Institutional Transformation

The alliance between the Ministry of Education of Colombia and Swisscontact has, since September 2015, enabled work to be done on strengthening the country's professional training system. The rapid changes affecting Colombia and the world at large are transforming the way we approach new knowledge, skills and learning situations that are helping to meet the enormous global demand for labour. Technical and technological education has traditionally been regarded as second class, compared with university education. The INSTITUTIONAL TRANSFORMATION project seeks to make technical education into a fundamental pillar of national development. Its purpose is to achieve global standards and act as a tool to enable workers to enter the labour market by improving and extending the quality of education available in the country.

The Project

A participatory process of construction based on in-depth study and analysis together with educational institutions and government and multilateral bodies has identified four working areas to strengthen and develop the institutions that will responsible for offering technical education:

  1. Administrative organisation and institutional management
  2. Curriculum design
  3. Learning spaces
  4. Teachers

These four lines of action define the area in which the project is concentrating its efforts to generate alternatives leading to a cultural, curricular and actual transformation of the education process and its availability today in Colombia.

To strengthen the role or technical and technological education in developing personal skills and the productive sector, in order to promote social equality, international competitiveness and internal development within the regions.
To promote changes in the decision-making processes within educational institutions, to facilitate the development of efforts that are coherent with the new system of tertiary education created in Colombia.
To generate dialogue, alliances and collaboration between public and private entities that enable effective development of technical education as an alternative professional career path that is attractive and viable.
To strengthen the capacity of the different production and cultural sectors to meet social needs in a globalised world within the framework of a knowledge-based society.


The first phase of the project led to the consolidation of a pilot network of 7 higher education, employment and human development institutions; this has currently been increased to 10 and forms a model that others can use as a template to follow.
The institutional strengthening and development model was designed based on 35 variables based around administrative organisation and institutional management, curriculum design, learning spaces and teachers.
The project encouraged alliances with educational associations, participation in the process of building a National Qualifications Framework and development of the proposed elements of the Quality Assurance System, SISNACET and the National Credit Accumulation and Transfer System, SNATC.
Experts and focus groups were used to validate the model's variables, and international validation is currently under way with participation by Finland in the second phase.
Support has been provided by Switzerland, Germany, Brazil, Canada, Spain, France, Austria, Peru and Central America, in strengthening the model's concept and design.

Project countries

  • Colombia

Project duration

May - Dezember 2016


  • BID
  • Ministry of National Education

Working area


Swiss Foundation for Technical Cooperation
Hardturmstrasse 123
CH-8005 Zurich

Tel. +41 44 454 17 17
Fax +41 44 454 17 97