University of Chile
||This article includes a list of references, related reading or external links, but its sources remain unclear because it lacks inline citations. (February 2013)|
|University of Chile|
|Universidad de Chile|
|Established||17 September 1842|
|President||Víctor Pérez Vera|
|Academic staff||3.523 (2004)|
|Location||Santiago, RM, Chile|
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 Latin America. Founded in 1842 as the replacement and continuation of the former colonial Royal University of San Felipe (1738) (Spanish: Real Universidad de San Felipe), 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, Physics Sciences & Mathematics, 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 experienced 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 change 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 moderate the University's influence on the nation's increasingly leftist politics, economics, public policies and intellectual movements. Instead, the focus of the universities would be directed towards somewhat apolitical technological and economic advancement. To further these national development goals, 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 and has achieved considerable recognition and accreditation status.
In spite of the complete restructuring of the University of Chile, it still remains 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.
- 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 Ñuñoa 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.
- Campus Downtown: Holds the Faculty of Arts, the Faculty of Theatre and the School of Government
- Campus North: Holds the University's Clinic Hospital, the Faculty of Chemical & Pharmaceutical Sciences (Web site), the Faculty of Dentistry (Web site), and the Faculty of Medicine. (Web site)
- Campus Medicine (South): Site of the Barros Luco Trudeau Hospital and the Exequiel González Cortés Children's Hospital.
- Campus Medicine (East): Holds the Salvador Hospital, the Thorax institute, the Luis Tisné Hospital and the Calvo Mackenna Children's Hospital.
- Campus Medicine (Center): Holds the San Borja-Arriarán Hospital.
- Campus Medicine (West): Holds the San Juan de Dios Hospital and the Traumatology Institute.
- Campus Pío Nono: Holds the Faculty of Law. (Web site)
- Campus Beauchef: Holds the Faculty of Physical and Mathematical Sciences and the School of Engineering. (Web site)
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
- Center for Mathematical Modeling (CMM)
- Centre for Space-related Studies, with collaborative activities at NASA, and other international agencies
- Universidad de Chile Theatre
- Institute of Public Affairs (INAP)
- 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.
See also 
- 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.