La Salle University

Bogotá, Colombia

Reviewed by ECA Certification Group

Valid from
Valid until

Contact information

La Salle University

Executive summary

La  Salle  University  was  assessed  by  the  National  Accreditation  Council  of  Colombia,  CNA.  This  assessment  procedure  took  place  within  the  framework  of  the  Certificate for Quality in Internationalisation project.  CNA  convened  an  assessment  panel  which  studied  the  self‐evaluation  report and undertook a site visit on 18th y 19th November 2014, in Bogotá, Colombia.

La Salle University bases its internationalisation on a clear vision highly connected to the service to society  as  common  in  many  Latin  American  HEIs.  Internationalisation  is  strongly  related  to  its  research,  its  education,  and  its  service  to  society,  and  has  been  formulated  as  a  humanized internationalisation which “invites to a permanent reflection about the human being and its role in the knowledge society”. It is recommended to analyse and describe the internal and external context for its intended internationalisation. Based on those contexts the university then needs to present its intended goals for internationalisation for the long term and its objectives for the short term more explicitly, and use these also for evaluation and measures of improvement. This might also lead to a revised SWOT analysis, reflecting these goals and objectives more clearly. The university has done so in  its  document  of  March  2015,  LINEAMIENTOS  ESTRATÉGICOS  PARA  LA  INTERNACIONALIZACIÓN  ACADÉMICA UNIVERSIDAD DE LA SALLE, after the visit of the expert panel. The panel is convinced of the good intentions of the plan, its implementation and review is a process of the years to come.

ULS  action  plans  for  internationalisation  are  mainly  located  in  the  document  Proyecto  J,  where  specific  internationalisation  objectives  are  listed.  Other  documents,  such  as  the  Institutional  Plan 2010‐ 2015,  also contain goals and objectives linked to internationalisations. In general, institution’s internationalisation  plans  warrant  the  achievement  of  its  internationalisation  goals.  Since  the  strategic  commitment  in  the  internationalisation  field  is  quite  recent,  a  follow‐up  over  all internationalisation  actions  plans  should  be  established,  in  order  to  guarantee  the  feasibility  of  objectives and the use of results.

The implementation of the internationalisation goals and activities is supported by ULS information system, particularly by the “internationalisation information system” called NEXUS. This System has been  useful  for  the  academic  community  involved  in  all  internationalisation  activities,  but  also  provides information to all institutional information systems.

The  Institution  has  consolidated  a  system  of  self‐evaluation  for  the  continuous  enhancement  of  quality not only at the institutional level but also at the level of academic programs. The experience within the national accreditation framework has been extremely important in order to structure this system  which  also  includes  internationalisation  elements.  It  is  important  to  mention  that  internationalisation is evaluated by the CNA during accreditation processes both for Institutional and programs level. ULS is currently accredited and has already developed two institutional accreditation processes successfully.

In  terms  of  Governance,  it  is  clear  that  the  responsibilities  regarding  the  institution’s  internationalisation activities are defined and allocated in an adequate way. However, it would be important  to   pay  further  attention  to  the  development  of  a  comprehensive  approach  to  the responsibilities for internationalisation as to avoid the danger that too much is dependent on the actions of what is one administrative unit, where it should be part of all academic and administrative units. The head of the international office participates in most of the institutional committees, which shows the increasing importance of internationalisations from a comprehensive approach within the Institution. Nevertheless, the panel recommended the creation of an institutional internationalisation committee with representatives from all academic and administrative units, from the student community and from external organisations relevant to the internationalisation goals of the university. This committee has been established as part of the new policy of the university: LINEAMIENTOS ESTRATÉGICOS PARA LA INTERNACIONALIZACIÓN ACADÉMICA UNIVERSIDAD DE LA SALLE, March 2015, and although established only after the visit, the expert panel considers this a positive development.


La Salle University demonstrates a strong commitment in building, developing and consolidating clear and consistent internationalisation processes that have had a positive impact recently, which are supported, both by the “lasallista” academic community and external stakeholders. It is important to highlight the strong commitment at the management level, which becomes visible in the availability of resources and institutional arrangement for internationalisation. The vision of humanized internationalisation has been key for developing plans, strategies and internationalisation activities; Proyecto Utopía is undoubtedly the clearest example upon this issue. As a main suggestion, the ULS needs to make a more explicit definition of its objectives. Although ULS complies with all standards, ULS should pay special attention to the recommendations made by the panel, especially in the standards assessed as satisfactory. The panel welcomes the policy document LINEAMIENTOS ESTRATÉGICOS PARA LA INTERNACIONALIZACIÓN ACADÉMICA UNIVERSIDAD DE LA SALLE, March – 2015 as an intended policy document for the years to come.

The panel, given the score of two times satisfactory and three times good on the five standards, therefore recommends that La Salle University is awarded the Certificate for Quality in Internationalisation. The panel has been informed that La Salle University has been able to develop shortly after the visit its policy document LINEAMIENTOS ESTRATÉGICOS PARA LA INTERNACIONALIZACIÓN ACADÉMICA UNIVERSIDAD DE LA SALLE, March 2015, including the establishment of a central committee for internationalisation. This provides the expert panel with sufficient confidence to recommend the awarding of the Certificate to the university.