University studies in Colombia can be Pregrado or Posgrado. Pregrado starts just after middle vocational school and can last from 1 year up to 5 years, depending on the degree you are studying. They teach students for an specific job or profession in areas such as humanities, arts, sciences or technology. Technical studies last 1 or 2 years, technical studies last 3 years, and licenciaturas de docencia (teaching degrees) are around 4-5 years long, as are carreras profesionales (professional degrees).
Specialization, masters (maestría) and PhD (doctorado) are counted as Posgrado. During maestría, students become specialists in a subject and develop certain skills and knowledge. Posgrados are required for high profile positions in organizations and companies. Doctorados are only available in some universities and are intended to educate researchers.
As mentioned before, 70% of universities are private, and even public universities are quite expensive. Fees are decided according to the income of the student, and the subjects of study. Studying in a public university can cost between COP$100,000 and COP$400, 000 per year (Between €43,000 and €170,000). In private universities, fees range from COP$2,500,000 and can reach around COP$5 million per year.
As an example, the Universidad Nacional de Colombia has a registration fee of COP$78,000. This is to be paid between the end of January and March. Afterwards, the student should fill in the admission form on the website and receive a date for an admission test.
If the student has passed the test, they can accept a place. If not, the registration fee will be refunded. The inscription is paid every six months and depends on the rent and income of the student. The university website has a table of income to help you know how much should you pay. The maximum cannot be more than the equivalent of 10 month’s salary.
You can click here for a list of the different universities in Colombia. It includes general information in English about each university. If you don’t know what you want to study or where to study, you can check the website Universidades de Colombia. It is in Spanish, but has information for institutions, students and companies.