The inauguration of the Caribbean Campus


In May 2018, the Universidad de los Andes Caribbean Campus opened its doors, and, for the first time since it was founded seventy years ago, the university has a campus other than its main campus in Bogotá, which is located in the exclusive Serena del Mar urbanistic complex in Cartagena de Indias.

The building, designed by the renowned architect Brandon Haw, is twelve kilometers from the city center and has classrooms, offices, areas to relax, and co-working areas that are all of international quality. It also has spaces that are dedicated to the development of academic programs and initiatives that contribute to the progress of the city and the region.

During the first phase, further education courses will be offered, and post-graduate diplomas and Master’s degrees will be offered at a later date.

10th May – the inauguration

Before the inauguration, the Office of Communications and Marketing at the university organized a press conference with Pablo Navas, the vice-chancellor of the university, and Daniel Haime, the president of Serena del Mar. They explained the advantages that the opening of this new education center bring to both national and local media. The vice-chancellor, who invited journalists for a tour around the facilities, highlighted that, “This space has open doors for the whole academic community; not only Colombian universities. We are working on alliances with other universities around the world to create academic programs that are going to be developed in this campus”.

One hour later, at five in the afternoon, in front of a three-hundred person audience, the opening ceremony began (see the inaugural talk video). Members of the university’s Superior Council; directors and professors; vice-chancellors from other universities in the region; and authorities and leading national, regional, and local executives were all present. Vice-chancellor Navas stressed that collaborative academic work is vital to positively impact the communities and also highlighted, “Los Andes’ commitment to contribute to and get closer to the whole country, which is, today, clearer than ever: this ceremony is the proof itself”.

Eduardo Pacheco Cortés, the president of the university’s Superior Council, was accompanied on the main table by Daniel Haime, the president of Serena del Mar, and Brandon Haw, the architect and designer of the building, who gave the prestigious institution a warm welcome. 

When the sun had fully gone down, the guests celebrated and toasted with a glass of wine during the party that had sparklers and fireworks.

Relive the full inauguration speech here

Al caer completamente la noche, los invitados celebraron y brindaron con una copa de vino acompañados de una fiesta de bengalas y pirotecnia

11th May – the meeting

At 9 am, the new campus’ facilities were opened. Representatives from the main universities in the region participated in an academic panel (see complete panel here), which was moderated by Carl Langebaek, the Vice Rector for Academic Affairs at Los Andes. The purpose of the panel was to articulate the efforts that are being made and the design strategies that benefit communities in the north of the country. Alberto Roa, Vice Rector for Academic Affairs at the Universidad del Norte stated that, “The best message we can transmit is by allying under a framework of transparency and good governance”.

The event ended with the signing of the Cooperation Framework agreement by the Universidad de los Andes, the Universidad de Bogotá Jorge Tadeo Lozano, the Universidad del Norte, and the Universidad Tecnológica de Bolívar. The union between private and public higher education institutions in the Caribbean was strengthened to promote inter-university and inter-institutional actions that address the region’s future challenges.

At midday, the historian José Vicente Mogollón gave the ‘History of the North of Cartagena: its Trails, Towns, and Beaches’ conference. It was followed by an academic talk with teachers from Los Andes and the region who addressed topics such as health, biodiversity, peace, art, and Caribbean heritage.

View the academic talks that were part of the Caribbean Campus’ inauguration here.

12th May – the reunion

On Saturday, after the busy inauguration day, the Uniandino spirit was strengthened in the campus.

Around one-hundred graduates from different faculties reunited to interact and exchange ideas and knowledge in a networking activity that was led by Eduardo Behrentz, the vice-rector for development and alumni.

During these three days, the Universidad de los Andes once again reaffirmed its commitment to quality education in Colombia, its bet on regionalization, and, as such, its contribution to the development and progress of the country.

Also see:

The best photos of the Universidad de los Andes Caribbean campus’ facilities