Your bookmarked countries have an update since your last login. View Bookmarks x

Latest Country Updates
Sep 20, 2022

Know the conclusions of the results of Colombia's Saber Tests

For the first time, a national measurement was carried out in the area of ​​socio-emotional skills, which aims to collect evidence that investigates emotional processes and cognitive regulation.

Learn more »

Jun 10, 2022

Saber tests return in Colombia as Icfes prepares a massive evaluation to measure the impact of the pandemic

Icfes is preparing for a marathon day of exams to assess how the pandemic has affected the quality of education in colleges and schools across the country.

Learn more »

Dec 22, 2021

What students in Colombia must do to legalize their university degree in another country

Each government must confirm the suitability of the person requesting recognition of their degree obtained in Colombia , and although these procedures vary between countries, there are some basic requirements that must be met in Colombia.

Learn more »

Dec 20, 2021

Zero enrollment will benefit students of the National University in Colombia

Students of the National University of Colombia (UNAL) will benefit from the strategy of gradualism in the gratuitousness that gives access to public higher education to young people in conditions of socioeconomic vulnerability of strata 1, 2 and 3 and without stratification. The strategy will cover more than 695,000 students in the 63 public HEIs, including UNAL.

Learn more »

Dec 17, 2021

Ministry of National Education opens a Call for Higher Education Institutions to strengthen their capacities and quality educational offer

In order to promote a relevant and quality educational offer in accordance with the needs of the territories, the Ministry of Education opens a call addressed to Higher Education Institutions (IES) in order to strengthen their technical capabilities to promote the design and updating of academic programs based on qualifications and in connection with the National Qualifications Framework.

Learn more »

Dec 16, 2021

More than 60,000 students of technical and technological careers summoned to the Colombia Saber T&T State test

The Colombian Institute for the Evaluation of Education - Icfes will carry out the second fully electronic application of State tests of the year. The more than 60,000 people registered for the electronic Saber T&T test, at HOME or on the application SITE, who have already fulfilled 75% of the credits of their technical and technological programs.

Learn more »

Dec 9, 2021

Icfes reminds what must be taken into account for the State exam

The Colombian Institute for the Evaluation of Education -Icfes provides a series of recommendations to the more than 650 thousand cited for the application on site, of the tests Saber 11 Calendar A, Pre Saber and Validation of the Academic Baccalaureate.

Learn more »

Oct 26, 2021

Venezuelans can easily validate their bachelor's degree in Colombia

The Constitutional Court endorsed the initiative that the natives of the neighboring country do not have to apostille to validate their studies, after studying a protection action of a Venezuelan citizen residing in the country.

Learn more »

Oct 25, 2021

Icfes will re-apply the Saber tests 3rd, 5th, 7th and 9th

The Saber tests return for students of secondary and basic education in the country, between September and October the exams will be administered throughout the country. The basic skills tests will be carried out electronically and not in pencil and paper, thanks to the experience acquired in recent years by ICFE

Learn more »

Oct 22, 2021

The return to face-to-face classes continues after an agreement between the Colombia Ministry of Education and Fecode

The educators union and the national government reached an agreement to continue the gradual return to face-to-face classes in the country.

Learn more »

Oct 15, 2021

Icfes announces change of date for Saber 11 tests

The exam will no longer be held in August but in September. The exam was scheduled to be presented on the weekend of August 21. However, the entity made the decision to extend the registration period and therefore the test was postponed.

Learn more »

Oct 11, 2021

After the criticism, Colombian Government will promote that the students that pass 70% of the contents

After considering that the 2021 school year is "without repetition", the Ministry of Education will propose another criterion to the Federal Council of Education. In addition, it will propose that there is more teaching time for the second semester.

Learn more »

Oct 11, 2021

Icfes cites 70,000 people to test Saber T&T electronics at home

The Colombian Institute for the Evaluation of Education (Icfes) will summon the more than 70,000 people registered for the Saber T&T electronic test and at home, which will be held in several sessions.

Learn more »

ARCHIVED COUNTRY STUDY: (PDF)

There are 2 archived country studies available. Log in to view them.

