Colombia Education Market Outlook
Colombia is ranked second among South American countries and 23rd in the world in sending students to the United States.
During the 2019/20 academic year, 7,787 Colombian students were enrolled in the United States and contributed $319 million to the U.S. economy. Colombia is ranked 23rd in the world and second among South American countries (after Brazil) in sending students to the United States.
The Colombian Institute for Educational Loans and Technical Studies Abroad (ICETEX), provides financial aid for students to pursue higher education programs either in-country or abroad. In 2019, ICETEX awarded more than 864 scholarships for master’s degrees, PhD, and ESL programs for Colombian students abroad. In addition, the non-profit institution COLFUTURO, provides funds to Colombian professionals and students to study abroad. During 2019, COLFUTURO awarded 1,368 scholarships for master’s and PhD programs, with 257 of those scholarships being for programs in the United States.
Colombian schools are interested in sending students to study in U.S. schools for periods that may vary between three weeks and three to four months. The goal of these short-term programs is mainly to acquire and improve English skills. Today in Colombia, relatively few high school graduates have an advanced level of English. Colombia’s government recently launched a program called “Colombia Very Well,” with the objective of promoting bilingualism in Colombia. The government’s goal is to increase the number of high school graduates with an intermediate level of English to 185,000 in 10 years. This will open opportunities for U.S. English language institutions to enter or increase their presence in Colombia.
U.S. institutions / Universities are encouraged to explore the above business opportunities in Colombia. To learn about events and opportunities to recruit Colombia students to the U.S. and the Colombian education industry, please contact Julio.Acero@trade.gov.