University of Chile: Wikis


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University of Chile
Universidad de Chile
Shield of Universidad de Chile
Established 17 September 1842
Type Public
President Víctor Pérez Vera
Faculty 3.523 (2004)
Undergraduates 23,400
Postgraduates 4,108
Location Santiago, RM, Chile
Campus Urban
Campuses 13
Mascot Owl
Casa Central (Headquarters)
Faculty of Economics and Business Tecnoaulas Building at night
School of Engineering Entrance
School of Medicine, North Campus
Facultad de Derecho (Law School)

The University of Chile (Spanish: Universidad de Chile) is the largest and oldest institution of higher education in Chile and one of the oldest in the Americas. Founded in 1842 as the replacement and continuation of the former colonial university Real Universidad de San Felipe (1738), the university is often called Casa de Bello (House of Bello) in honor of its first president, Andrés Bello. Notable alumni include two Nobel laureates (Pablo Neruda and Gabriela Mistral) and twenty heads of state among many others.





Higher education in Chile in colonial times dates to 19 August 1622, when 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 honor 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 graduated from the University of Chile, including all of those in the 20th century with the exception of Eduardo Frei Montalva (Pontifical Catholic University of Chile), General Carlos Ibáñez del Campo and former military dictator General Augusto Pinochet Ugarte.

Major Reforms during Military Regime of 1973-1989

During Augusto Pinochet's military regime from 1973 to 1989, the University suffered many profound changes. On 2 October 1973, Decree number 50 stated that the University's Presidents would be designated by the Military Regime.

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 Universidad de Atacama) 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 one of 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:

Related institutions and services

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

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

See also


External links

Chilean Traditional Universities (Consejo de Rectores)

Pontifical Catholic University of Chile • Arturo Prat University • Southern University of Chile • Temuco Catholic University • Pontifical Catholic University of Valparaíso • Catholic University of the Holy Conception • Catholic University of the Maule • Catholic University of the North • University of Antofagasta • University of Atacama • University of Concepción • University of Chile • University of La Serena • University of La Frontera • University of Los Lagos • University of Magallanes • Playa Ancha University of Educational Sciences • University of Santiago, Chile • University of Talca • University of Tarapacá • University of Valparaíso • University of the Bío-Bío • Metropolitan University of Educational Sciences • Federico Santa María Technical University • Metropolitan University of Technology


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