Challenges to Academic Networks in Latin America:
The Case of Colombia's Red CETCOL


By Winthrop Carty
Senior Program Officer,
LASPAU: Academic and Professional Programs for the Americas
Harvard University
©March 1997
Full Text Prepublish Version
On Larry Press' Developing Nations Site


TABLE OF CONTENTS


I. INTRODUCTION

II. LITERATURE AND METHODOLOGY

III. COLOMBIA: NII, COLCIENCIAS and RED CETCOL
A. Overall Political and Economic Context
B. National Information Infrastructure in Colombia
C. Red CETCOL

IV. FINDINGS
A. Colombia's Overall Internet Connectivity
B. Colombian Universities: CETCOL Membership and "Web Presence"

V. ANALYSIS
A. Summary
B. General Observations about the Findings
C. Barriers
Barrier 1: Crisis in Latin American Higher Education
Barrier 2: Cain and Abel Syndrome: Policy failure pits TELECOM against CETCOL
Barrier 3: Centralization and "Cultura de Información"

VI. CONCLUSION



I. INTRODUCTION

Academic networks, the venues for electronically shared research and teaching for the higher education community, play a crucial role in the development of Information Infrastructures. These Information Infrastructures are becoming increasingly vital to a nation's economic and social well being. However, all sectors, from education to agriculture, are now vulnerable to obscurity and obsolescence by the global economy if they can't access and share in the dynamic developments crossing the global information highway.

Colombia, as with most countries in Latin America, has an effort underway to develop an extensive academic communications and research network, called Red CETCOL. The findings of this paper illustrate that CETCOL's use among the country's universities has been inconsistent; significant geographic and institutional disparities exist in the network's diffusion in Colombia. This paper will identify and analyze these disparities and, drawing from the broader Latin American experience with academic network and Information Infrastructure efforts, will define three barriers to successful academic networking in Latin America: 1. Crisis in Latin American higher education; 2. Public policy failure which pits PTTs (national communications utilities) against academic networks; 3. Centralization and the need to develop a culture of information.


II. LITERATURE AND METHODOLOGY

The books, articles, papers, and reports studied for this paper fall into three categories: telecommunications policy, academic networking in Latin America, and higher education in Latin America. (See the reference section of this paper for the full list of materials.)


Telecommunications

The first group of literature consisted of telecommunications policy documents and writings, especially those related to developing countries or specific to Colombia. There is a striking shiftmirroring the transformations in telecommunications overallbetween post-Internet and pre-Internet literature. Perhaps even more changed are discussions of development communications written since the end of the Cold War; prior modernization theory and "dependista"/"anti-dependista" debates now appear naïve, although certainly the issues of equity within countries and the North-South information flow are even more relevant in today's new paradigm.


Academic Networking in Latin America

The academic networking articles and papers, especially by Latin American "network pioneers," document the networks' struggles to get funding, their negotiations with monopolistic PTTs (public telecommunications companies)(1), and the technical barriers they have faced in attempting to create information infrastructures in their countries.


Higher Education Reform in Latin America

The third set of materials reviewed the crisis financial, political, and educationalfacing Latin American higher education today. The past two years have seen the emergence of a number of books and planning documents reviewing the crisis and proposing solutions to it. These include recent reports on reforming higher education by the World Bank and the Inter-American Development Bank and several excellent papers presented at a Harvard-LASPAU conference last November by many of Latin America's top higher education specialists.


Theoretical and Practical Gaps

In reviewing these three categories of materials, I was struck by the scanty relationship between them. Although academic networkers are keenly aware of trends in the telecommunications sector, they rarely identify the deficiencies in research production and use, even though, ostensibly, this is the activity they are working to support. Conversely, the books and policy documents on Latin American higher education subsume Information Infrastructure, including academic networking, to a peripheral technical support activity instead of a central element of the solutions to the crisis in higher education in Latin America.

The primary contribution of this paper will be to attempt to bridge these discussions, which now find themselves on separate tracks.


Methodology and Research

In addition to reviewing relevant research literature and policy documents, I compiled available demographic data on Colombian universities, CETCOL, and the Internet in Colombia. Tabulating and comparing these data formed the basis for the findings presented in section IV.


III. COLOMBIA: Information Infrastructure, COLCIENCIAS and RED CETCOL


A. Overall Political and Economic Context(2)

The Republic of Colombia, independent from Spain since 1810, falls into the second tier of countries in terms of size, population, and economic power, after Latin America's "giants," Argentina, Brazil, and Mexico. Colombia is the only country in South America with a coastal presence in both the Atlantic and Pacific. This feature, and the three Andean mountain ranges which branch out across the country from the Andean Cordillera, give Colombia a remarkably diverse cultural and physical geography. This diversity is felt on the economic and political fronts as well. Urban growth, while clearly disproportionate in its capital, Santafé de Bogotá, has always been better distributed than most of the region's countries; Medellín, Cali, and Barranquilla all are "second cities" of significant size and importance. These are followed by a series of smaller provincial(3) capitals, including Bucaramanga, Cartagena, Popayán, and Manizales.

The country's political system is considered by many to be paradoxical. Colombia is one of the hemisphere's longest-standing democraciesuninterrupted since 1957. The two main political parties, the Liberals and Conservatives, reach back to the mid-19th century. Colombia also enjoys a tradition of civilian rule over the military. During the country's current democratic period, five civilian presidents have sacked key military leaders without retaliation from the armed forces.(4) On the other hand, the political system has been managed by a small, cosmopolitan elite with roots to the original peninsurales (Spanish-born) of the country's colonial period; Colombia's other social classes and races have been relegated to a political role ranging from supportive to marginal. The current government, headed by the Liberal Party's Ernesto Samper, elected in 1994, has been sidetracked by a series of scandals in his government. Regardless of how Colombians of different political stripes view Samper, there is unanimity in the perception that the system is in crisis.

As we will see later, Colombia's geography, economy, elite tradition, and current political disruptions are all germane to understanding the development of the country's academic networks.


B. National Information Infrastructure in Colombia


Telecommunications Panorama

Colombia's telecommunications infrastructure has been public since 1943, when the Colombian congress nationalized private telecom interests. The Empresa Nacional de Telecomuniaciones, TELECOM, was established as the national monopoly in 1947.(5) In the context of more recent global events, a 1990 decree established a borderline between basic and value-added service providers. The basic services are still held by TELECOM and other state-owned entities, and TELECOM still retains exclusive control over most long-distance service and all of the more lucrative international service. Further decrees, in 1992 and 1993, established a duopoly for cellular telephony and maintained all of Bogotá's local service under TELECOM.(6) Current plans are for the liberalization model to continue, although these are supplemented by pronouncements for full privatization.

