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Students massive enrolling into higher education and labor market engagement

University in Your School

location_on Colombia
University in Your School seeks to facilitate massive access to technical education programs for public high school students in Colombia. The program benefits a population that under normal circumstances would not have access to higher education, due to their economic conditions or poor scores in public university entrance exams. In seven years we doubled the access to TEVT in the pilot city.
Natalia Yepes Jaramillo, National Association of Industrialists of Colombia
“Beyond an educational project, it’s a city transformation process that gives thousands of young people the opportunity to learn and grow in a comprehensive and articulated way with their territory”

Natalia Yepes Jaramillo, National Association of Industrialists of Colombia


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HundrED has shortlisted this innovation to one of its innovation collections. The information on this page has been checked by HundrED.
Key figures

Innovation Overview

Target Group
10 400
Updated on June 28th, 2022
about the innovation

Why did you create this innovation?

In 2012, three out of ten young Colombians were left out of the educational system after obtaining their high school degree. Elevated tuition costs in private universities and difficult access to public universities make the reduction of this social inequality a great challenge. As a result, young people have low job opportunities, lower economic income, and low living conditions.

How does your innovation work in practice?

The program promotes agreements with the cities' main Universities and Technical Institutions, to provide Professional Technical programs (2 to 3 years). The training serves the interests of students, strengthens educational institutions and primarily the demands of the labor market. The project is developed with university teachers directly in the schools (k-11). The Professional Technical level is developed simultaneously in 10th and 11th grade, after the study day.
At the end of the technical training, students receive the support and tools they need to facilitate their employment process.

How has it been spreading?

In 2012, only 3 out of 10 students in Manizales managed to access higher education. In 2020, 7 out of 10 students accessed this benefit.
The program is implemented in 76% of urban public schools in Manizales. We train approximately 1,600 students annually, corresponding to 50% of the city's 10th grade youth. This has been possible thanks to the significant contributions made by the alliance.
It is a cost-efficient solution. While a technical program costs USD $1,000 for a student under normal conditions, thanks to the fact that the alliance assumes exclusively the program’s direct costs, this value decreases to USD $380, which is covered by the foundation and other allies, so the students truly have free education.
Luker Foundation is transferring the model to 3 other cities in Colombia.

If I want to try it, what should I do?

1. Identify technical training institutions or universities interested in developing massive low-cost programs.
2. Validate the needs of the productive sector and its openness to employ program students.
3. Manage allies interested in contributing financial resources.
4. Write to us:


Achievements & Awards

October 2021
Innovation page created on

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