Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


College of Education and International Services


Higher Education Administration PhD

First Advisor

Gustavo Gregorutti

Second Advisor

Wilson Arana Palomino

Third Advisor

Sebastian Aparicio



In Colombia, higher education plays a relevant role in developing human capital and equity, giving everyone the opportunity to access higher education. In particular, the government has been supporting public and private universities to open campuses in rural areas where guerrillas, the mafia, and paramilitary groups were fighting the government to dominate the territories. In 1995, the government of the State of Antioquia officially established the regionalization of higher education as a strategy to promote higher education in disadvantaged regions. The Universidad de Antioquia (Universidad de Antioquia) adopted that strategy as part of its development plans during the last 28 years. The region of Urabá is one of the areas where the war left thousands of deaths, people displaced by the violence, farmers' loss of land, and poverty across the region. It was in the University's best interest to measure the results of the regionalization of higher education in the regions, particularly in the region of Urabá. The purpose of this study, therefore, was to find whether the regionalization of higher education contributed to human capital development and improvement of equity in the region of Urabá.


A multiple correspondence analysis and a VAR model were conducted to support the possible relationships between the variables to answer the research question: Is there a relationship between the regionalization strategy of the Universidad de Antioquia and the development of human capital and the improvement of equity of the region of Urabá? In addition, structural equations modeling was used to analyze the correlation of the variables. The data analyzed was secondary data obtained from the Universidad de Antioquia alumni database with information from 1996 to 2016.


The findings of this study supported the assumption that the model of the regionalization of Universidad de Antioquia has contributed to human capital development and the improvement of equity in the region. The model shows a direct relationship between the regionalization of higher education and equity and an indirect relationship with salary increases for alumni. Enrollment and access to higher education for men and women did not show a significant difference. The regionalization project of the University has contributed to equity through the increase in access to higher education in the regions. Students from low social income families still struggled to find a place in public or private universities. This is evidence that there is a need to continue with this strategy and also that the national and local government must invest additional resources to expand the coverage of tertiary education in the regions.


In conclusion, based on the results of this study, the Universidad de Antioquia and its project of regionalization of higher education has been a factor of development for the region of Urabá. The relationships between human capital development and equity improvement with regionalization are evidence of the contribution of the project to a region that requested help after decades of war. I propose the implementation of the regionalization model of the Universidad de Antioquia in other states and regions of the country in order to minimize differences in human capital development and equity.

Subject Area

Human capital--Colombia--Urabá; Equity--Colombia--Urabá; Universidad de Antioquia (Colombia)


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