The Pontifical Xavierian University is a Colombian institution and one of the oldest universities in South America, running continuously since its formation in 1623. As well as the core university in central Bogotá, there is also the Javeriana University in the southwestern city of Cali. Xavierian is one of 28 universities on the continent run by the Jesuit organisation Friends of Jesus, whose founder Francis Xavier is for whom the university is named.
There are a total of nineteen faculties of study at Xavierian, with scientific sectors such as Medicine or Engineering, and humanities based areas such as the faculties of Architecture, and Theology. In 2003 Xavierian was accredited as a high quality learning institution by the Ministry of National Education, the first university in Colombia to achieve this.
At the faculty of Nursing the research groups Conceptualisation and Practice of Nursing have been formally recognised for its excellent research by innovation institute Colciencias. Students at the faculty can take either a general nursing or specialised undergraduate degree, as well as a Masters in Nursing Care for the elderly.
The college at Javeriana offers exchange programmes with nations in North America, Europe, South America and Asia. There are also over a hundred student societies on campus and a Latin American Leadership programme. Courses at Javeriana teach in small class sizes, encouraging debate and interaction with fellow students.
Two former Colombian presidents have studied at Xavierian, and many diplomats attached to foreign embassies have also studied here. Notable alumni from Xavierian also include journalist María Cristina Caballero and businessman Luis Fernando Correa.