Bolivarian University of Venezuela
|Bolivarian University of Venezuela|
|Universidad Bolivariana de Venezuela|
|Students||180,000 (as of 2006)|
The UBV is a part of the Chávez government's "Mission Sucre" social programs, which aim to provide free higher education to the poor. Consequently, enrollment at the UBV is free and open to all, regardless of academic qualifications, prior education or even nationality. The government expects the student body to grow to 1 million by 2009, with more than 190 satellite classrooms throughout Venezuela. 
The education programme at the UBV is generally in line with Hugo Chávez's democratic socialist vision of a Latin American "Bolivarian Revolution". Opposition leader Julio Borges though, labels it a "thinly disguised propaganda factory that takes advantage of the country's most vulnerable citizens". However, others are more optimistic. Maria Ejilda Castellano, the rector of the Bolivarian University in Caracas, has said that the institution is designed to benefit the poor precisely by encouraging the open exchange of ideas. Castellano said that the Bolivarian University is based on UNESCO principles for education and that "The professional produced by this institution will work for the transformation of society. She will be a critical thinker who can stimulate others and generate questions."
The following courses are offered at UBV:
- Agroecology (Agroecología)
- Architecture (Arquitectura)
- Social Communication (Comunicación Social)
- Education (Educación)
- Animation (Animación)
- Environmental Management (Gestión Ambiental)
- Social Management of Local Development (Gestión Social del Desarrollo Local)
- Public Health Management (Gestión de la Salud Pública)
- Medicine (Medicina)
- Information Technology for Social Management (Informática para la Gestión Social)
- Law (Estudios Jurídicos)
- Political Science (Estudios Políticos y de Gobierno)
The University will have branches in the most important regions in Venezuela. At the present time there are branches in:
Candidate students must be high-school graduates. As distinguished from the rest of Venezuelan universities, they are assigned by the Mission Sucre. As of January 2011, the UBV has awarded over 120,000 degrees.
- Library, lunch room, cafeteria, book shop, shop, computer lab, internet connection, transportation, student insurance, academical and pedagogical programs, information and orientation service, health and dental care.
- Scholarships: Work scholarship, sports scholarship, full wage scholarship and assistantships.
- Cultural extensions: Orpheon, theater group, press room, mandolin orchestra, bandola, ceramics, choral group, cinema, editorial foundation, music, cuatro, serigraphy, folkloric dance, folkloric music group, handicrafts, printing, gaita group, painting, guitar and graphic arts.
- Sports: Baseball, softball, kenpo, karate, taebo, aerobics, soccer, chess, futbolito (a simplified version of soccer), marathon, volleyball, athletics, tennis, judo, underwater diving, ping pong, triathlon and martial arts.
- Civic groups: hiking center, conservationist center, voluntary firefighters' corps, rescue groups, environmentalist groups and recreational groups.
- Institutional agreements: Academic and communitary agreements. Agreements with the Ministries of Health & Social Development and the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources. National and international sports agreements.
- Monte Reel (2006-05-25). "Chavez Educates Masses at a University in His Image". Washington Post. p. A21.
- Maria Ejilda Castellano and Justin Podur (2004-09-19). "Revolutionary University". Znet.
- Bolivarian University website (Spanish)