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Universidad Cooperativa de Colombia
Medellin, Colombia


University description (as per official university website)


The Cooperative University of Colombia is an institution of higher education, social property, which by its origin and belongs to the sector organization of the Solidarity Economy.

Are the fundamental purposes: The training of professionals with political, creative and supportive to contribute to the harmonious development of society, research, linked to teaching, as a contribution to the solution of scientific and social problems, and service-oriented EXTENSION public and the link with the productive sector.

Provides training in the fields of science, techniques, technologies and humanities at the undergraduate, graduate and non-formal education in an active and flexible learning.

As a community college values freedom, solidarity, equity and respect for diversity as a foundation for building a new society.

University is a national, decentralized and open to the world.

The Cooperative University of Colombia, for the year 2012 is an alternative university, organized networking, promoting social inclusion, national and international recognition for innovation in educational services, training of professionals and competent citizens, high quality its academic programs and research university system integrated knowledge networks.

The university community will be int egrada team permanently formed and participate in continuous improvement of institutions, environmental protection and sustainable development through the social economy .


The Cooperative University of Colombia, for the year 2012 is an alternative university, organized networking, promoting social inclusion, national and international recognition for innovation in educational services, training of professionals and competent citizens, high quality its academic programs and research university system integrated knowledge networks.

The university community will be int egrada team permanently formed and participate in continuous improvement of institutions, environmental protection and sustainable development through the social economy .


Purpose professionally with political criteria, that is, citizens who think and act autonomously on public issues in pursuit of collective welfare, adopts the 7 cooperative principles of the doctrine as general guidelines that govern the action to implement institutional values. They are:

Voluntary and Open Membership

While our organization is open to all persons able to require our services (students, community) and those who can collaborate in providing quality services (teachers, employees, managers) no other than race, creed, political party or social background.


The Cooperative University of Colombia in its commitment to a new society and seeks training for democracy, for it provides that estates are represented in the collegiate bodies that define the political and administrative decision making and academic.


Economic participation occurs mainly through the linking of university community members as partners or through the work associated with the founding institutions.

To this extent the students, teachers, employees, managers and family members are beneficiaries of services derived from the efficient management of the company and the allocation of surpluses for the development of the University, the reserve maintenance investment in cooperative education.


The Cooperative University of Colombia exercises, in accordance with the Constitution of Colombia and the Law 30 of 1992, university autonomy to "get and amend its statutes, appoint their academic and administrative authorities, create, organize and develop their academic programs, define and organize its work training, academic, educational, scientific and cultural grant the corresponding titles, select its faculty, admitting students and adopt appropriate regimes and establish, adjudicate and apply its resources to fulfill its social mission and its institutional role "(Act 30 of 1992, Section 28).


Principle inherent in our condition of educational institution, a service that offers our students with the development of formal programs of undergraduate and graduate, to our teachers, directors and employees by updating and ongoing training and the community through continuing education not formal, both in traditional areas of knowledge in general and with regard to the solidarity economy in particular.

Cooperation among cooperatives

For our origin and development and seek to rely on the strengthening and development of cooperatives, thereby promote effective relations of cooperation between our members, contribute to strengthening the solidarity sector of the economy involved in the formulation and implementation of development plans, projects research, consultancy and advisory business of social economy at local, regional, national and international.


The Mission of the Cooperative University of Colombia is based on community interest, which is evident in the development of the functions of teaching, research and extension in search of a systematic integration process of regional development in the frames modernization and decentralization.


SOLIDARITY, the backbone of institutional values as the basis for training people with social responsibility from collective and interdisciplinary work.

EQUITY, manifested in the first instance in offering our services regardless of race, creed or social background as a contribution to building democracy.

RESPECT FOR DIVERSITY, based on the conviction of the diversity of being, as an enhancer of development. Basic value in considering the different realities and individual conditions of our members and local forms of organization, regional and national levels that characterize our locations. Its development implies, in turn, tolerance and pluralism.

