Universidad Santo Tomas (COLOMBIA)
About this paper:
Appears in: ICERI2011 Proceedings
Publication year: 2011
Pages: 1880-1886
ISBN: 978-84-615-3324-4
ISSN: 2340-1095
Conference name: 4th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 14-16 November, 2011
Location: Madrid, Spain
In Colombia, education is considered a fundamental right in the constitution and as for the State it is required to offer it for people between 5 and 15 years, or as to say only to secondary education. If education is seen as the engine for the development state and the basis for building a more just and equitable society, then are the state policies intended to strengthen education?

The Colombian landscape is not favorable, because, although Colombia has a positive economic growth (3.55% in 2008 and 1.45% in 2009 and 4.29% in 2010) poverty levels are high (49.2% of the population in 2009), in other words the economy improves without positive impact on social welfare rates. Access to higher education is considered a privilege for a small fraction of the population (the indices show that the number of students in university is 4'246 .534 in 2009 for a total of the Colombian population of 44'978 .832 in the same year) and in the last group, it is known that only half finished their university studies, thus reducing the amount of people with access to technical, academic and professional training, which underlies the economic structures of society in the process of development. Additionally, the career basics in technology research processes (Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, etc.) are not considered economically viable and are therefore not desirable for adolescent population (13 027 students in sciences to 2009), which as part of Colombian society, requires a level of income to improve economic and social conditions for them and their family. To analyze the problem of education in Colombia and its impact on the economy and welfare of its inhabitants, it is necessary to characterize two types of individuals. The first set, are those within the population without access to higher education. The second, are those entering a higher education, but do not completing their studies.

As the income level of families in Colombia is not very high (the minimum wage is approximately U.S. $ 306.00), students are seeking to enter public universities. At public universities the tuition costs depend on the level of income, socioeconomic status, among other factors. This is why we are seeking admission to these universities and, as an added value, their academic level is very high, but the numbers of places available in public universities are not enough to meet the demand. This first approach relates to the coverage of higher education.

In the second group, an analysis of attrition where we study the particularities of the individual, therefore the studies show that the main causes of attrition are: lack of vocation, economic problems, low educational level of the mother, and poor academics of the previous levels of education. Our goal is to estimate the correlation between college dropouts and unemployment, as in economic unemployment resulting in poverty, likewise verifying the correlation between coverage and unemployment. Thus if the results are positive, the conclusion will be that it is necessary to consider education policies as part of the measures the government has to take in order for the pursuit of a well-being Colombian society.