The governments of Colombia and the United States promote cooperation in higher education to benefit African Descendent populations in both countries

  • The memorandum of understanding is part of President Duque’s strategy to create access and higher education opportunities across Colombia.

Bogota, Colombia, October 22, 2019. In order to promote the development of African Descendent communities and strengthen ties between both countries, the Ministry of Education of Colombia and the Department of Education of the United States signed a memorandum of understanding on academic cooperation in higher education.

The memorandum signed today in light of the January 2010 U.S.-Colombia Action Plan for Racial and Ethnic Equality (CAPREE) that recognizes the multi-ethnic and multi-racial nature of both countries, seeks to promote equal opportunities, eliminate ethnic and racial discrimination, stregnthen dialogue, academic and cultural Exchange, increase diversity, and widen access to higher education.

Maria Victoria Angulo, Minister of Education of Colombia and Diane Jones, Principal Deputy Under Secretary for the U.S. Department of Education, signed the document benefiting the Afrocolombian population.

“This document is an important chapter in our bilateral relations: It will permit us to grow the number of Colombian higher education students that will go study in the United States and at the same time, contribute to the goals set forth by the government of President Iván Duque in the National Development Plan, including that more Colombians have access to higher education and that more can graduate from Masters and Doctoral programs.

From her side, Principal Deputy Under Secretary Diane Jones said, “Today’s memorandum of understanding is the result of decades of collaboration with the Colombian government, including academic exchanges, English teaching, and academic advising.”

This academic cooperation will promote exchange opportunities between Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and Colombian higher education institutions with African descendent populations.

Upon signing the document, it will promote student exchanges and academic and institutional Best practices between the U.S. and Colombian unversities through the development of joint teaching programs between the institutions of both countries.

What are HBCUs

HBCUs are U.S. higher education institutions that began 1837-1854 with the goal of serving the educational needs of African-American communities.

Today in the United States, there are 101 HBCUs between public and private. Of these, 27 offer Doctoral programs, 52 offer Masters programs, 83 offer Bachelors programs, and 38 offer Associates programs.

This binational initiative is part of President Duque’s strategy to create access and higher education opportunities so that young people can follow their dreams and contribute to the development of their regions.