The World Bank summarizes the situation in Colombia as follows: "...there is a persistent shortage of telecommunications services. The performance of operating enterprises varies considerably from one to another, ranging from highly efficient operations by some of the larger municipals to stagnation and decay in many of the smaller ones. Overall, the sector has lagged behind rapid modernization and growth of the economy."(7)

Colombia's teledensity (telephone lines per 100 inhabitants) is 9.68 (1994), below the world average of 11.57.(8) The Jipp Curve, measuring the relationship between economic development (indicated by per capita Gross Domestic Product) and teledensity, batches Colombia with most of the developing world.(9) According to recent pronouncements by Colombia's Communications Minister, Saulo Arboleda, the government plans to double the number of lines by the end of the current (Samper) administration in 1999.(10)


Information Infrastructure

In the context of Colombia's low levels of teledensity and economic development, developing and implementing an Information Infrastructure strategy is a daunting task. Colombia faces a double dilemma: to meet unmet demand for basic services, a product of years of neglect by TELECOM, while simultaneously developing new sophisticated networking capabilities. (11) Colombia, as with the rest of the world, has little choice but to forge a strategy and implement it; the development of an Information Infrastructure is a prerequisite for participation in the globalized economy.(12)

In terms of Internet development, although the past year has seen dramatic growth in connectivity (see charts in next chapter), the current network is fragmented and relatively sparse. There is no truly national backbone; connectivity, made more difficult by the country's mountainous topography, is held together by microwave and satellite connections. The entire country currently has about 30,000 Internet users, less than .1 percent of the population, although this figure represents a doubling of users from a year ago.(13) New Internet Service Providers (ISPs) have begun to emerge, contributing to the recent surge in connectivity. Poor infrastructure, especially at the local loop(14) and central office(15) levels in the cities and overall in outlying areas, have seriously impeded both quality and coverage of Internet access.


C. Red CETCOL


COLCIENCIAS

The Instituto Colombiano para el Desarrollo de la Ciencia y la Tecnología - Francisco de José de Caldas, known as COLCIENCIAS, is the country's public science and technology foundation. Founded in 1969, COLCIENCIAS is charged by the government with implementing science and technology policy. In recent years it has built up a number of programs promoting research, training, and infrastructure in the applied and basic sciences. Its activities have included participating in the development and implementation of an Information Infrastructure plan for Colombia. (See COLCIENCIAS website for extensive information about its programs and mission.) In a comprehensive 1995 document called "A Strategic Plan for Science and Technology Information Systems," COLCIENCIAS, with information-infrastructure experience already under their belt, identified, among others, the following priority areas:


Policy Areas:



Infrastructure Development Areas:


Research and Information Culture:



One of the key offshoots of these priority definitions was the creation of the Colombian Education, Science, and Technology Network, Red CETCOL,(17) established in 1994 as a collaborative effort between COLCIENCIAS and the Colombian Institute for Higher Education (ICFES).(18) Established with the goal of becoming a national telematic network modeled on the NSF Net concept, CETCOL is the country's first wide-area network,(19) designed to foment the creation of interconnected databases throughout the country with an emphasis on national content and information-sharing.(20) CETCOL was preceded by RUNCOL, a network using early e-mail technologies (bitnet) funded by ICFES and initiated by Colombia's National University. RUNCOL was fraught with politics and resource problems throughout its existence. Nevertheless, RUNCOL served as the springboard for the creation of CETCOL when the country's elite Universidad de los Andes took over networking leadership from the National University for what was to become CETCOL.


CETCOL Funding and Implementation: Corporación InterRed

Early on, CETCOL's developers recognized the need to ensure that the network was as self-sufficient as possible. The chief outcome of this strategy was Corporación InterRed, an independent non-profit institution sponsored by both private and public sources. InterRed oversees the implementation of CETCOL while also seeking funding to subsidize the project. InterRed continues to receive considerable financial and technical support from COLCIENCIAS for the implementation of CETCOL.(21)


CETCOL Structure and Membership

CETCOL's geographic distribution is principled on Regional Operation Centers set up throughout the Republic. (See COLCIENCIAS and InterRed websites for up-to-date maps of Colombia with Centers.) The original design was for a specific Colombian university to house the center for its radius of operation, facilitating the interconnection of local universities, research centers, and other types of institutions. The centers connect to the network via VSAT satellite or microwave links to CETCOL's hub and POP
(Internet Point of Presence ) at Universidad de los Andes in Bogotá. The set-up is a shared arrangement, whereby the university provides in-house technical expertise and the physical space while InterRed furnishes hardware and the network connection. Inter-institutional jealousies and politics within operating regions are now forcing reconsideration of this arrangement in favor of independent administrators (unaffiliated to any specific institution).

The operating centers are expected to become self-sufficient through fees charged to connecting institutions. Members institutions, in turn, are expected to develop and make available to the CETCOL community databases containing the information they produce research, statistics, virtual libraries, etc. Through the development of local area networks (LANs), they are also expected to connect their faculty, students, and researchers.

The next two sections will present and analyze information regarding the extent to which CETCOL is succeeding in becoming a "national telematic network."


IV. FINDINGS


A. Colombia's Overall Internet Connectivity

The past year has seen a dramatic increase in the number of Internet users in Colombia. Since mid-1994, the number of private Internet Service Providers (ISPs) in Colombia skyrocketed from two to the current 35.(22) Graph 1, charting Network Wizard's Internet host count figures(23) for Colombia, shows a surge in hosts during the first half of 1996.


Graph 1. The Growth of Hosts in Colombia: July 1994 - July 1996




Annex 3 lists host counts, populations, and host-population ratios for all of Latin America, by country and regional averages.(24) Looking at Internet data as strictly a function of ISPs or hosts can be misleading; neither indicate how many users are connected to them, and survey response rates are mixed. (25) Also, in the case of ISPs, their numbers can be a function of the regulatory environment as much as the market. Furthermore, regardless of the accuracy of host or ISP numbers, they need to be understood in the country context. Consequently, the following charts present Network Wizard's host counts as a function of population. This enables us to better see Colombia's Internet penetration (as measured by hosts) in comparison with other countries, such as Brazil, whose population is nearly five times that of Colombia's.

As we can appreciate in Graph 2, Colombia has consistently been the Andean region's leader in host-population penetration; its ratio is currently almost double that of the region's average.




Graph 2. Colombia and the Andean Region: Hosts per 1 Million Inhabitants





What Graph 2 doesn't show, however, is the overall impoverishment of the Andean region in Internet growth vis-à-vis the hemisphere. Although much heralded in the media, Latin American Internet growth overall has been extremely lopsided. Dramatic growth has been concentrated in four countriesArgentina, Brazil, Chile, and Mexicowith most of the region experiencing moderate-to-no expansion. Graph 3, below, compares Colombia, the Andes' leader, to several other countries in the hemisphere and, most notably, to the average for Latin America.

