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Bristol offers major scholarships in partnership with Colombian government

The University of Bristol's Pro-Vice Chancellor (International), Dr Erik Lithander, with Bristol alumnus, Juan Manuel Gil Barragan.

Press release issued: 11 July 2017

The University of Bristol has introduced a new scholarship scheme for high-performing Colombian students through an innovative partnership with the Colombian government.

These scholarships, which take the form of significant* tuition fee remissions, are offered in partnership with Colombia’s funding agency, COLFUTURO (Fundación para el Futuro de Colombia), and celebrate the ratification of the historic Peace Agreement** between the Colombian Government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC).

The offer applies to select postgraduate programmes in Sociology, Politics and International Studies, and recognises the importance of education in supporting the implementation of the Peace Agreement. The scholarships are available for September 2018 entry to the following courses:

The University of Bristol’s Pro-Vice Chancellor (International), Dr Erik Lithander, commented on the new initiative aimed at Colombian postgraduates:

“The implementation of the Peace Agreement heralds a new chapter in Colombia’s history, and our new partnership with the Colombian government recognises the essential role that education and skills development will play in the coming years in supporting the peace process.

“The University of Bristol has world-class academics with expertise in conflict and development, security and peacebuilding. Their significant knowledge and research inform the delivery of our Masters-level programmes in Development and Security, International Relations and International Security.

“Through the partnership with COLFUTURO, we are making these courses accessible to Colombian graduates so they can acquire the skills they need to drive the positive changes happening in their country.”

University of Bristol alumnus, Juan Manuel Gil Barragan, a COLFUTURO graduate of the MSc in International Relations (2011) and International Coordinator at Colombia’s EAN University, said:

“I consider it a great privilege to have had the opportunity to do my master’s at the University of Bristol and I am delighted that this agreement makes it possible for other Colombians to follow in my footsteps.

“Our country has undergone enormous growth and transformation in recent years. The Peace Agreement is a crucial step toward a more positive future, and as we stand at this juncture in our history we need highly educated and skilled people to ensure the peace process is a success.” 

Further information

* The partnership between the University of Bristol and COLFUTURO offers a 50 per cent tuition fee remission to students undertaking Masters-level courses in Development and Security, International Relations and International Security and is available for September 2018 entry.

** The Peace Agreement, for which President Juan Manuel Santos won a Nobel Peace Prize, was renegotiated after it was narrowly rejected by a referendum, and was approved by both the Colombian Senate and Congress late last year.

The University of Bristol

The University of Bristol is one of the most popular and successful universities in the UK. It was ranked within the top 50 universities in the world in the QS World University Rankings 2018. The University of Bristol is ranked among the top five institutions in the UK for its research, according to new analysis of the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014, and is the 3rd most targeted university by top UK employers.

Bristol is a member of the Russell Group of UK research-intensive universities, and a member of the Worldwide Universities Network, a grouping of research-led institutions of international standing.

The University was founded in 1876 and was granted its Royal Charter in 1909.  It was the first university in England to admit women on the same basis as men. 

The University is a major force in the economic, social and cultural life of Bristol and the region, but is also a significant player on the world stage. It has over 16,000 undergraduates and nearly 6,000 postgraduate students from more than 100 countries, and its research links span the globe.

Thirteen Bristol graduates and members of staff have been awarded Nobel Prizes, including Sir Winston Churchill who was Chancellor of the University of Bristol from 1929 until 1965.


COLFUTURO is a Colombian non-profit foundation that was established in 1991 with the support of the National Government and some of the most important companies of the private sector in the country at that time. Its main objective is to provide financial support and increase the possibilities of Colombian citizens to access high-quality postgraduate study programs abroad.

With a total population of 47 million inhabitants, only 4 per cent of Colombia’s professionals have postgraduate degrees, of which only 2 per cent have Master’s degrees and less than 1 per cent have Doctorate-level degrees. Thanks to this initiative, students, after finishing their postgraduate studies, return to the country and encourage the promotion of constant social, economic and cultural transformation in Colombia.

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