, the University of Javeriana and the University of La Sabana, called the Ministry of Education regarding the reform of the statutory law of education to be presented to Congress on September 12, 2023. In this letter, the rectors express their concern and raise important recommendations to strengthen the Colombian education system.

The rector of the Universidad de los Andes, Raquel Bernal, and Father Luis Fernando Múnera, rector of the Javeriana University, joined the discussion of the Mañanas Blu program with Néstor Morales to offer their points of view on the implications of the reform and the needs . in the country’s system.

The rectors’ letter calls for the protection of a mixed education system, which means close collaboration between public and private universities. They emphasize the importance of considering education as broader than simple university education and suggest greater flexibility in training options, including technical and technological education and training for work.

One of the highlights of the Blu Radio conversation was the concept of “post-media education.” Rector Bernal explained that this includes not only university education, but also technical and technological education, as well as short-cycle education models that allow people to acquire specific skills and quickly to get a job.

Father Múnera emphasized the importance of maintaining a mixed education system and ensuring that private universities are not marginalized in the funding process. He noted that private higher education serves many students, including those from the middle and lower classes, and that funding cuts through ICETEX could have a negative impact on these institutions.

An important point of discussion is the quality of education. The two rectors emphasized that quality goes beyond the buildings and the university campus. Quality refers to academic excellence, the development of qualified teachers, and the ability of institutions to improve the lives of students through research and knowledge generation.

“Quality is not a building, quality is not the campus, the campus is necessary, but it is not enough. It is important that the programs are well designed, that the teachers are well trained for those learning routes that are needed by the young people. It is important that universities have the capacity, even if it is small, for research and the creation of knowledge so that it can improve the projects of young people’s lives. And that is what we call care, that quality that more than the building,” said the rector of Los Andes.

Finally, the question is raised whether government reforms can negatively affect private higher education. The answer is that if sources of funding, such as ICETEX, are cut, it could jeopardize the viability of many private universities and lead to more overcrowding in public institutions.

“If you cut the sources of state support from private higher education, in a way you drive out private higher education. So, for us the idea of ​​building a comprehensive financial system with State participation, with the participation of society, in the universities themselves, but that also allows resources to flow, allows resources to flow to private institutions, which provide this public education service,” said Father Múnera.

Nation World News Desk
Nation World News Desk
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