Graph 3. Colombia and Select Latin American Countries: Hosts per 1 Million Inhabitants



Despite its surge in the first half of 1996, Colombia continues to fall well below the hemispheric averagethe hosts-population ratio is currently two-thirds of Latin America's, while in July 1995, it was nearly on a par. In sum, although Colombia's recent Internet growth has been substantial, and, in fact, greater than its neighbors', it has fallen behind compared to the Latin American region as a whole.


B. Colombian Universities: CETCOL Membership and "Web Presence"

The following series of tables breaks down Colombian university demographics by date of establishment (before or after 1980), location, and funding source (public versus private),(26) and examines relationships between these categories and CETCOL membership(27)) and "web presence." (28) The subsequent chapter will analyze these findings in the context of the central themes of the paper.


Geographic Distribution

Table 1, below, shows the overall distribution of Colombia's universities among its two largest cities, Bogotá and Medellín, and the cities of Cali and Barranquilla. A third category, "other cities," encompasses all other provincial capitals and the occasional rural (non-suburban) campus.


Table 1. National Distribution of Universities by City


Bogota

%

Medellín

%

Cali + Barranquilla

%

Other Cities

%

Total

Total
52
37%
18
13%
12
9%
57
41%
139

Half of the country's universities are in Bogotá and Medellín. These distributions mirror fairly accurately the population distribution of the cities. When we examine the geographic distribution of CETCOL and web presence, we find a very different picture.


Table 2. National - by City: Number and Percentage of National Totals of CETCOL Membership and Web Presence by City


Bogota
% of total
Medellín
% of total
Bogota + Medellín
% of total
Cali + Barranquilla
% of total
Other Cities
% of total
Total
Cetcol
11
41%
7
26%
18
67%
3
11%
7
26%
27
WWW
12
39%
7
23%
19
61%
3
10%
10
32%
31

Although nearly half (41%) of the country's universities are located outside of the "big four" cities, only a fourth of CETCOL's members and less than a third of the country's university web sites are in those locations. (See Table 2.) Two thirds of all CETCOL members are concentrated in Bogotá and Medellín.


Table 3. Within Individual Cities: CETCOL Membership and Web Presence by City


Bogota
% of total
Medellín
% of total
Bogota + Medellín
% of total
Cali + Barranquilla
% of total
Other Cities
% of total
Total
Cetcol
11
21%
7
39%
18
26%
3
25%
7
12%
27
WWW
12
23%
7
39%
19
27%
3
25%
10
18%
31
Total Univ.
52
18
70
12
57

Table 3 examines membership within the cities. Here we see that, regardless of overall concentrations of universities within a city, provincial cities are half as likely to be CETCOL members (12% versus 21% city membership) as Bogotá universities, while over a third of Medellín's universities already belong to CETCOL.


Revenue Source (Public versus Private)

We will now examine CETCOL membership and web presence across the same 139 Colombian universities by their revenue source.(29)


Table 4. Breakdown of Public and Private Universities and their Ratios within Individual City


Bogota

%

Medellín
%
Cali +
Barranquilla

%

Other Cities

%

Total

%

Public
10
19%
4
22%
3
25%
28
49%
45
32%
Private
42
81%
14
78%
9
75%
29
51%
94
68%
Total
52
18
12
57
139

Overall, universities in Colombia are mostly private (68%), with a tendency for greater ratios of private universities in the larger cities.(30) If we break down CETCOL membership and web presence (Table 5), we see more CETCOL membership (59%) and web sites (61%) at private universities than at state institutions.

Table 5. Public versus Private: Breakdown of CETCOL Membership and Web Presence by Public and Private Institutions



Cetcol

%

WWW

%

Private
16
59%
19
61%
Public
11
41%
12
39%
Total
27
31

However, in examining connectivity within each cohortpublic and privatethe reverse is true. As Table 6 shows, only 17% of all private institutions are CETCOL members while one fourth of the public institutions belong to CETCOL.

Table 6. Public versus Private: Level of CETCOL Membership and Web Presence within each Public and Private Cohort



Cohort

Total
Cetcol

% of Cohort

WWW

% of Cohort

Public
45
11
24%
12
27%
Private
94
16
17%
19
20%
139
27
31

The two previous charts show that, as a whole, private universities are more "off line" than state institutions.


Traditional Universities versus New Universities

As will be discussed in detail in the upcoming chapter, Latin American higher education has mushroomed in terms of institutions and student populations. The following data both validates that trend in Colombia and also shows significant differences in CETCOL membership and web presence between traditional universities and new institutionsthe latter defined here as all universities established or accredited since 1980. As we can appreciate in Table 7, below, the number of Colombian universities(31) increased 50% since 1980.


Table 7. National Totals Broken down by New and Traditional Universities


Before 1980
After 1980

Total

Universities founded
89
44
133

It is striking how little networking takes place at these new institutions relative to the traditional universities. As Table 8 shows, 85% of CETCOL members are traditional universities while less than one in five of the country's university web sites is found at new universities.


Table 8. CETCOL Membership and Web Presence by New and Traditional Universities


Cetcol

%

WWW

%

Before 1980
23
85%
25
81%
After 1980
4
15%
6
19%
Total
27
31

In examining networking within each cohort (Table 9), the disparities are even more significant. While over a quarter of existing traditional universities (established before 1980) belong to CETCOL and/or have web sites, less than one tenth of new universities (established since 1980) are members and only 14 percent show a web presence. New universities are three times less likely to be networked, as defined by CETCOL and web connectivity.


Table 9. New and Traditional Universities: CETCOL Membership and Web Presence as a Percentage of their Cohort (before 1980 and since 1980)


Cohort

Number of Universities

Cetcol

% of Cohort

WWW

% of Cohort

Before 1980
89
23
26%
25
28%
After 1980
44
4
9%
6
14%

Cart 10, comparing CETCOL and web connectivity within each cohort as a portion of the total university population indicates that only three percent of Colombia's universities are both new and connected as opposed to 17 percent for connected traditional institutions:


Table 10. New and Traditional Universities: CETCOL Membership and Web Presence as a Percentage of Total (133) University Population


Total Universities

Cetcol

% of Total

WWW

% of Total

Before 1980
89
23
17%
25
19%
After 1980
44
4
3%
6
5%
Total University Population
133

To summarize the findings presented in this section, we can conclude that Colombia's Internet connectivity is increasing more impressively than its neighbors', but well behind Latin America overall. The country's universities in the major cities, especially Bogotá and Medellín, are more likely to be members of CETCOL and have web sites. Private institutions overall are less connected. Most significantly, universities established since 1980 are far less likely to connect to CETCOL or the Web than Colombia's traditional universities.


