Within the framework of the university autonomy established by the Political Constitution of Colombia and by the provisions of Law 30 of 1992, public universities have been working in a voluntary exercise to gain recognition of the academic excellence of their missionary commitments to society , after obtaining institutional accreditation. In this sense, the house of teachers and educators in the country, decided to work hard and autonomously in this direction, to demonstrate the advances and improvements that the University has had during the last six years, understanding the accreditation of programs and institutional accreditation as a permanent self-evaluation process aimed at establishing strengths and weaknesses in teaching, research, internationalization, social projection and infrastructure, also identifying its challenges and possibilities to establish improvement actions that allow the University to be academically strengthened.
Since 2014, the National Pedagogical University intensified the laborious process of organizing and systematizing the information necessary to begin the path to institutional accreditation. After hard work, a rigorous self-evaluation process and a favorable concept from academic peers that highlighted, among other things, the broad historical trajectory and social impact of the National Pedagogical University on Colombian education and teacher training , its efforts to maintain a qualified and excellent offer, in accordance with the needs and educational and social contexts of the country, its structured admission process consistent with the nature of the institution, the good performance of its students in standardized tests, its commitment with comprehensive, interdisciplinary and flexible training both in undergraduate and graduate programs and continuing education, and its marked impact on public policies in education; On August 17, 2016, the National Pedagogical University received through Resolution 16715 of the Ministry of National Education, the high quality institutional accreditation for a period of four years.
From there, we have continued to work permanently to improve our quality, through the improvement plans that have been formulated (2014-2018) and the self-evaluation process carried out during 2019. The latter shows notorious favorable transformations that the University has developed, such as the high-quality accreditation of practically all of its undergraduate programs and most of its postgraduate programs, within which the Inter-Institutional Doctorate in Education holds this recognition for 10 years. The achievements of the University in the positioning of its research groups are also highlighted, which are also evidenced in the categorization achieved by its researchers. 69% of the endorsed groups have been categorized, and in each period the position in said categorization of its 71 groups has been improved between 2014 and 2017.
The expansion of national and international ties with organizations from different countries in Latin America, North America, Central America and Europe stands out. It also highlights the increase in the scope of these agreements, since they not only contemplate the mobility of teachers and students, but also the internationalization of the curriculum through the development of training programs, diplomas, courses, professional practices, or participation in interuniversity projects linked to the strengthening of internationalization in institutions in Europe and Latin America.
In the case of outreach and social projection activities and active agreements with the social and educational sector, the achievements are especially outstanding, since the University went from having 7 active agreements reported in the previous self-evaluation process, to having 47 consultancy projects and 9 extension projects, for a total of 56 projects with 18 public and 3 private entities, of which 18 are national and 3 international.
In terms of academic productivity and periodic publications of the University, notable advances were also evidenced with the increase in the publication of articles in national and international journals (indexed or homologated) and of research product books.
Another of the outstanding aspects has to do with the qualitative and quantitative advances regarding the services and supports offered by the Department of Wellbeing to the university community, derived from the implementation of its different programs, since in practically all services between 2014 and in 2018 an average increase of 10% was achieved in the number of people served, services provided or participation in activities.
Among the documented issues, the improvements in the technological resources available to the University today and the large amount of investments made in the improvement of the physical plant, the adaptation of the new Paulo Freire cultural center, the restoration of the Casa de la Vida: Museum of Natural History, the structural interventions and adjustments made in the library, the restaurant, the cafeteria, the swimming pool, the blocks, A, B, C and P, the facilities of the Nogal, National Park and Valmaria. In terms of endowments, significant investments were also made with the acquisition of equipment, software for academic, administrative and research management, furniture and specialized laboratory equipment, computer equipment and instruments.
Between October 14 and 16 we received a visit from academic peers to advance in the renewal of institutional accreditation, in this sense we have presented our strengths and strengthened our commitment to quality. We highlight that, within this process, the University managed to update its Institutional Educational Project (PEI) where it ratifies its mission with the training of educators, teachers and education professionals for the country, the generation of pedagogical and didactic knowledge, the development of lines of action such as the construction of communities of pedagogical knowledge in articulation with other knowledge, academic strengthening, the strengthening of the national, intercultural and international character of the University, the culture of university well-being, management and administration at the service of the academy, the co-responsibility in the recognition of the sustainability and sustainability of the UPN, the defense of the public thing like patrimony of all and the permanent dialogue with the social problems of the Nation.
We invite all teachers and all people interested in education to continue accompanying the National Pedagogical University in the construction of this political and pedagogical project of the Nation.
* Rector, National Pedagogical University