The digital transformation is not an isolated process to the changes that are occurring in the ecosystem of Higher Education in Latin America. The need for better management and quality assurance are urgent challenges, so it is no coincidence that the Colombian Ministry of National Education has echoed these demands in the sector this July 25, by issuing Decree 1330.
According to the Colombian newspaper El Tiempo, the decree proposes a transformation of the qualified registry of Higher Education Institutions (HEI) in the country, which is the instrument with which the ministry of the branch authorizes a university to offer programs and modalities.
Below, we will tell you what this change consists of and how an analytical solution facilitates this process. For that, we propose you this blog through the modality of questions and answers:
Where does this initiative come from?
The Ministry of National Education of Colombia began a process of building the quality of Higher Education that would integrate all the actors involved. To this end, it invited more than 130 institutions to a cycle of workshops called “Quality IS for All”.
Together, this group of specialists defined strategies aimed at the construction of technical parameters for the regulation of the quality assurance system of Higher Education. After nine months of discussion, Decree 1330 was signed.
What are the changes involved in Decree 1330?
The “Quality IS for All” program demonstrated the need to strengthen the quality assurance processes, under the mandates of the current regulations, and the principles of governance and governability, in order to respond to the needs of quality education in a local, regional and global context.
This decree will facilitate the process of academic accreditation, since it regulates the modalities of study: face-to-face, distance, dual and virtual, and recognizes the differences between technical, technological, undergraduate and graduate programs. Parameters that were not entirely clear in the previous regulation (decree 1295 of 2010).
However, the most important point is the definition of quality parameters. The president of Colombia, Ivan Duque Márquez, emphasized that the objective of this reform is that quality is focused on learning; “here we are aligning the purpose not only of teaching, but also of how the student learns and how he or she will develop”.
Concept of quality:
This decree defines quality as:
“A set of articulated, independent, dynamic attributes, built by the academic community as references and that respond to social, cultural and environmental demands. These attributes allow for internal and external evaluations of the institutions, in order to promote their transformation and the permanent development of training, academic, teaching, scientific, cultural and extension work”.
(Decree 1330, Ministry of National Education of Colombia).
What should the institution be accountable for?
Schools must demonstrate through thorough accountability that they have enough resources (tangible or intangible) to ensure that institutional goals are met.
To this end, the institution should define its mission, purposes and institutional objectives, which will guide the requirements of: human talent, physical, technological and financial resources, in line with the modality (face-to-face, distance, virtual, dual or other developments that combine and integrate the above modalities), the levels of training, its legal nature, typology, identity and institutional mission.
As indicated in the Decree, the institution must give an account of
1.Human talent management
The institution should develop policies and mechanisms to attract, develop and retain human talent in line with its mission.
2.Physical and technological resources
The institution must demonstrate the availability, access and use of physical and technological infrastructure consistent with the requirements of the training, academic, teaching, scientific, cultural and outreach work, welfare and support to the academic community, defined by the institution and common to all programs in their training levels and modalities (classroom, distance, virtual, dual or other developments that combine and integrate the above modalities). The institution must have, at least with:
i.Physical infrastructure and technology
That it provides for the projection of institutional growth, changes in training, academic, teaching, scientific, cultural and extension work, and welfare conditions.
ii.Policies to renew and update physical infrastructure and technology
To attend to the development of training, academic, teaching, scientific, cultural and outreach work that allows for gradual progress in the conditions of accessibility of the academic community within the framework of inclusion policies.
That they promote integral formation and meetings in the community for the development of culture and citizenship.
iv.Land use authorization permits
For the educational activity or equivalent and evidence of compliance with current standards of safety, accessibility and physical conditions such as ventilation, lighting, furniture, according to the size and characteristics of the public that is linked to the institution.
v.Licenses for technological infrastructure and vital resources
Used, in accordance with the rules of copyright and other legislation in force.
Specifically, how is the quality of education ensured?
The Ministry of National Education of Colombia detected the need to strengthen the System of Quality Assurance in Higher Education by incorporating the learning results of students and the progress in training, academic, teaching, scientific, cultural and extension work of the institutions, in such a way that it demonstrates integrality, diversity and commitment to quality.
In an interview with RCN radio, the Minister of Education, María Victoria Ángulo stated that, “The decree focuses on the welfare of students”, so Colombian institutions by law will be obliged to demonstrate compliance with the promise made to applicants when they enter the campus, and for this they must establish a culture of constant self- evaluation, a very beneficial measure for the administrative departments, as we commented in our blog Assessment from the university.
This new normative development integrates learning outcomes as a factor to be considered within the culture of self-evaluation. Learning outcomes are conceived as the express statements of what a student is expected to know and demonstrate at the time of completing his/her academic program.
Why is u-planner the right technological option to support this process in Colombia’s Higher Education Institutions?
The decree aims to promote mechanisms for self-regulation and self-evaluation of the institutions, in addition to strengthening their internal systems of quality assurance. u-improve and u-learning are the right solutions to accompany this monitoring and achieve continuous improvement. On the other hand, the vertical Planning, with u-planning and u-booking, support the universities in the improvement of their strategic plans, through the optimization of schedules and saving of resources and infrastructure.
Through the question and answer exercise we broke down the most important points of the new educational regulations of the Colombian Government, which urges institutions to focus on the quality of student education and to generate a constant system of self- evaluation and continuous improvement.
The solutions of the Planning and Assessment verticals are already supporting the work of Higher Education Institutions throughout Latin America, an example of this is the Universidad Cooperativa de Colombia, Universidad de Anáhuac in Mexico, and the Faculty of Engineering of the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, among others.