V. ANALYSIS


A. SUMMARY

The findings in the previous section show a significant difference, to date, between CETCOL's goal to establish an national academic information infrastructure and its actual diffusion in Colombia. This section will analyze the underlying causes for these disparities. The analysis follows two patterns. The Colombian case will be generalized to the broader Latin American context, and it will frequently draw from it. Also, the analysis is broken down into three distinct but interrelated barrier categories:


    Crisis in Higher Education and Research: Academic networks are designed to serve institutions of higher education. However, most of these institutions are currently suffering severe shortcomings.


    Cain and Able Syndrome: Colombia's fragmented Information Infrastructure policy pits TELECOM against CETCOL. This failure in public policy is not limited to Colombia.

    Clash between Communications Structures: The inherently decentralized and horizontal Information-Age paradigm is not compatible with Latin America's historically centralized and vertically organized institutional hierarchies.



B. General Observations about the Findings

The numbers in the previous section only tell part of the story. Between individual institutions, disparities exist in the quality and extent of connectivity. Some universities have extensive LAN infrastructure attached to CETCOL and are truly part of a "network of networks." For example, the Universidad del Valle in Medellín has a high bandwidth(32) fiberoptic "backbone" running through its campus. The backbone connects 10 routers linking 1,000 offices and labs. The University also provides full dial-up access for its students, faculty, and administrators. (33) For many of the universities, however, web presence is, thus far, a mere sign post signaling their existence. Others, such as the University of Cartagena, Cartagena's most important university, only offers its users e-mail accounts, one per academic department, which they must access at the university's library on a rotating basis one day a week.(34)

Thus, although the scope of this paper is limited to basic institutional demographics, enormous variations also exist and appear to follow a pattern. Medellín and Bogotá institutional connectivity tends to be of better quality. Universidad de los Andes in Bogotá and the Universidad del Valle and EAFIT, both in Medellín, appear to be the most networked and content-rich of the sites visited.(35) Regardless of the range, overall, there is a paucity of substantive networked databases in Colombian universities. The existence of only three gopher sites among those surveyed illustrates this scarcity.

In reviewing these disparities, it is also important to keep in mind the relative youth of networking efforts in the country. Combining the original RUNCOL network and CETCOL, Colombia has seven years of networking experience. One interpretation of the findings is that, since academic networking in Colombia is relatively new, what we are seeing is a "technology lag"(36) favoring institutions with the deepest pockets and most trained staff. Over time, the network will inevitably "fan out" and be assimilated institution-, and nation-wide. Nevertheless, I think it is a valid exercise to compare where the network is with where it isn't. "Trickle-down theory" breeds a dangerous complacency, which can lead one to ignore the barriers discussed in the next section.


C. Barriers


BARRIER 1: CRISIS IN LATIN AMERICAN HIGHER EDUCATION

Commenting on their Internet census for developing nations, authors Larry Press and Luís German Rodríguez state: "While there are many constraints on the spread of networks in developing nations, we feel that the most important to overcome is the lack of a large, widely distributed, demanding, well-trained user community." (37)

One the main conclusions of a recent meeting of Andean-country academic network representatives was the existence of a "lack of commitment on the part of researchers to build national research networks."(38)

The problem has been identified. But what are the causes?

The poor demand for and low ability to take advantage of academic networks like CETCOL is a reflection of the state of affairs of the university community it serves. A 1996 report by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB/BID) asserted that "higher-education performance in Latin America is low compared to most regions, low for the level of investment by society, and lower than in the past."(39)

The situation in Colombia mirrors that of the region. In the 1960's, Colombian universities began to suffer dramatic declines, which have persisted. The causes are summed up by Daniel Levy as "a poorly prepared student body, limited staff development and resources, outdated curriculum, difficulty establishing research structures, declining average academic quality and prestige, credentialism, diminished job prospects for graduates, disruptive politicization, and tremendous resistance to fundamental reform." (40)


Despite the diminishing resources available to public universities, student populations continued to grow.(41) Not only is overcrowding outstripping diminishing funds, but universities simply can't afford to hire the skills needed to develop networks. In Colombia and beyond, trained information technology (IT) specialists command salaries in the private sector well beyond the reach of even the more well-heeled universities. Added to this hapless state of affairs in Colombia's academic life was the onset of increasing violence and economic crisis in the 1980's.


Collapse of Public Universities and the Advent of "Education Entrepreneurs"(42)

The breakdown in public higher education was accompanied and caused by a disintegration of government regulation of higher education standards. This led to a skyrocketing number of new private universities, most of which are unresponsive to the educational needs of students and unaccountable to regulation. This entrepreneurial boom began in Colombia and Brazil in the early seventies and subsequently spread throughout the region.(43) Although notable exceptions to the rule exist in Colombia and elsewhere, the majority of the new private universities rely exclusively on student fees for financing, avert external supervision of quality, and are of extremely shabby quality.(44)

These new universities do not produce (or consume) research, nor do they invest in information infrastructure. The figures for CETCOL membership and web presence show a clear trend: newer universities are less likely to participate in academic networks, including the Internet. Even more discouraging from the point of view of academic networks, the number of these universities and the percentages of the total university student population they capture is increasing.


Mismanagement and Fiscal Irresponsibility

A problem facing academic networks like CETCOL, in addition to the demise of academic quality in both the public and private sectors, is the political and social culture that has taken over universities. Many universities leaders are more interested in increasing enrollment(45) and influence-peddling(46) than they are in academic production. This has a direct negative effect on the relevance of and demand for academic networks like CETCOL; instead of LAN and connectivity development, money and priorities are steered in other directions.


Failure of Universities to Produce Information Relevant to Society

Why support a network if there's nothing useful to put on it? The private sector and national governments aren't interested in supporting networks like CETCOL because they aren't currently users and they have yet to be convinced that it's worth the effort to become users.