FREEDOM, as an inherent value to humanity to seek the truth without restrictions, producing knowledge and progress of society, involves the subject's consciousness about their interests, rights, duties and political responsibilities with a sense of collective responsibility.


The institute taught lessons in subjects like history and doctrines cooperatives, management, accounting legislation and especially the night shift. Its first director and leader of the initiative was Rymel Serrano National University's lawyer and teacher who called a major cooperative leaders including Augusto Arbelaez, Carlos Julio Niño, Jose Joaquin Rojas, Maria Cristina Salazar, José Levy Vargas, Hector Restrepo Valencia Carlos Garzón Uribe.

In 1961 the institute was reorganized under the name "Institute for Social and Cooperative Economy (Indesca)" with four academic units: the Faculty of Social Economy, School of Technical Experts, the Centre for Expertise and Research Extension Center.

The official license of operation is achieved by means of Resolution No. 4156 of November 7, 1964, issued by the Ministry of Education, rule gave way in Colombia or intermediate technology training and at the same time, recognizing the Institute as a higher education institution, was allowed to grant degrees in Social Economics, Cooperative Management and Community Development. In 1968 received recognition from the National Superintendency of Cooperatives as Assistant Cooperative Institution, according to Resolution No. 00559. Subsequently, the Konrad Adenauer Foundation joined the project, thus strengthening the finances and expanded its horizons for development. Their participation in turn demanded a restructuring and that is why the director the right to property transferred to the National Cooperative Union, Uconal, which called for other higher-level cooperative organizations to participate in the ownership of Indesca.

So was he admitted to Coopdesarrollo, Ascoop, Cecora, Financiacoop, Cencoa and UCOP. A run and the beginning of the decade of the seventies and at that time beginning to emerge headquarters in Medellin, Bucaramanga, Barrancabermeja, Cali (later deleted) and Barranquilla (who moved to Santa Marta in 1981). After several organizational restructuring, but retain similar philosophical, in 1983 received official recognition as a Cooperative University of Colombia, by Resolution No. 24195, issued on December 20 by the Ministry of Education.

In this decade was committed to the formation of "Political Criteria Professionals" restating its social vocation through the Education and Economic Development. In the 90's, the University actively participated in the period of expansion of higher education in the country, extending its services to a large part of the country with the primary purpose of decentralizing and democratizing higher education, giving rise to numerous contributions to social, economic, political and cultural life from each of its locations. Since 1998 the Medellín section has been advancing the Virtual University Cooperative project with the aim of creating a dynamic and innovative educational model of high coverage for Colombia and Latin America that promotes continuous learning and learning for all, from technological advances in solid computing and telecommunications.

The first executions were aimed at raising awareness, training and materials development for high school courses, undergraduate, postgraduate and continuing education. For this project has linked other sites also generate strategic alliances in the regions with companies like Microsoft, Teleantioquia and Channel U for the creation and distribution of multimedia educational material.

To this end we have also made significant investments in technologies for information and communication to advance their use for both administrative and management for virtual education. By 2002, have invested about U.S. $ 520,000 in equipment communications (intranet, internet), information systems, communication channels, licensing, software and hardware for tele-education systems. In 2002 the university received an important recognition: it was confirmed as Assistant Institution for Development Economics from the certificate 066 of July 22, 2002 issued by the Superintendencia de Economía Solidaria. Thus confirming its membership in the third sector under Law 30 of 1992 (Article 23) that classifies on the basis of their origin to the Higher Education Institutions: state or government, private and social economy.

No doubt this recognition opens up opportunities for participation in critical agencies in coordinating, planning, recommendation and advice of Higher Education as the National Council of Higher Education (CESU), based on article 30 of Law 1992 (Article 34), among others.

The Cooperative University of Colombia is an educational reality began to take shape in 1958 in MM Coady Institute of Education and Training Cooperative. Name that was a tribute to a Canadian educator pioneer a movement that promoted "Adult education based on economic cooperation."

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