Master´s Program in International Taxation, Foreign Trade and Customs

In accordance with the Interinstitutional Collaboration Agreement signed on September 30, 2004 between Universidad Externado de Colombia-UEC and the Inter-American Center of Tax Administrations-CIAT, the Fiscal Law Department of the University has been leading the creation of a virtual master’s program which will afford the public officials of the Latin American tax administrations, as well as others interested, an academic space for improving, discussing, considering in greater depth and generating knowledge in international tax law, foreign trade and customs.

As a result of the internationalization and economic and commercial integration, these issues are currently part of the daily activities and concerns of any tax administration. However, due to different reasons, not all of them have a sufficient number of duly qualified officials and advisers, capable of facing the level of specificity and complexity acquired by these issues.

There is clearly the need for a very high level academic space whereby such officials and advisers may learn and understand, not only the international normative framework that regulates this subject, but also the private sector practices. On the other hand, such knowledge along with the public management and negotiation tools will allow the Latin American tax administrations and the private sector of the countries, more critical, productive and effective positions in the economic integration and international cooperation scenarios.

The UEC, through its Fiscal Law Department, has an over fifteen-year accumulated experience in tax law postgraduate programs, at the master as well as specialization levels and also in international tax law and customs specializations.

On its part, since 1967, CIAT has been supporting the national governments in the evolution, social acceptance and institutional strengthening of the tax administrations; promoting international cooperation and joint actions in the exchange of experiences and best practices.

The master’s program is divided into three cycles:

Fundamentals and contextualization: consists of 5 obligatory courses and an elective course which students will choose from three options that will be presented to them at the beginning of the semester.
In-depth study: consists of 10 obligatory courses and 2 elective courses that follow the previously described dynamics.
The research cycle includes two seminars.

The studies plan provides for a total of 57 academic credits. There is a total of 2,592 hours; of which 864 are working hours with monitoring and 1,728 hours of individual work.

In order that the program may have a direct impact on the Latin American tax administrations, it has been considered that the best way to achieve it is through an academic proposal under the virtual methodology, since it guarantees the actual participation of any public official or adviser from the tax administrations of the region. It also facilitates the participation of a large number of well-known international professors, while allowing a direct exchange and feedback of experiences. These same reasons encourage us to offer an in-depth master type program that will place at the disposal of the students methodological tools whereby, upon the acquisition of knowledge they may develop interdisciplinary competencies aimed at the analysis and solution of cases.

The virtual sessions are complemented with three face-to-face sessions. The first visit will be held in Bogota, at the campus of Universidad Externado and whose purpose is to inaugurate the program and to familiarize the students with their professors, classmates and administrative staff. In this session, students will learn to use the virtual platform and the educational facilities afforded by the University as well as CIAT. The second face-to-face visit has been scheduled for the beginning of the second year. Its main purpose is the personal follow-up of progress in the analysis of cases, which constitutes the work required for obtaining the degree.To conclude, the third visit will be to the CIAT headquarters in Panama, where students will sustain their case study before three examiners.

The writers and tutors of the courses and seminars are well-known professors in their study areas, with education at the master or doctoral level. A body of professors reflecting the international nature of the program was sought and in this sense, among the professors initially selected there are Colombians, Brazilians, Argentinians, Spanish, Guatemalans, Ecuadorians, Peruvians and French, who have participated in programs offered by UEC or CIAT.


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