The expressed objective of Corporación InterRed is to develop mixed, private-public, support for CETCOL. However, in his recent study comparing levels of investments in science and technology by Asian and Latin American countries, Guillermo Cardoza, Colombian director of the Latin American Academy of Science based in Caracas, found it "striking to note the scarce participation of industry in R&D (Research and Development) in Latin America when compared to Asian countries."(47) For example, over 50% of Singapore's R&D is funded by private industry, while in three of Latin America's top economies Argentina, Chile, and Mexico it is a mere 20%. Research output, as measured by publications per R&D worker, is .14 in South Korea and .20 in Singapore. These outputs are, respectively, three and four times Colombia's (.05).(48)

These lessons from the Asian Tigers have not been lost on Colombian policy makers, as evidenced by the very existence of InterRed, studies such as Cardoza's, and at the regional level, by IDB's recent comments: "Higher education institutions need to catch up to the so-called information revolution, lest they become even more out of touch...than they already are. However, to come to grips with the new knowledge industry requires more than buying equipment. It requires defreezing institutions as much as buying hardware." (49)


Higher Education Reform

As is happening in many countries, attempts to reform the system are afoot in Colombia. A 1992 higher education reform law has attempted to introduce better mechanisms for evaluation and regulation, including placing the two functions into separate institutions. However, precisely due to the lack of an information infrastructure, there is little data available to track academic and administrative quality in the system. IT systems are also lacking at the management level in higher education institutions in Latin America,(50) further aggravating the human and physical infrastructure problems. InterRed's Rafael Hernández sees a role for CETCOL in the reform process: "Current information on universities is outdated; networks give us the chance to 'take the pulse' and make more dynamic change."(51)

In this section, we have reviewed the current crisis in Latin American higher education and why it is ill equipped to accommodate and support communications networks for research and study. This is CETCOL's toughest barrier and also its biggest opportunity.



BARRIER 2: CAIN AND ABEL SYNDROME: POLICY FAILURE PITS TELECOM AGAINST CETCOL


TELECOM and CETCOL

The Colombian government has failed to provide a framework for the development of an Information Infrastructure.(52) Instead of TELECOM and CETCOL working as partners to develop an information infrastructure for the 21st Century, TELECOM has been allowed to compete along the lines of narrowly defined self-interest with CETCOL, perceiving the network first as simply a client and then a competitor for providing Internet access. The Colombian government is, by neglect, allowing CETCOL's development to stagnate. This is ironic, given that the same government subsidizes CETCOL, but it is the clearest evidence of a policy vacuum in the country with regard to Information Infrastructure.

When CETCOL was established, one of InterRed's first moves was to approach TELECOM. Despite numerous attempts and meetings, TELECOM refused to make any special arrangements to facilitate better cost or connectivity for CETCOL. As TELECOM had a monopoly on international carrier service, this proved especially costly; TELECOM charges the highest rates in the region.(53) TELECOM argued that Colombia's topography made service more costly by forcing the use of satellite and microwave systems, even for short distances.

The next section briefly describes the forces standing in the way of TELECOM-CETCOL collaboration under an Information Infrastructure framework.



TELECOM: Pseudo Competition and Pseudo Liberalization

Recent comparative studies have demonstrated a causal relationship between telecom(54) monopolies and lack of service, inflated prices, and poor infrastructure. In Colombia, according to Universidad Javeriana political scientist Juan Enrique Niño Marín, "instead of contributing to a reduction in costs and improvement in services, they [PTTs] have been a barrier to economic growth." For CETCOL, TELECOM's monopolistic behavior has had two principle negative consequences. The first is high cost and the second is poor quality of infrastructure.

Under competitive circumstances, CETCOL would have significant leverage in negotiations with two or more carriers by offering a significant body of growing and sophisticated users of future-oriented technologies.(55) However, as a monopolist, TELECOM is under no pressure to bargain with CETCOL for mutually beneficial terms and conditions. (56)

There has been considerable noise, both in legislature and in pronouncements by politicians, about privatization of telecommunications in Colombia.(57) On the surface the scenario looks promising for CETCOL. In substance, however, the changes amount to a tepid liberalization of value-added services and the more costly (to provide) provincial domestic services. (As summarized earlier, service in Bogotá and international connection is still controlled by TELECOM, while cellular service can now be offered nationally by one other "competitor.") As analysts are noticing globally, many monopolies are talking double-speak regarding competition and liberalization, and the difference between promises and implementation of reforms is significant.(58) This is clearly the case in Colombia.

There are several important elements currently preventing the shift from words to action. In the political arena, the Samper government has been distracted by scandal, and its legitimacy and political capital, both necessary tools of reform, are virtually non-existent. Second, historically in Latin America, telecommunications policy has been captured by political interests. Hanson and Narula's recent case study on new communication technologies in Latin America found: "The mere articulation of policy...has become fraught with political overtones, and the expense of investing in major communication infrastructures has been simultaneously effected by divided political powers, outlooks, and expenditures."(59)

In Colombia, the Liberal Party's struggling government has turned increasingly populist and, with an eye toward the elections in two years, the Communications Minister, Saulo Arboleda, recently promised to push through congress a $300 million plan to add 44, 000 new telephone lines in the provinces. $130 million of these funds would be diverted from a fund already created to develop the more elitist cellular infrastructure.(60) Is this populist, pork-barrel spending in the Information Age or a concerted effort to decentralize and improve the communications infrastructure?

Regardless of Arboleda's intentions, he is constrained in implementing his promises by the inefficiencies inherent in the monopoly structure of TELECOM. The likelihood that true liberalization and competition will emerge is questionable. First, his ministry regulates and oversees implementation of TELECOM services, creating a significant conflict of interest when faced with tough sacrifices required by reform. Second, the international telephone cost accounting system has provided PTTs, including Colombia's TELECOM, with strong disincentives to relinquish sole control of international communications or to facilitate cheaper services such as e-mail. The international tariff structure attempts to maintain an even balance of payments between two countries' telephone traffic. A country which places more calls to another country than it receives from that country, must compensate the country in order, ostensibly, to share evenly in the cost of all calls. We can look at it as having to divide the pie in half. In most developing countries, especially Latin American countries with large immigrant populations in the United States who "call home,"(61) the difference between incoming (into Latin America) and outgoing calls (to, say, the U.S.) is significant in favor of incoming-call volume. Thus, PTTs like TELECOM(62) receive large amounts of settlement payments from other countries for incoming calls in order to "divide the pie evenly." Consequently, the system has encouraged many governments to use telecommunications as a "cash cow" by receiving large revenues from abroad (for incoming calls) while holding back on spending on local infrastructure.

To the Communications Ministry, this "cash cow" is threatened not only by reforms, but by the more agile and inexpensive communication services offered by CETCOL (and Internet services). As TELECOM now moves into these new communication technologies, it is ironic that CETCOL helped develop the niche for their demand in Colombia. Nevertheless, as Internet usage growsregardless of whether it is provided by commercial ISPs (Internet Service Providers) or TELECOMColombia may reach the critical mass of users needed to force the development of a more extensive communications infrastructure, thus, ultimately, lowering carrier costs for CETCOL. In this scenario, CETCOL's becoming "lost in the crowd" would favor it economically and politically.


BARRIER 3: CENTRALIZATION AND "CULTURA DE INFORMACION"

This is the least tangible of the three barriers discussed in this paper. To what extent are computers, networks, and the so-called Information Age an imposition from the outside, forced through "globalization," on a society different from the one in which they were created? Here, we examine the nature of institutions and the diffusion and use of information in Colombian and Latin American society.

