Located in the coastal city of Barranquilla, Universidad del Norte is the main academic center for higher education in northern Colombia. It is a private institution which started academic operation on July 11, 1966. The institution is organized around ten academic divisions, including: Engineering, Administrative Sciences, Humanities and Social Sciences, Health Sciences, Legal Sciences and Basic Sciences. Overall, Universidad del Norte offers 28 undergraduate programs, 90 professional specialization programs, 52 masters programs, and 15 doctoral programs. In particular, the college of Engineering offers degrees in industrial, mechanical, systems, civil, electrical and electronics engineering. All undergraduate engineering programs are ABET-accredited.
The Department of Electrical and Electronics Engineering launched the Universidad del Norte VIP Program in Spring 2017, becoming the first VIP Program in South America. We started operations with 2 teams working in alternative energy sources, digital signal processing and autonomous robots. We are expanding the program to other departments, creating truly multi-disciplinary teams and we are sharing the VIP model with other institutions in Colombia and the rest of South America. We want to show how to successfully adapt the VIP model to the academic, research and industrial environments of Latin America. We want to make our VIP program into a viable tool to build our research capabilities from our undergraduate programs, and also create fruitful partnerships with other sites.