Colombia hopes peace can attract postgraduates

Peace process gives new impetus to nation’s efforts to promote itself as academic destination

April 5, 2018
Source: istock
A peaceful Colombia now hopes to welcome far more foreign students

The Colombian agency responsible for student loans, grants and scholarships is inviting applications for 110 postgraduate scholarships, in a bid to make the nation a more attractive study destination as its peace process continues.

Although the scheme is not new, “the ‘Colombia Scholarship’ doubled its budget in the last two years”, according to ICETEX president Víctor Alejandro Venegas, as a sign of its “commitment to continue promoting the country as an academic destination…in the context of a Colombia in peace”, and is now actively targeting applicants in a wider range of countries.

Tourist figures, he pointed out, had risen from just over 2 million in 2010 to more than 6.5 million in 2017, the largest figure in the country’s history. He hoped that education would also become “one of the most attractive sectors for foreigners in Colombia”.

A peace process is under way between the Colombian government and left-wing former guerrilla forces.

The scheme is open until 1 June to all non-nationals aged between 25 and 49 who have a good undergraduate degree, at least one year’s professional experience and basic proficiency in Spanish. They will also require an admissions letter for a preselected range of courses – master’s, PhDs and one-year “specialisation” programmes designed to improve skills in a particular occupation or discipline – beginning in the second semester of 2018.

Scholarships will cover the full cost of tuition fees, plus an additional monthly grant worth about £500 (three times Colombia’s national minimum wage), medical coverage and initial one-off payments for books and materials.

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