University of Chile

University of Chile

Infobox University
name = University of Chile
native_name = Universidad de Chile

established = 17 September 1843
type = Public
president = Víctor Pérez Vera
city = Santiago
state = RM
country = Chile
undergrad = 23,400
postgrad = 4,108
faculty = 16
campus = Urban
mascot = Owl
free_label = Campuses
free = 13
website = []
The University of Chile ( _es. Universidad de Chile) is one of the oldest universities in America, and one of the most prestigious institutions in Latin America. The university is often called "Casa de Bello" (House of Bello) in honour of its founder and first principal, Andrés Bello.



Higher education in Chile in colonial times dates back to 1622, when on 19 August of that year, the first university in Chile, "Santo Tomás de Aquino", was founded. On 28 July 1738, its name changed to "Real Universidad de San Felipe", in honour of King Philip V of Spain.

Universidad de Chile

In 1841 the minister of public education, Manuel Montt, conceived the idea of funding a corporation for the "advancement and development of sciences and humanities". Andrés Bello formulated the project which with small modifications became a law on 19 November 1842, creating the Universidad de Chile.

The Universidad de Chile was formally opened on 17 September 1843. During this period, the university consisted of five faculties ("facultades"): Humanities & Philosophy, Mathematical Sciences & Physics, Law & Political Sciences, Medicine, and Theology. By 1931, the number of colleges had increased to six: Philosophy & Education Sciences, Legal & Social Sciences, Biology & Medical Sciences, Physical & Mathematical Sciences, Agronomy & Veterinary, and Fine Arts.

Almost all of Chile's presidents, including all of those in the 20th century with the exception of Eduardo Frei Montalva (Universidad Catolica de Chile), Carlos Ibáñez del Campo and former military dictator Augusto Pinochet Ugarte (both Army Generals) graduated from this institution.

Major Reforms during Military Regime of 1973-1989

During Augusto Pinochet's military regime from 1973 to 1989, the University suffered many profound changes, some of which greatly weakened the University's academic, economic and social influence. On 2 October 1973, Decree number 50 stated that the University's Presidents would be designated by the Military Joint.

The second major blow to the University's integrity came on 3 January 1981, when another Decree completely restructured the University. All of its provincial campuses were separated, cojoined with provincial campuses of the Universidad Técnica del Estado (now Universidad de Santiago de Chile) and designated as separate universities, such as the Universidad de Talca, Universidad de Valparaiso, the Instituto Pedagógico (Pedagogical Institute, now the Universidad Metropolitana de Ciencias de la Educación), the Universidad de Antofagasta, the Universidad de Tarapacá, Instituto Professional de Osorno (now Universidad de los Lagos), Instituto Professional de Chillán (now Universidad del Bío-Bío), Universidad de la Frontera, and Universidad de la Serena.

These changes were orchestrated by influential advisors to the military government, as a way to severely diminish the University's influence on the nation's politics, economics, public policies and intellectual movements. Simultaneous to this process, the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile was heavily supported so that it would grow to a size comparable to the University of Chile. In concrete terms, in 1973 the University of Chile had a record number of students enrolled: over 65,000 students. Today it has only 26,000 students. In contrast, the Catholic University of Chile has grown from approximately 15,000 students in 1973 to over 21,650. Several private Universities were created towards the end of the military regime, and some of these institutions have shown tendencies towards neoliberal economics. In this way the Chicago Boys have been able to perpetuate their influences on Chilean economics and public policies through higher education.

In spite of the complete restructuring of the University of Chile, it still remains as Chile's most prestigious university in terms of research, applicant preferences and social impact.

Colleges and campuses

The University has 16 faculties distributed in 13 campuses:
*Casa Central: Headquarters. Main administrative services. coord|33|26|39.83|S|70|39|3.55|W|type:edu_region:CL
*Campus Antumapu: Located in southern Santiago, holds the Faculty of Agronomic Sciences, the Faculty of Forestry Sciences and the Faculty of Veterinary and Bovine Sciences. ( [ Web site] )
*Campus Andrés Bello: Located in Downtown Santiago, holds the Faculty of Architecture and Urbanism and the Faculty of Economic and Business.
*Campus Juan Gómez Millas: Located in the Nuñoa district of Santiago, holds the Bachelor Program, the Faculty of Arts, the Faculty of Science, the Faculty of Philosophy & Humanities, the Faculty of Social Sciences, the School of Journalism and the recently refounded Film School (represent!).
*Campus Medicine (North): Holds the University's Clinic Hospital, the Faculty of Chemical & Pharmaceutical Sciences and the Faculty of Medicine. ( [ Web site] )
*Campus Medicine (South): Site of the Exequiel González Cortés Hospital.
*Campus Medicine (East): Holds the Mental Health Unit.
*Campus Medicine (Center): Holds the San Borja-Arriarán Clinic Hospital.
*Campus Medicine (West): Holds part of the Faculty of Medicine.
*Campus Miraflores: Holds the Faculty of Dentistry. ( [ Web site] )
*Campus Pío Nono: Holds the Faculty of Law. ( [ Web site] ) coord|33|26|6.99|S|70|38|6.72|W|type:edu_region:CL
*Campus Beaucheff: Holds the Faculty of Physics and Mathematics and the School of Engineering. ( [ Web site] ) coord|33|27|27.83|S|70|39|46.66|W|type:edu_region:CL

Related institutions and services

The University of Chile is in charge of a variety of nationwide services and institutions, including:

* The National Astronomical Observatory, functioning since 1852
* The Chilean Commission on Nuclear Energy (CCHEN)
* The Contemporary Art Museum (MAC)
* Investigative efforts in Antarctica, since 1940
* Official seismological service and volcanic activity vigilance, since 1908
* Chile's Symphonic Orchestra, since 1941
* Chile's National Ballet, since 1945
* Symphonic Chorus, since 1945
* Centre for Greek, Byzantine, and Neohellenic Studies; Centre for Arabic Studies; and Center for Judaic Culture Studies
* Largest Clinical Hospital in the country
* Institute for Easter Island Studies
* Centre for Space-related Studies, with collaborative activities at NASA, and other international agencies
* Universidad de Chile Theatre
* Nutrition and Food Technology Institute (INTA)
* Museum of Popular American Art, since 1947
* Experimental Theatre (1944) (later National Theatre of Chile)
* Chile's NIC.
* The Institute for Experimentation and Research of Materials, IDIEM.

And more than twenty other centres of national and international importance.

ee also

*Notable alumni of the University of Chile


*A brief history of the University of Chile (in Spanish) [ Reseña Histórica de la Universidad de Chile]
*Information on the University of Chile's research (in Spanish) [ Investigación en Cifras]
*"La Privatización de las Universidades", María Olivia Mönckeberg, Ed. Copa Rota, ISBN 956-8523-00-6.

External links

* [ Official Web Site]

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