University of Chile

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
"Universidad de Chile" redirects here. For the football club, see Club de Fútbol Universidad de Chile.
University of Chile
Universidad de Chile
Shield of Universidad de Chile
Established 17 September 1842 (Real Universidad de San Felipe founded in 1747)
Type Public
President Ennio Vivaldi
Academic staff
3.523 (2004)
Undergraduates 23,400
Postgraduates 4,108
Location Santiago, RM, Chile
Campus Antumapu (La Pintana, Santiago)
Beauchef (Santiago)
Juan Gómez Millas (Ñuñoa, Santiago)
Norte (Independencia, Santiago)
Andrés Bello (Providencia, Santiago
Mascot Owl
Faculty of Economics and Business Tecnoaulas Building at night
School of Engineering Entrance. The Bello orthography used in it was developed by Andrés Bello, the university's first rector
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 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 Chilean presidents 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[edit]

Andrés Bello

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 a Venezuelan poet and humanist, 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[edit]

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. Some faculties, as the one located in avenida Portugal and which now belongs to the Universidad Mayor, were privatized and sold at bargain prices to Pinochet cronies.

These changes were orchestrated by influential advisors to the dictatorship as a way to moderate the University's influence on the nation's politics, economics, public policies and intellectual movements, considered leftist by Augusto Pinochet and other right-wing government officials.

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[citation needed].

Colleges and campuses[edit]

The University has 16 faculties distributed in 13 campuses:


  • President: Highest authority and legal representative.
  • University Senate: Council with normative and strategic guidelines functions.
  • University Council: Collegiate Council with an executive character. Composed by the President, the Provost, the Deans, three faculty members and two members appointed by the President of the Republic.
  • Evaluation Council: Coordinates the evaluation, qualification and accreditation processes at the institutional and the individual level.

Related institutions and services[edit]

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.

Notable Alumni[edit]

Presidents of Chile[edit]

See also[edit]


External links[edit]