Founded in 1977, Universidad CES
is an independent non-profit education organization established in the heart of Medellín. With an international focus and educational approach that facilitates the access to education and information to students of all social levels, CES thrives on nurturing Colombia’s future.
Dr. José María Maya Mejía, Rector of Universidad CES, emphasizes the importance of higher education for both personal and social development: “Higher education is the one that really sends you out into the world. Colombia’s higher education institutions have understood, in the last 10 years, that we are not only preparing students to work in the country, but also to become competent on an international level.”
As Medellín’s university of choice, the high standards of education at CES, particularly in science, have been acknowledged by Colombia’s social and academic communities: it became the first institution in the country to receive accreditation from the Ministry of National Education for its medical and dental programs.
With its 2011-2020 education plan approved and in place, the development of new research programs is one of the university’s most ambitious objectives, and one which it hopes will advance further with the ratification of the free trade agreement with the U.S.
“Our strongest research group is the Tropical Medicine Institute because tropical diseases are a very big problem in some countries,” says Dr. Mejía. “We have worked on diagnostics for tuberculosis and many other diseases. Our plan is to start a company that can commercialize those diagnostic methods.”
With such developments under way to generate resources to sustain research, the university is currently the least enrollment fee-dependent institute in the country, having reduced its dependency from 90% to 70% in 2010.
“We also have a program called Coverage with Equity that helps students from lower social groups to get into our school. Today we have around 300 such students, which is about 10% of the student body,” explains Dr. Mejía. Similar to a scholarship-based program, this initiative exonerates students from 50% of the enrollment fee and offers loans throughout their period of study.