The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) looks out for the fulfillment of the Millennium Development Goals, which includes education guidelines. As regards higher education, UNESCO develops an agenda that includes the advancement of quality assurance and degree recognition, outlining of parameters that feature the quality of cross-border education, and information exchange and supply. To this purpose, the Unesco Portal was conceived as a tool for the diffusion and exchange of information concerning the quality of higher education. Access to reliable information with reference to Colombia and to other 27 countries affiliated with this website is found. The CNA (National Council of Accreditation) and CNA Executive Fernando Chaparro are the contacts in Colombia in charge of exchanging official update information on the subject matter. It is intended to have students and general public find information as required to take accurate, responsible and judicious decisions founded on an international and global context, in which education is likely to exceed borders.
The countries of the region make part of the Unesco Portal thanks to the efforts of the Ibero-American Network for Quality Assurance in Higher Education (Riaces). The European Network of Information Centres (Enic-Naric) and the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (Ocde)", are among Unesco members committed in developing projects related to the quality of higher education
Topics of interest in Education in Colombia
In Colombia, Act 30 of 1992 stipulates that those who seek to form an institution of higher learning must demonstrate the capacity to accomplish the mandated tasks and to assure that those persons in charge of instruction have recognized and suitable ethical, academic, scientific, and pedagogic abilities. This law also provides that the Ministry of National Education, after previous approval from the National Council for Higher Education (CESU), has exclusive powers to award, or rescind, official recognition of said institutions.
Recognized institutions of higher education that wish to develop and offer academic programs must have them undergo an evaluation process that is in line with the System for Quality Assurance. The process has two stages. The first, labeled Qualified Registry is compulsory. It establishes that the minimum conditions have been met and authorizes that the programs begin operating. The second stage is accreditation. This is a voluntary process for institutions and academic programs that, according to the results of an external evaluation, gives proof of the high quality of their service.
Dr. Fernando Chaparro Osorio
Coordinator National Council for Accreditation in Colombia, CNA