The broader meeting of the International Sociological Association (ISA) World Congress seeks understandings of power, violence, and justice. We narrow these global struggles to the plane of Colombian higher education. Propelled to international spotlight, only one year ago the Colombian government signed an agreement of peace with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC). The higher education sector is tasked, by the Ministry of National Education and ourselves, with playing a crucial role in the journey toward becoming a post-conflict society. Emerging from a half century of devastating civil conflict, we pursue social justice through peace: responsive, inclusive, sustainable, life-changing peace that centers the marginalized. Educational equity through peace requires engaging our students, administrators, faculty, broader community, and peers
, on this collective journey. We propose a Rectors’ panel, a critical dialogue about the unique context of Colombian higher education moving into this new era, through sharing our various institutional histories, perspectives, challenges, and forward trajectories. As leaders of higher education institutions across Colombia, we are uniquely positioned to offer insights on this pressing topic. Participating Rectors and their institutional affiliations include:
1) Jaime Leal, Rector Universidad Pública Abierta y a Distancia (UNAD)
2) Maritza Rendon, Rector Universidad Cooperativa de Colombia
3) Jose Consuegra, Rector Universidad Simón Bolívar of Barranquilla and Founder RED NEXUS
4) Edgar Parra, Rector University of Cartagena and Vice President of the State University System of the Colombian Caribbean (SUE-Caribe)
5) Harold Castilla, Rector Corporación Universitaria Minuto de Dios (UNIMINUTO)
These institutions collectively represent the various regions of Colombia, both public and private spheres, enroll hundreds of thousands of students, and together, can actively shape the future of Colombian higher education.