Learning for Good: Interview with Dr. Obdulio Velásquez, Rector of the Universidad de La Sabana

This year, TESOL Colombia brought together the English language instructors of Latin America at the Universidad de La Sabana.

At the event, we interviewed the Rector of the Universidad de La Sabana, Dr. Obdulio Velásquez, on the university’s mission and what makes it unique.

Founded 38 years ago, the Colombian university has made immense strides to become well known in Colombia, despite its young age in comparison to other colleges in the area.

“The founders created this new university to present a new idea of university, to create a community to protect the environment, to develop the human being in respect of religious beliefs,” Velásquez explained.

“The main, [central] idea of the university is to teach our community to do the work. Through the work, we can be a good Christian or a good Catholic.” This mission aligns with the mission of Opus Dei, a personal prelature of the Catholic church that was a part of the inspiration behind the university.

Velásquez mentions that not all Universidad de La Sabana students are Catholic, there are also Muslim, Jewish, and non-Catholic Christian students, and some do not follow a religious path at all.

According to Velásquez, more than 50% of the students that enroll in Universidad de La Sabana come from low-income families. The university spends approximately $3,000,000 a year in scholarships. One of the main goals of the university is to strengthen the inclusion in the area, as there is a large gap between the poor and rich citizens of Colombia.

The Universidad de La Sabana has roughly 10,000 undergraduate and 3,000 graduate students, which is considered to be a medium-sized university in Colombia.

“This is a place where you develop our dreams,” Velásquez continued, “This is a place of creativity, innovations, interdisciplinary laboratories, and to have fun while you are learning.”

Jessica Filippone

Jessica Filippone

Jess is a senior at Emerson College, studying journalism with a primary focus in news management. She is also an anchor and on air personality for 88.9 WERS FM Boston. When she isn't writing or doing her radio thing, you can find her on the beach with a New York Times Best Seller.