The Netherlands supports construction of university campus in Colombia

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Tumaco region university campus
| Changed on: 16 December 2016

In the Tumaco Region in Colombia a new campus for  the National University of Colombia will be built with support of the ORIO programme. On Tuesday November 29 the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed by the Colombian Minister of education, the Dutch ambassador in Bogotá and the rector of the National University.

RVO cooperated very closely with the Dutch embassy in organising the MoU. Due to warm relations between the embassy and the Ministry of education, RVO was able to support this project via the ORIO programme.

The University is located in a former FARC area. Due to the armed conflict in the region the quality of education was lower than in other regions. In order to provide improved education to this disadvantaged region, the agreement includes the following arrangements:
• Construction of a campus of nearly 50,000 m2 in two phases;
• designing a curriculum which is appropriate for the region;
• introducing an online education system, which is comparable to other national universities.
5000 students

For the coming years the campus offers room for over 5000 students; in the long term this number will grow to over 13,000. The campus is expected to increase the number of educated people in this impoverished region. The campus will provide young people with an opportunity to escape poverty and will have a direct effect on entrepreneurship and business activity in a region that has long suffered under armed conflict.
Successful public infrastructure projects like this are an excellent example of how the Netherlands can support emerging markets like Colombia to develop.


ORIO is the Facility for Infrastructure Development. ORIO stimulates the development, implementation and exploitation of  well-run public infrastructure projects in developing countries. The ORIO programme has now ceased. Any projects which are already underway will be completed as agreed. DRIVE is the new modified programme for public infrastructure. The Netherlands Enterprise Agency ( carries out the programmes on behalf of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Tumaco region university campus Colombia

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