Colombia’s co-operatives have given funding to a public university to develop a virtual learning service and better coordinate secondary and higher education.
Universidad Surcolombiana has been allocated 1.243bn pesos (£307,607) by a group of 31 co-ops.
“The project has two objectives – firstly, it aims to support virtual learning and secondly, it seeks to better coordinate secondary and higher education so institutions can work better with the university in order to develop foundation degrees to enable students to go from secondary education to university,” said executive director of Asocooph, a federation of co-ops in the Huila region.
Under a law passed in 2016, co-ops must contribute 20% of profits to projects developed by local universities.
University rector Nidia Guzmán Durán said: “There are two objectives – one, to be able to offer a quality virtual education and in this way reach all corners of the region and the country. Two, it allows us to coordinate secondary education and higher education.
“We are going to look for young people from these secondary schools who want to train at a technical level through foundation degrees.”
She added: “For young people who want to be technologists, through the School of Training and Technological Innovation, we will allow them to train and go to work.
“And those who later want follow a professional path can do so by studying at the University. Therefore, this funding is will enable the university to carry out a very important programm.”