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University in Your School

location_on Colombia

Students massive enrolling into higher education and labor market engagement

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.

HundrED 2023


HundrED has selected this innovation to

HundrED Global Collection 2023

Web presence






Target group
October 2021
“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”

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: sisaza@funluker.org.co

Impact & scalability

HundrED Academy Reviews
Providing technical training is easiest to deliver in comparison to other forms of education. The technical aspect of their courses can be replicated in similar contexts.
This innovation has been designed to enable students to access quality vocational education, in alignment with market needs, thus enhancing access to better income opportunities. It reduces high school dropouts and creates a future-ready workforce
- Academy member
Academy review results
High Impact
Low Scalability
High Impact
High Scalability
Low Impact
Low Scalability
Low Impact
High Scalability
Read more about our selection process


Reaching new territories
The Luker Foundation transferred the model to two other cities in Colombia: Bogota, through the District Education Secretariat, and Pereira, through the Frisby Foundation. Both cities began operations in 2022 with 1,000 and 260 students, respectively. Four other cities in Colombia are in the process of methodological transfer to make the program's implementation viable (Pensilvania, Tuluá, Santa Marta and Palmira).
Educación terciaria: claves para aumentar el acceso
Learn more about our University in Your School program on the Inter-American Development Bank's blog.https://blogs.iadb.org/educacion/es/como-aumentar-el-acceso-a-educacion-terciaria/
Students of University in Your School received their degrees
In May, 2022, 115 students of the University at Your School graduated from the vocational training in Tourism Management at the Catholic University of Manizales. Thanks to this program, more than 10,399 students have been impacted. "For the Luker Foundation it is a source joy to be part of this process. It fills us with pride, because we know these are young will transform their lives and those of their families", said Ángela María Trujillo, UTC coordinator, adding that many of these graduates have already started their university education process, which becomes even more important as a positive impact of the project. 
Transfer of best practices
In order to raise awareness of the purpose of the Universidad en tu Colegio project and generate alliances, a meeting was held with the Frisby Foundation, an entity interested in replicating the program in its territories of influence. "In Frisby Foundation we know that education is the best bet we can make to the country's development. We got to know UTC 4 years ago and we are convinced that it is a strategy that provides opportunities for young people to access higher education and have a job with higher quality and income", said Carolina Posada Molina, Sustainable Development Manager of Frisby and Frisby Foundation.

Spread of the innovation

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