About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 6545-6546 (abstract only)
Publication year: 2017
ISBN: 978-84-697-6957-7
ISSN: 2340-1095
doi: 10.21125/iceri.2017.1692

Conference name: 10th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 16-18 November, 2017
Location: Seville, Spain

HIGHER EDUCATION IN POST-CONFLICT COLOMBIA: SOCIAL INCLUSION AND ACADEMIC EXCELLENCE

C. Aguirre León1, C. Luz de Pretelt2, P. Martinez-Barrios3, C. Jones4, A. Huerta4, F. Dueñas Gaitán1, J. Palacio Angulo1, W. Allen4

1Corporación Universitaria Minuto de Dios (COLOMBIA)
2Universidad Nacional Abierta y a Distancia (COLOMBIA)
3Universidad Simón Bolívar (COLOMBIA)
4University of California Los Angeles (UNITED STATES)
As of August 2016, the Colombian civil conflict, the longest running in the Western hemisphere, reached a ceasefire agreement. Among the many issues is how to build an equitable, inclusive society to ensure sustained harmony and prosperity? If Colombia is to become a truly inclusive society, the higher education sector must play a leadership role in the nation’s post-conflict period. To this end, the Ministry of National Education has announced the goal to achieve extensive, inclusive and high-quality education at all levels in society. In this new era of peace-building, higher education is expected to provide access for the entire population, particularly those under-served, under-represented, and disproportionately affected by the conflict.

Our research project asks the critically important question: How can Colombia’s public and private higher education institutions (HEI), faced with major financial, political and organizational challenges, fulfill the twin missions of education for all (social inclusion) and quality assurance (academic excellence) in the post-conflict era? We look to the Corporación Universitaria Minuto de Dios (UNIMINUTO) to develop a case study. UNIMINUTO is a private, non-profit, Catholic institution serving nearly 130,000 students in Colombia. With 56 physical campuses, UNIMINUTO is the nation's largest HEI. Among those served, 98 percent are within the lowest socioeconomic levels and 70 percent are female (Casanova, Kandri, Khan, & Valenzuela, 2015). UNIMINUTO also hosts expansive virtual and distance programs to provide national access at a lower cost. Approximately 70 percent of the population is enrolled in distance education.

Specific research questions include:
1) Is UNIMINUTO an inclusive institution?
2) What are key barriers to social inclusion with excellence at UNIMINUTO?
3) What organizational principles and practices does UNIMINUTO use to fulfill the mission of inclusive education with excellence?

The collaborative research project joins researchers from UNIMINUTO and the Universidad Simón Bolívar in Colombia, and the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) in the United States.

The five-year case study design will use mixed methods data from: government statistics, institutional documents; archival sources; observations; personal interviews; surveys and focus groups. Information will be gathered from different stakeholders, e.g., students, faculty, administrators, government officials, non-government organizations, community leaders. Integrative analyses of these vast data sources will rely on qualitative and quantitative methods.
Our presentation will share details about the development of this international collaborative research project. We will also report preliminary results from analyses of institutional documents and statistical data.

This research project has great importance given Colombia’s commitment to reintegrating excluded groups into the “Knowledge Society” and rebuilding “Civil Society” during the post-conflict era. The lessons learned about “best practices” in the higher education sector can inform the experiences of other nations around the world faced with similar challenges.

References:
[1] Casanova, A. M., Kandri, S. E., Khan, M. A., & Valenzuela, C. (2015). Case study education within research of all: UNIMINUTO bringing entrepreneurship, innovation and jobs to marginalized communities In Colombia through tertiary education.
@InProceedings{AGUIRRELEON2017HIG,
author = {Aguirre Le{\'{o}}n, C. and Luz de Pretelt, C. and Martinez-Barrios, P. and Jones, C. and Huerta, A. and Due{\~n}as Gait{\'{a}}n, F. and Palacio Angulo, J. and Allen, W.},
title = {HIGHER EDUCATION IN POST-CONFLICT COLOMBIA: SOCIAL INCLUSION AND ACADEMIC EXCELLENCE},
series = {10th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation},
booktitle = {ICERI2017 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-697-6957-7},
issn = {2340-1095},
doi = {10.21125/iceri.2017.1692},
url = {http://dx.doi.org/10.21125/iceri.2017.1692},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Seville, Spain},
month = {16-18 November, 2017},
year = {2017},
pages = {6545-6546}}
TY - CONF
AU - C. Aguirre León AU - C. Luz de Pretelt AU - P. Martinez-Barrios AU - C. Jones AU - A. Huerta AU - F. Dueñas Gaitán AU - J. Palacio Angulo AU - W. Allen
TI - HIGHER EDUCATION IN POST-CONFLICT COLOMBIA: SOCIAL INCLUSION AND ACADEMIC EXCELLENCE
SN - 978-84-697-6957-7/2340-1095
DO - 10.21125/iceri.2017.1692
PY - 2017
Y1 - 16-18 November, 2017
CI - Seville, Spain
JO - 10th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
JA - ICERI2017 Proceedings
SP - 6545
EP - 6546
ER -
C. Aguirre León, C. Luz de Pretelt, P. Martinez-Barrios, C. Jones, A. Huerta, F. Dueñas Gaitán, J. Palacio Angulo, W. Allen (2017) HIGHER EDUCATION IN POST-CONFLICT COLOMBIA: SOCIAL INCLUSION AND ACADEMIC EXCELLENCE, ICERI2017 Proceedings, pp. 6545-6546.
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