June 22, 2003
June 22, 2003
June 25, 2003
8.960.1 - 8.960.9
Quality Assurance of Engineering Undergraduate Programs in Colombia, a Social Duty and a Competitive Strategy
Roberto E. Montoya
School of Engineering, Pontificia Universidad Javeriana
In Colombia, the educational development of engineers must meet two particular challenges in the immediate future. The first one has to do with the unrestrained growth and diversification of undergraduate programs in engineering, which although helps to meet demand, generates problems with respect to quality. The other challenge to be taken into account has to do with globalization, since not only is the higher education market ever more competitive, but it is also true that engineers increasingly work in their profession in countries different from those where they received their higher education. This creates the need for international accreditation of programs and homologation of professional degrees.
It is within this perspective that quality assurance has been conceived in Colombia in the last few years. It includes both accreditation of universities and their programs, as well as the establishment of minimum compulsory standards for programs and program evaluation exams that students must take before obtaining their degrees.
By virtue of the similarities of the region’s conditions, this analysis is relevant for all countries in Latin America.
As in other Latin American countries, during the last decade in Colombia there has been unrestrained growth of engineering undergraduate programs, not only in the number of programs, but also in engineering disciplines. Despite contributing to greater coverage of higher education in the country, this phenomenon has caused serious deterioration in the quality of service institutions render. This is the first challenge the country must face in the immediate future within the context of educating engineers.
This situation originated based on the 1991 Colombian Constitution, which enshrined university autonomy, and through Law 30 of 1992, which confers universities the right to create, organize, and develop new programs. As a result, in exercising this new right, the number of undergraduate engineering programs in higher education institutions grew by more than 300% between 1992 and 2000. During that period, the total number of programs went from 201 to 622. In addition, there was a substantial increment in the variety of engineering disciplines. There were 37 engineering
“Proceedings of the 2003 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2003, American Society for Engineering Education”
Montoya, R. (2003, June), Quality Assurance Of Engineering Undergraduate Programs In Colombia: A Social Duty And A Competitive Strategy Paper presented at 2003 Annual Conference, Nashville, Tennessee. 10.18260/1-2--11951
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