University description (as per official university website)
Origins and Foundation
Long before becoming a nation, Colombia’s life has been inseparable from the Colegio Mayor de Nuestra Señora del Rosario or University of El Rosario University of El Rosario was founded in 1653, duly authorized by King Philippe IV and Brother Cristobal de Torres, archbishop of Santa Fe de Bogota in the Nuevo Reino de Granada to teach philosophy, theology, law and medicine.
From its foundation, the institution has always been “from” and “for” the students, (being this the philosophy of the Colegiatura, similar to the English fellow students).
Initially, the founder appointed two Dominican brothers as the Rector and the Vice-rector respectively, but reserved for himself the right to appoint the Colegiales (students who excel academically, as well as morally).
The Colegiales would enjoy the benefits of a full scholarship and living in the Claustro up to their graduation, that is, for about seven years.
The Brothers of the Dominican Order protested before the founder for not appointing a member of the community within the group of Colegiales, since the Dominicans considered the Colegio Mayor de Nuestra Señora del Rosario their own property.
In response to this protest, the founder wrote the Constituciones or the school bylaws that still rule the essentials of the University of El Rosario life, and demanded the Order to give the school back to the Colegiales.
This tradition of Universitas Scholarium originated in Bologne, crib of European universities, and continued in the Spanish America, where the students constitute the foundation of the institution, different from the Universitas Magistrorum, as the University of Paris.
Organizational Model of the University of El Rosario
The organization is similar to that of the Colegio Mayor de Salamanca (Spain), also called “The Archbishop’s School” and at present known as Fonseca.
These are private and autonomous institutions governed by students: the Colegiales de Número, similar to the fellows of English schools, who have a full scholarship and appoint the authorities of the Claustro.
This definition has been kept throughout the history of the University of El Rosario and has been the pillar of its educational action; the current mission comprises the fundamental ideas of the Founder and expresses them in contemporary language to meet the needs of the present-day context.
In this sense, the mission of the University was reviewed during the Development Plan of 1998 and reaffirmed for the new Holistic Plan for the Development of the University, in the following terms:
"To impart a solid ethical, humanistic and scientific education, which combined with research and a demanding and rigorous faculty, allows the educational community to develop distinguished citizens who act in benefit of the society, with a strong sense of responsibility".