Colombia

Overview

La República de Colombia (The Republic of Colombia) is located in northwestern South America and is surrounded by Brazil, Ecuador, Panama, Peru, Venezuela, the North Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea. The population is 44,379,598, and the literacy rate is 92.8%. It is the 4th largest country in South America and the 26th largest in the world.

Hunter-gatherers were in the area as far back as 10,000BC. The Spanish explorer, Vasco Nuñez de Balboa, arrived in 1508 and began the colonization of South America and the Kingdom of New Granada was established. It included the borders of present-day Colombia, Ecuador, Venezuela and Panama. In 1810, independence from Spain was declared with Simón Bolívar as the first president of the Republic of Greater Colombia. Venezuela and Ecuador seceded from the Republic in 1830 and the country became known as Nueva Granada. It 1856, the name was changed to the Confederación Granadina until 1886 when the current name of República de Colombiawas adopted. Panama seceded in 1903.

Education

Primary Education

Education is compulsory from ages 5 to 13. Educación pre-escolar (pre-school education) is one year beginning at age 5. Educación Básica Primaria (Primary Basic Education) is 5 years and, upon completion, students are awarded a Certificado de Educación Básica. Educación Básica Secundaria (Lower Secondary Education) is 4 years and, upon completion, students are awarded a Certificado de Estudios de Bachillerato Básico or a Certificado de Conclusión del Ciclo Básico.

Secondary Education

Upper secondary (Educación Media) and technical upper secondary (Educación Media Técnica) is 2 years and is offered at colegios and liceos. Students are awarded a Bachillerato upon completion of studies.

Post-Secondary Education

First Cycle, Academic

Admission to universities requires a bachillerato and an examen del estado (state entrance exam). There are 75 public and private universidades and 90 instituciónes universitarias (university institutions). Coursework at this level is measured in unidades de labor académica (ULA) (academic work units). The first level of studies (licenciatura) is 4-5 years long and students are awarded a Título de Licenciado after earning at least 3200 ULAs. There are some degrees, relatively few, that are 3- or 3 ½ years in duration (2100 - 3000 ULAs). The Título Profesional is awarded after the minimum coursework and defense of a thesis. Law, engineering, medicine and dentistry programs are 5 years.

First cycle, Vocational/Technical

Technical and vocational post-secondary study is offered at 60 instituciónes tecnológicas(technological institutes) and 51 instituciónes técnicas professionales (professional technical institutions). Programs are 2-2.5 years and students are awarded a Título de Técnico Profesional Intermedio . 3-3.5-year programs award a Título de Tecnólogo or a Título de Licenciado.

Second Cycle

Graduate programs require a Título de Licenciado or a Título Profesional and an entrance examination for admission. After ½-1 year of study, students are awarded a Diplomado, after 1-2 years of study, students are awarded a Título de Especialista and the Título de Magister/Título de Maestría is awarded after 2 years and is the credential required for admission to doctoral programs. Título de Especialista programs following licenciado programs in law, engineering, medicine or dentistry are 1-4 years long.

Third Cycle

Doctoral programs require 2 years of coursework in the same area of study as the Magister/Maestría program, plus defense of a dissertation. Upon completion, students are awarded a Título de Doctor. Students in education doctoral programs are awarded a Título de Doctor en Ciencias de la Educación.

Teacher Training

Primary and secondary school teachers are all trained at the licenciatura level at faculties of education at universities and university institutions.


THE CONTRIBUTORS

BE A PART OF THE CONVERSATION. JOIN OUR LISTSERV. Subscribe

Upcoming AACRAO Events

On-Demand Learning

Self-Paced | Online

Self-paced courses aligned with our competency and proficiency framework, AACRAO's on-demand training will build your skills and enhance your resume. 

Courses in:

  • Compliance
  • FERPA
  • International
  • and more

Learn More

SEM_2020_1440x400 update

The International Institute

The AACRAO International Institute covers promising practices for the evaluation of international credentials that combines AACRAO’s On-Demand International Series with five, two-hour, virtual instructor-led training sessions.

Learn More
AACRAO International Institute Banner