Higher Education

 

Higher Education – Undergraduate studies

The Foundation funds university studies to the best students who complete high school. In exchange for this funding, the students act as tutors of the children who are enrolled in the process.

This program started when the first cohort of high school students the Foundation had helped graduated. Pursuing university studies was then a complete novelty, for the idea of a university career had never even crossed these young people’s minds. No one in their families had done it and therefore it was something unknown.

The first group entered university in 2007 and since then the strategy is that the Foundation pays the students' tuition fees and gives them a weekly amount of money. In exchange for that, the students contribute 20 hours of their free time to tutor the youngest children. The Foundation funds up to three million Colombian pesos (COP). If the fees for the semester are higher, the students contribute to the difference. Students decide on their own about the course and the university.

Thanks to this program, 18 students have already achieved their degrees in various disciplines, such as engineering, teaching, psychology, and filmmaking. Currently, 15 more are pursuing undergraduate studies. This higher education program has had a strong impact on young people in this community because once the first students graduated and started to work as professionals, families understood the importance of higher education, and the younger ones want to look like their tutors and now dream of getting to university one day. On the other hand, the level of those who acted as tutors was improved, since being at the university allows them to bring new perspectives to their students at the Foundation.

The reality has changed for many families who now dream of supporting their children and see that it is very feasible for them to dream and go far because they can see that their neighbors and friends are doing so.

Two of the graduate professionals are the coordinators of the Foundation’s programs at Patio Bonito, and one of them will soon complete a master’s degree. Another of the graduates is the Foundation’s accountant 

Higher Education – Pre-university studies

In 2014, in view of the urgent need to improve the academic training of those who wished to enter the university, the three-semester pre-university course was created. This course aims to help the students develop the basic skills required to be admitted to the university (public or private) and perform successfully.

The pre-university course, organized and funded entirely by the Foundation, has no cost to the students, who must, like the university students, give in exchange 25 hours per week as assistant tutors to help Zuá’s children.

To enter the pre-university course, the students only need to show determined willingness to succeed and their results at the national assessment exam to enter higher education. Currently, there are seven places available annually at the urban headquarters, and 10 at the rural headquarters. These places are offered to applicants who have completed secondary education but are not studying or working because they performed poorly at the national assessment exam or because they cannot get financial support from their families.

Thanks to this course, 10 students have already been able to enter the public university. Their admission to public universities frees up resources that can be allocated to other students. Those who pass the pre-university course but do not get admission to the public university, are supported by the Foundation to apply to a private university. 

 

Meet the beneficiaries of the Higher Education Program