Hanson and Narula find the diffusion of information in Latin America both limited and concentrated at the top: "If it is possible to indicate a generic model of information technology in Latin American countries, it must focus mainly on political power. The diffusion is mainly at the elite level, and the information trickles down haphazardly to the marginal masses, although they are not the major focus." (63)


The Legacy of Centralization

Since the Spanish Crown, Colombian governance has been under a fundamentally centralist institutional structure managed by a small, tight-knit elite political class. In the economic and political sense, this has produced a disproportionate concentration of people and resources around the center. For example, although Colombia has one of the better distributed populations in Latin America, Bogota's population, over five million, is larger than the total of the next three largest cities: Medellín, Barranquilla, and Cali (4.7 million in total).(64)

Local government power was, until recently, dictated by the center. Provincial governors were appointed by the president until 1978, while the first mayoral elections didn't occur until 1988.(65) The nature of the country's centralized and elitist government system fomented a winner-take-all approach to institution-building. As with most of Spanish America, when a new political party took power, all levels of public office were swept clean and filled with the new party's supporters. This model functioned in Colombia throughout most of its history and persists to a certain extent today. As a consequence, institutions traditionally have been vertically managed, often heavily centered around an individual personality or a small group of individuals. COLCIENCIAS, in evaluating a precursor to the CETCOL program "Subsistemas de Información," which promoted the development of decentralized databases by researchers, concluded that "information is more tied to the individual than to the institution."(66)

How will this centralized system of "information more tied to the individual than to the institution" accommodate the "the network of networks?"

Since 1991, Colombia has been involved in a decentralization process, marked by the fairly significant shift of government resources from the federal to the municipal level.(67) This trend should ultimately favor CETCOL if people and accompanying resources begin to spread out geographically, since communication infrastructure would likely follow.


Lack of Inter-Institutional Collaboration

Academic networkers in Colombia and throughout the region have described the avoidance of inter-institutional collaboration as a major impediment to developing systems such as CETCOL. For example, CETCOL's structure of one node per city has meant that only one university administers the network locally. Inter-institutional jealousies, sparked by this policy, have hindered interconnection.

One of the negative consequences of weak-to-nonexistent collaboration among universities and researchers is the failure to achieve a critical mass of users, so essential to successful network development. Instead, we encounter parallel network development efforts because institutions, "close geographically but far electronically," (68) compete instead of collaborate. An example of this institutional parochialism is cited by Red Científica Peruana's José Soriano, who claims that institutions become "syndicates of users," posting internal BBSs (electronic bulletin boards) for a handful of individuals only.(69)


Cultura de Información

One of COLCIENCIAS's goals for CETCOL was to help foment an "Information Culture" in Colombia. We will briefly analyze this goal in the context of political and institutional centralization.

Not only are networks like CETCOL horizontally structured (across institutions and independent of hierarchy), but they are participatory, two-way communication systems. (70) If we conclude that Colombia's communications paradigm has been historically "top-down" while the Internet has evolved globally along participatory lines, CETCOL is truly novel in every sense, technically, politically, and culturally.

The other element of cultura de información is the production of information, already discussed in the section on higher education. However, this problem is also relevant here, as it represents the second channel in the two-way communications: the production of Colombian information. A syndrome identified in Peru by RCP's Soriano is the prejudice against locally created information in favor of imported material: "if-it's-Gringo-it-must-be-better."(71) There is ample precedent for this in the imbalance of Hollywood versus locally produced movies and television in Latin America. In this regard, networks like CETCOL face a double challenge: to generate the forum for native information production, leading to a cultura de información, while avoiding further perpetuating one-way consumption of information produced by the industrialized world.


Technological Determinism, Cultural Determinism, and Cultural Imperialism

Virtually all of the assumptions we make about the impact and ultimate outcome of the new information technologies in countries like Colombia are based on experiences in totally different cultural, economic, and political contexts. Nobody can say with any accuracy how they will evolve in the Latin American context. For example, it can't be assumed that CETCOL, and more broadly the Internet, will de facto lead to decentralized societies. A more Orwellian outcome is also conceivable. Information technology can also facilitate tighter control from the center.(72) The second assumption frequently made about a network's impact on the developing world is that it democratizes. Although CETCOL may ultimately contribute to that outcome in Colombia, the demographics studied in this paper actually imply the networking of an elite class, not of a country. Finally, many assume the lower production costs of the new technologies will contribute to a better balance in information production and consumption between the developed and developing worlds. However, we have no evidence yet that CETCOL is contributing to an increase in research or sharing of information among Colombians. CETCOL could become, in José Soriano's words, "just a door to the outside."(73)


VI. CONCLUSION


This paper has reviewed the diffusion of CETCOL across Colombian universities. Through this process, we have seen fundamental disparities between the large urban centers and the provinces. We have noted a concentration of networking in universities traditionally associated with academic quality and an absence of connectivity in the growing group of universities associated with lack of quality. We have examined these relationships from a variety of political, educational, and cultural perspectives and have created a taxonomy of barriers defined by the institutions CETCOL supportsthe academic communityand, in turn, by the institutions that ostensibly support CETCOL TELECOM and the Colombian government. Finally, we placed CETCOLa horizontal, decentralized facilitator of informationin its historical, political, and cultural framework, Colombia, and reviewed differences between the two systems.

In closing, I would like to offer a brief set of policy recommendations:


Recommendations:


    Academic networks must become embedded, conceptually and institutionally, in the current Latin American higher education reform process. Academic networks currently are in the back room, viewed by policy makers and academic reformers as technical support when they are, in fact, the ticket out of the basement. The Inter-American Bank (IDB), World Bank, foreign governments, and national governments need to integrate both activities by ensuring that institutions like InterRed, COLCIENCIAS, and their counterparts in other countries form part of the planning, assessment, and monitoring process of higher education.

    Academic Networkers need to balance their well-justified preoccupation with uncooperative PTTs and national governments with a greater concern for the higher education reform movements. This translates into leveraging their networks through better quality and more relevant content and through continuing to seek a high profile role in the higher education system.

    University heads and the agencies that give them money need to make LAN (Local Area Network) development and IT training of personnel a priority. This concern has been circulating for a long time, with limited impactespecially among the "educational entrepreneurs."

    Policy makers in Latin America need to develop integrated Information Infrastructure policies in order to stop pitting their PTTs against their academic and research networks. These leaders cannot seriously discuss the development of a "knowledge society" until they stop paralyzing R&D (Research and Development) efforts in their own countries.



