The Colombian government has declared it will support controversial plans for higher education reform “in a comprehensive and determined manner.”
The poposed reform, known as Law 30, provoked nationwide protests, because of plans to allow private organizations to fund university activities.
After President Juan Manuel Santos and top ministers met to review the draft proposal on Monday, Minister of Education Maria Fernando Campo said the initiative “will improve the quality of higher education nationwide.” The minister added the reforms will allow more Colombians, particularly those with limited resources, to access higher education.
She said, “the project provides for more public resources than ever before in the history of Colombia in order to strengthen our public universities” said Campo.
However, many students and professors are opposed to the proposed changes. National University professor and member of the Association of the Union of University Professors, Juan Sanchez told Colombia Reports the reforms will greatly damage higher education in the country. He said, “Students will have to pay for many services and the price of education will be prohibitively high.”
The head of the Green Party, Luis Eduardo Garzon, said that the reforms were being implemented with the intention of strengthening university finances, and not to privatize higher education.
Protests opposing the proposed educational reforms began in April following the announcement of the proposal and have been taking place throughout the country ever since.