In the spirit of academic autonomy, some institutions of higher education sign agreements with external institutions to expand the availability of programs within the provisions of Colombian legislation, which states that external institutions of higher education shall apply to and authorization must be given by the Ministry of National Education. Graduate academic programs offered by foreign institutions in Colombia shall be regulated by Decree 1001 of 2006, which establishes that institutions of higher education officially accredited in Colombia shall be the managers of the academic programs offered and award degrees stating that the programs of study were given and developed in agreement with foreign institutions, and shall not cause any break in options of dual degree award where necessary. Likewise, they can acknowledge competencies and credits previously acquired in other programs of study offered by other institutions of higher education either Colombian or foreign institutions duly accredited.
Colombia takes part in the Common Space of Higher Education in Latin America and The Caribbean - European Union - ALCUE- and the Space of Integration of Knowledge -EIC- which were established mainly to integrate the countries and facilitate the international exchange of professionals between them. Similarly, Colombia is a member of the ALCUE Follow-up Committee and represents all the countries of the Andean region before the committee. Inside ALCUE, Colombia leads mutual recognition of degrees and programs of study with other countries as a method to follow-up the quality of higher education. Events like these become an opportunity for Colombia to expand its international cooperation with other countries, as well as to foster the exchange of knowledge and technology. Presently, a commission is working in a project for mutual recognition of degrees within the Andean Community of Countries.
Colombia is an active member of the following groups:
- Plan Puebla Panamá
- ALCUE, Common Space of Higher Education
- Andean Community -CAN-
Additionally, the Ministry of Education of Colombia maintains bilateral relations that grant access to the enhancement of projects and programs necessary to fulfill education demands of the country. Indeed, the Ministry has signed over 70 projects with 41 countries so far. Further details about cooperation between these countries may be found at http://www.mineducacion.gov.co/1621/article-139993.html
The following are the most outstanding agreements for mutual recognition of programs of study:
Convenio de Reconocimiento Mutuo de Certificados, Títulos y Programas Académicos de Educación Primaria Media y Superior (Mutual Agreement for the Recognition of Certificates, Degrees and Academic programs of Primary, Middle and Higher Education) signed between the government of the Republic of Argentina and the government of the Republic of Colombia, and confirmed by Act 24.324 http://www.uncu.edu.ar/contenido/skins/unc/download/1672-97.pdf
Acuerdo para el reconocimiento mutuo de acreditaciones de programas de educación superior entre México y Colombia (Mutual Agreement for the Recognition of Higher Education Program Accreditations between Mexico and Colombia) http://www.mineducacion.gov.co/1621/article-151907.html
Convenio regional de convalidación de estudios, títulos y diplomas (Regional Agreement for the Homologation of Programs of Study, Degrees and Diplomas (http://www.mineducacion.gov.co/1621/article-151907.html
Convenio regional de convalidación de estudios, títulos y diplomas con Chile (Regional Agreement for the Homologation of Programs of Study, Degrees and Diplomas with Chile)
Cross-national Education - Specialized Units and Specialization Topics
Ministry of National Education. Office of International Cooperation,
National Council of Accreditation, CNA. www.cna.gov.co