Colombia’s government announced that they will allocate $6.4 million to finance higher education for thousands of indigenous Colombian students, local media reported on Wednesday.
Through Colombia’s Institute of Educational Credit and Study Abroad (ICETEX), the government will allocate money angled at financing higher education for 7,875 Colombians of indigenous descent, Bogota’s Portafolio newspaper reported.
The money will be administered through a program of forgivable loans from the Alvaro Ulcue Chocue Fund, according to a press release on the ICETEX website. Students will be able to request a loan beginning on June 20th.
The Alvaro Ulcue Chocue fund is a national scholarship pool directed exclusively at students of indigenous descent pursuing higher education or technical studies. The fund is in memory of Alvaro Uclue Choco, a Colombian priest and indigenous rights activist who was assassinated in 1984.
ICETEX will establish semester-long stipends for students of up to $823. The fund will cover tuition and other necessary support throughout the course of the student’s education, according to Portafolio newspaper.
The funds are directed towards Colombian students of indigenous descent who are admitted or will continue studies in either a public or private university for the second half of 2014.
ICETEX is a financial institution that provided financing to over 500,000 Colombian students as of December 2013 , administering scholarships for Colombians offered by national and foreign governments or institutions of higher learning, according to Colombia’s El Espectador newspaper.
Education a priority for Santos Administration
The Santos administration has made it clear that education will take a priority position moving forward in Colombia.
The recently released national budget proposal for 2015 shows that education spending will surpass that of defense spending for the first time in history.
Santos also recently unveiled a new bilingual education program, “Colombia Very Well,” that aims to promote and support English language programs for both students and professional educators.
- Colombia destina US$6,4 millones a educación de indígenas (Portafolio.co)
- Siete Mil Indígenas Podrán Acceder a Créditos Educativos Condonables (ICETEX)
- Deficiencias en el Icetex (El Espectador)