Dreams of Development explores the relationship between higher education and Colombian national development by tracing the history of one of Colombia's most important institutions of higher education, the National School of Mines (Escuela Nacional de Minas) of Medellin.
Murray addresses three questions: How did the Escuela form national elites, including politicians, businesspeople, and technocrats destined to play prominent roles in industry and government after 1900? To what extent have such elites shaped the development process? And finally, how has the Escuela's evolution reflected such changes in Colombian society as the rise of an urban middle sector and more active roles for women seeking the opportunities associated with an engineering degree? Murray's analysis of a single institution makes this book valuable both to Colombianists and to other scholars interested in the development of modern Latin American higher education. It also provides unique insight into the positivistic ideals and values that have shaped Colombian and other Latin American elites and dictated the destiny of their countries.