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Author(s) / Editor(s): 
  • Arlen Guarín
  • Sebastián Londoño
  • Carlos Medina
  • Julieth Parra
  • Christian Posso
  • Carlos Eduardo Vélez

Estimating the Effect of Attending a Public versus a Private University in Colombia on Academic Achievement

We evaluate the impacts of attending a public university in Colombia on the academic achievement of graduates from higher education. Our measurement of academic achievement represents the progress made between the college entrance and graduation standardized test scores. We find that public Higher Education Institutions (HEI) improve student test scores in 11 of the 12 programs analyzed. The superiority of public HEIs relative to private ones suggests the need to promote greater regulation of the latter, and a review their current standards to help bridge the gap that currently exists in terms of the value added public HEIs have in comparison to the private ones. It also suggests that, at least in the short run, it could be socially beneficial to expand the public provision of some of the higher education public programs that added more value.


The series Borradores de Economía is published by the Economic Studies Department at the Banco de la República (Central Bank of Colombia). The works published are provisional, and their authors are fully responsible for the opinions expressed in them, as well as for possible mistakes. The opinions expressed herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of Banco de la República or its Board of Directors.

Update 03/11/2016, 07:46 p.m.