Colombian university leaders have provided details of their proposed new education reform plan, reported local media Monday.
After a meeting at the Medellin branch of Colombia’s National University, the country’s leading higher education institution, 32 public university presidents agreed what the central elements of higher education reform should be.
University leaders and students have been offered the chance to help draft a new education reform bill to replace the disastrous Law 30 reform, which was crushed in 2011. It was vehemently opposed by students and educators who were concerned that it would lead to the privatization of education.
The four principles agreed upon in Monday’s meeting were sustainability and financing, an education system with a social impact, fairness, and quality.
Danila Reinaldo Vivas, the president of Colombia’s State University System, an organization representing the country’s public higher education institutions, said, “These points ensure that education is primarily focused on students — not just economic capabilities, but intellectual capacity and low-income access to higher education as well.”
Vivas stressed that this was a process to develop an education system to ultimately benefit all of society. The purpose of this new initiative was “not to pursue a reductionist attitude every year but to build an education plan that will last forty years and which will become the strategic axis of the development of the country.”
Moises Wasserman, the president of Colombia’s National University and one of the leaders of last year’s opposition to Law 30, welcomed the new new initiative, saying it would allow “all young Colombians to have access to higher education,” and that it proved that the reforms were not a “fictitious project.”
The students’ movement, which has been having difficulty choosing a spokesman, has not released any comments regarding the new bill.