Colombia opts for sovereign public schools

Aug. 24, 2011 at 11:30 AM

BOGOTA, Aug. 24 (UPI) -- The Colombian government has decided against a controversial plan to allow private companies to finance public universities, officials said.

President Juan Manuel Santos said in a press release Tuesday the government has discarded a proposal that would have ended the autonomy of public universities, El Tiempo reported.

"The government accepts that maybe it is not the time to introduce the profit component, which maybe the environment isn't quite ready for," Santos said.

Santos proposed the idea in March, triggering massive student protests the following month in Bogota.

The education minister said the government will turn to other sources of income to finance higher education.

The original bill would have sought alternate resources to fund universities. It will now be revised to remove the profit component before it is presented to Congress.

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