ENDNOTES (indicated in text by numerals in parenthesis)

1 PTT: Post, Telegraph, and Telephone. Public communications utility companies.
2 Sources for this section: Hanratty, Dennis M., Meditz, Sandra W., ed. 1990. Colombia, a Country Study. Washington, D.C.: Federal Research Division, Library of Congress.; Departamento Administrativo Nacional de Estadística (DANE). Santafé de Bogotá; and The Factbook.
3 The administrative divisions in Colombia are called departamentos; there are 32 departamentos plus the capital district, Bogotá.
4 Hanratty, et al./193-194
5 TELECOM, "La Historia de TELECOM: 50 años de experiencia." Revista Javeriana, pg. 153 April 1996.
6 Wellenius et al. Pg. 605. Implementing Reforms in the Telecommunications Sector. World Bank. 1995. Washington, DC.
7 Wellenius, B/133
8 Siochrú, Seán, Telecommunications and Universal Service, IDRC, 1996.
9 International Telecommunication Union. 1994. Pg. 3. "Telecommunications: The Wider Picture" pp. 1-49 in World Communication Development Report 1994. Geneva.
10 El Tiempo, "US$300 millones para telefonía social," 30 December 1996.
11 Cowhey, Peter. Pg. 546, in Wellenius et al.
12 Wellenius, B., pg. 3. in Wellenius et al.
13 Hernández, Rafael, InterRed, e-mail interview 9 January 1997.
14 Local Loop describes the physical connection between the person's phone and the telephone company's local center; it is often also referred to as the "last mile" or "last kilometer."
15 "Central Office" is the telephone company's local center, connecting it to subscribers.
16 Called "Cultura de Información" in the planning documents and one of the titles used later in the paper.
17 "Red" is "network" in Spanish. CETCOL is a rough acronym for Science, Education and Technology, plus "COL" for Colombia. This latter part is common in Colombian projects: COLCIENCIAS, Colfuturo, and Colcultura, just to name a few.
18 The proper name in Spanish is: Instituto Colombiano para el Fomento de la Educación Superior.
19 Hernández Interview
20 Rojas, Mauricio, COLCIENCIAS, interview 13 December 1996, and literature on CETCOL.
21 COLCIENCIAS planning document, "Plan Estratégico de los Sistemas de Información Científica y Tecnológica." Santafé de Bogotá, July 1995.
22 Sin Triana, Hugo, CETCOL-Universidad de los Andes, e-mail interview 15 January 1996.
23 Lottor, M., "Internet Host Survey." Network Wizards, (http://www.nw.com)
24 Annex 3 and Graphs 2 and 3 were compiled from Network Wizards' host counts and census data from the 1995 Information Please Almanac.
25 These observations are made in Rodríguez, Luís Germán, and Press, Larry. 1996. "Toward an Internet Census for Developing Nations." http://csudh.edu/cis/lpress/devnat/general/index.htm and by Network Wizards.
26 The data on Colombia was compiled and cross-checked from three sources: 1. ICFES database report of 11/96 of accredited higher education programs; 2. Taylor, A., ed.. 1991. International Handbook of Universities and Other Institutions of Higher Education. New York: Stockton Press; 3. LASPAU database report of 12/96.
27 CETCOL membership was compiled from the web sites of COLCIENCIAS, ICFES, and InterRed.
28 A number of lists of Colombian university web sites were compiled and checked. The most important sources were: Latin American Academic Network at UT-Austin (LANIC), InterRed, and ICFES. "Web Presence" simply means that the university has a web site, regardless of whether it is a single homepage with no links or an extensive content-rich site.
29 The private and public labels are somewhat complicated by the fact that some "private" universities receive some support by the government. However, for the purpose of this study, state-governed universities are "public" and "private" universities are independently operated.
30 These figures do not address student populations. This data was not readily available and beyond the scope of this paper.
31 It was not possible to ascertain the beginning years for six of the original 139 universities presented in the previous data; this information is based on 133 universities.
32 In general terms, "bandwidth" refers to the capacity of communications network or connection.
33 Ulloa, Gonzalo, Universidad del Valle, e-mail interview 8 January 1997.
34 Payares, Patricia, Universidad de Cartagena, interview 13 January 1997.
35 "Networked" and "content rich" in terms of faculty, student email directories, links to internal web and gopher sites, detailed information about university programs, etc.
36 Hanson, Jarice, and Narula, Uma, ed. 1990. Pg. 34. New Communications Technologies in Developing Countries. Hillsdale NJ: Erlbaum. Based on William Ogburn's concept of Cultural Lag in technology diffusion.
37 Press, L., and Rodríguez, L.G/2.
38 Soriano, Jose, director of Red Científica Peruana (RCP), Latin America's most "content rich" academic site, reflecting on a meeting of Andean academic network representatives. gopher://cahuide.rcp.ne/...articulo.problemas_redes.
39 Inter-American Development Bank (IDB). "Higher Education in Latin America and the Caribbean: A Strategy Paper." based on IDB background paper: "Higher Education in Latin America and the Caribbean: Myths, Realities, and How the IDB Can Help." Pg. 1. November, 1996.
40 Levy/68.
41 Levy/69.
42 Levy, Daniel: A term he uses to describe the burgeoning unregulated "owners" of private "universities" that have emerged in vast numbers throughout most of Latin America in the past 20 years.
43 Balán, Jorge. Pg. 9. "Quality and Quality Assurance as Policy Issues in Higher Education." November, 1996.
44 IDB report/2 and Balán/5.
45 Levy/68
46 IDB Report/18
47 Cardoza, Guillermo/ 5. "Higher Education, Scientific Research and Sustainable Development in Latin America: A New Agenda." 1996.
48 Cardoza/16.
49 IDB/25.
50 Balán/2.
51 Hernández interview.
52 Ibid.
53 Rodríguez, Luís German, former director of Venezuela's academic network, REACCIUN, in e-mail interview 30 December 1996.
54 Telecom in the generic sense of telecommunications company, not as in TELECOM, Colombia's PTT.
55 The idea of a "mutual-interest strategy" for academic networks is presented by Daniel Pimienta, head of FUNREDES (Networks and Development Foundation).
56 Crowhey, Peter, in Wellenius et al, pg. 546.
57 Several examples are among the references: the El Tiempo article and "Letter from the President" of TELECOM.
58 Noam, Eli M. Pg. 46. "Beyond Telecommunications Liberalization." pp. 31-54, in Drake, ed., The New Information Infrastructure, 1995, Twentieth Century Fund.
59 Hanson, J., and Narula, U/101
60 El Tiempo, "U$300 millones para telefonía social." 30 December 1996.
61 ITU/14.
62 As is the case for the majority of countries, specific accounting information for Colombia is not publicly available; we can infer however, that they fall into the categories described in this chapter and an ITU's report (pgs. 7, 14, and 27) .
63 Hanson, J. and Narula, U/125.
64 Adjusted 1993 census data, Departamento Administrativo nacional de Estadística (DANE).
65 Hanratty et al/212.
66 COLCIENCIAS planning document, "Plan Estratégico de los Sistemas de Información Científica y Tecnológica." Santafé de Bogotá, July 1995.
67 Sanin, Javier, ed. Pg. 302. "Entre el Mundo, La Nación y La Región." Revista Javeriana. June 1996
68 Ojeda-Zapata, Julio. "Linking Up Latin America." Pioneer Press article. 19 August 1996.
69 Soriano, José. Pg. 12. "Infoandina" Report on Andean Regional Academic Networkers' Meeting. gopher://cahuide.rcp.ne/...articulo.problemas_redes.
70 Casmir, Fred L., ed. Pg. 68. 1991. Communication in Development. Norwood NJ: Ablex.
71 Soriano/12
72 Katz, Raul Luciano. Pg. 35 1988. The Information Society : an International Perspective. New York: Praeger.
73 Soriano/12



