Universidad del Norte is a private non-profit, higher education institution founded in 1966 in the Atlantic Coast of Colombia. We are a fully accredited university, recognized as the most outstanding institution in the region, and one of the top institutionally accredited in the country.
Since 1997, we have hosted Cátedra Europa, which has become an ideal space for the dissemination of relevant initiatives, especially those of social impact to our region. This is a reference space for Colombian, Latin-American and European scholars to present trends and enhance awareness from different academic areas and perspectives.
Universidad del Norte has been concerned with inclusion and retention of women in the educational process, educating during the past 50 years 18,279 women, which is 56% of all our graduates up to date. The Engineering College has a constant concern related to participation of women in its programs, especially those professions with male prevalence.
Faced with this problem, we have focused on the promotion and marketing of engineering programs in schools in the region to ensure better levels of inclusion. Over the past decade, these actions have led to an increase in the population of women in programs such as Civil and Industrial Engineering, but the college remains concerned about women’s participation in the other programs, notably the Systems and Computer Science Engineering program where the trend is downward.
The course Gender, Science and Technology was designed to analyze the situation of women in the knowledge society, establish their contribution to the STEM development and identify the mechanisms that produce and reproduce stereotypes that create gender gap in scientific and technological development. Other activities include RubyGirls and Women Student Group Systems Engineering – GEMS. RubyGirls aimed to increase the participation of women in technology by developing web applications with the framework.
In the mission to encourage inclusion and retention of women in these programs, we have advising from the center for student support (CREE) and for teaching excellence (CEDU) that offer a wide variety of resources and services.
CREE was funded in 2011 as an institutional strategy to promote retention and graduation, through guided learning and by tracing student’s academic performance. We have observed a semiannual participation of approximately 73% of Engineering, Mathematics and Geology Students leading to a decrease in the dropout rates in the past years.