BIBLIOGRAPHY AND REFERENCES


Telecommunications and Development Communications


Casmir, Fred L.,
ed. 1991. Communication in Development. Norwood NJ: Ablex.

El Tiempo. "US$300 millones para telefonía social" 30 December 1996

Hanson, Jarice, and Narula, Uma, ed. 1990. New Communications Technologies in Developing Countries. Hillsdale NJ: Erlbaum.

International Telecommunication Union. 1994. "Telecommunications: The Wider Picture" pp. 1-49 in World Communication Development Report 1994. Geneva.

International Telecommunication Union, 1984. "The Missing Link." Report of the Independent Commission for World-Wide Telecommunications Development. Geneva.

Jussawalla, Meheroo, ed. 1993. Global Telecommunications Policies: The Challenge of Change. Westport CT: Greenwood.

Katz, Raul Luciano. 1988. The Information Society : an International Perspective. New York: Praeger.

Noam, Eli M., "Beyond Telecommunications Liberalization." pp. 31-54, in Drake, ed., The New Information Infrastructure, 1995, Twentieth Century Fund.

TELECOM. "La Historia de TELECOM: 50 años de experierncia." Revista Javeriana. April 1996.

Wellenius, Bjorn, and Stern, Peter A. 1994. Implementing Reforms in the Telecommunications Sector : Lessons from Experience. Washington, DC: World Bank.



Networking


COLCIENCIAS
. July 1995. "Plan Estratégico de los Sistemas de Información Científica y Tecnológica." Santafé de Bogotá .

Lottor, M., "Internet Host Survey." Network Wizards, (http://www.nw.com)

Ojeda-Zapata, Julio. "Linking Up Latin America." Pioneer Press. 19 August 1996.

Pimienta, Daniel. Pimienta, Mutual Benefit/Respect Relationship between Telecom Operators and Research Networks: An Asset for South Development. FUNREDES: http://155.135.37.1:80/cis/lpress/devnat/general/index.htm

Press, L., "The Role of Computer Networks in Development." Communications of the ACM. v. 39, N. 2, February 1996, pgs. 23 -30

Press, L., "Resources for Networks in Less-Industrialized Nations." Computer, V. 28, June 1995, pgs. 11-17

Rodríguez, Luís Germán, and Press, Larry. 1996. Toward an Internet Census for Developing Nations. http://csudh.edu/cis/lpress/devnat/general/index.htm

Siochrú, Seán. 1996. "Telecommunications and Universal Service."
International Development Research Centre. Canadian Government Foundation. www.idrc.ca/

Soriano, José. 1996. Análisis Telefónica. http://155.135.37.1:80/cis/lpress/devnat/general/index.htm

Soriano, José. "Infoandina" Report on Andean Reginal Academic Networkers' Meeting. gopher://cahuide.rcp.net.pe/

Soriano, José. "Systemization of the Peruvian Scientific Network Experience." Paper presented at the ISOC '96 Conference. http://info.isoc.org/isoc/whatis/conferences/inet/96/proceedings/



Latin American Higher Education


Balán, Jorge.
"Quality and Quality Assurance as Policy Issues in Higher Education." Paper presented at the Harvard University Conference on Higher Education Reform in Latin America. November, 1996.

Cardoza, Guillermo. Pg. 5. "Higher Education, Scientific Research and Sustainable Development in Latin America: A New Agenda." Paper presented at the Harvard University Conference on Higher Education Reform in Latin America. November, 1996.

Inter-American Development Bank (IDB). "Higher Education in Latin America and the Caribbean: A Strategy Paper." Paper presented by Claudio de Moura Castro, IDB, at the Harvard University Conference on Higher Education Reform in Latin America. Co-authored by Levy, Daniel and based on IDB background paper: "Higher Education in Latin America and the Caribbean: Myths, Realities, and How the IDB Can Help." November, 1996.

Levy, Daniel C. 1996. Building the Third Sector : Latin America's Private Research Centers and Nonprofit Development. Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press.

Taylor, A., ed.. 1991. International Handbook of Universities and Other Institutions of Higher Education. New York: Stockton Press

World Bank. 1995. Priorities and Strategies for Education, A World Bank Review. Washington, D.C.
Other

Rodriguez,
Alfredo,
1995. "The Contents of Decentralization: Concepts, Objectives, Pros and Cons, and Challenges." International Development Research Centre. Canadian Government Foundation.

Sanin, Javier, ed., "Entre el Mundo, La Nación y La Región." Revista Javeriana. June 1996



Reference

COLCIENCIAS Web Site:
www.colciencias.gov

Hanratty, Dennis M., Meditz, Sandra W., ed. 1990. Colombia, a Country Study. Washington, D.C.: Federal Research Division, Library of Congress.

InterRed Web Site: www.interred.net.co

ICFES database report (of 11/96) of accredited higher education programs. Instituto Colombiano para el Fomento de la Educación Superior. Santafé de Bogotá.

LANIC, Latin American Network Information Center - University of Texas - Austin (http://lanic.utexas.edu)

1993 Census Data, Departamento Administrativo Nacional de Estadística (DANE). Santafé de Bogotá.

1995 Information Please Almanac - Atlas and Yearbook. Boston & New York: Houghton Mifflin Company.


Interviews and Information Sources


Rafael Hernández
, InterRed

Jesús Olivero, Dept. of Chemistry and Pharmacy, Universidad de Cartagena

Patricia Payares, Dept. of Chemistry and Pharmacy, Universidad de Cartagena

Joaquín Roberto Quiñones, Colciencias

Luís German Rodríguez, Director of Venezuela's academic network, REACCIUN

Mauricio Rojas, Director, Information Programs, COLCIENCIAS.

Hugo Sin Triana, CETCOL-Universidad de los Andes

Gonzalo Ulloa, CETCOL/Red Farallones, Universidad del Valle