University of the Andes (Venezuela)
|University of the Andes|
|Universidad de Los Andes|
University of the Andes seal
|Motto||Initium Sapientiae timor domini|
|Established||1810 (Real Universidad de San Buenaventura de Mérida de los Caballeros)|
|Rector||Mario Bonucci Rossini|
|Students||54,000 students (2006)|
|Location||Mérida, Táchira and Trujillo, Venezuela|
|Colors||Blue and White
The University of the Andes (Spanish: Universidad de Los Andes, ULA) is the second-oldest university in Venezuela, whose main campus is located in the city of Mérida, Venezuela. ULA is the largest public university in the Venezuelan Andes, having one of the largest student bodies in the country.
ULA was initially established as a Catholic seminary on March 29, 1785 by the Bishop of Mérida, Friar Juan Ramos de Lora. De Lora called the newly founded house of studies "Real Colegio Seminario de San Buenaventura de Mérida", or Royal Seminary College of San Buenaventura of Mérida. The school was elevated to the status of Royal University of San Buenaventura of Mérida de los Caballeros on September 21, 1810, entitling it to confer junior and senior degrees in Philosophy, Medicine, Civil and Canonical (Catholic) Law, and Theology. Universidad de Los Andes maintained its affiliation with the Catholic Church until 1832, when the president of Venezuela, General José Antonio Páez, passed an act making it a secular institution.
Currently, Universidad de Los Andes operates two campuses in Mérida, with about a dozen faculties spread throughout the city, as well as two satellite campuses in the other Venezuelan Andean states of Tachira and Trujillo.
Universidad de Los Andes offers undergraduate programs in the arts, sciences, literature, and humanities, long and short programs, as well as courses, degrees, post-graduate professional, magisterial and doctoral programs, specializations, diplomas, etc.
Admission to ULA is very competitive and generally mediated through the Venezuelan Oficina de Planeacion del Sector Universitario (OPSU - Office for Higher Education Planning), which oversees grades and standardized tests for all Venezuelan students enrolled in secondary education institutions. ULA lists some of the highest high school academic index (Indice Academico de la OPSU) requirements in Venezuela.
ULA is one of the universities most actively engaged in research in Venezuela, consistently ranking among the top two or three universities in Venezuela across all disciplines. In 2009, ULA was ranked 37th out of the 437 Latin American universities and research institutes evaluated by the Ranking Iberoamericano de Instituciones de Investigacion.
Active graduate research groups include: Kinetics & Catalysis, Polymer Chemistry, Behavioral Physiology, Biotechnology, Enzimology, Parasitology, Citology, Pharmacology, Toxicology, Analytical and Molecular Spectroscopy, Geophysics, Astrophysics, Condensed Matter Physics, Applied and Theoretical Physics, Magnetism of Solids, Urban Environmental Quality, Finance, Entrepreneurial Development, Agricultural Management, Criminology, Comparative Politics, Environmental Geopolitics, International Politics, Ethnography, Linguistics, Semiolinguistics, Phonetics, Gender Studies, Latin American Arts and Literature, Medieval Studies, etc.
Athletic and cultural activities
ULA also houses numerous varsity athletic teams, including soccer, fencing, rhythmic gymnastics, tennis, basketball, swimming, and track and field  and performing arts companies such as Ballet Estable de la ULA, Teatro (Theater) Estable de la ULA, Coral (Choir) Universitaria and Orfeon Universitario. However, ULA's athletic dominance has declined in the past decade.
The Orfeon Universitario Choir has toured Colombia, Spain, Holland, France, and Germany. ULA also hosts annual ballet seasons, a chamber orchestra seasons and numerous theater and music festivals (classical, traditional music, jazz, chant, Christmas) open to the community.
Rectors or University Authorities
- Official website
- ULA TV
- Núcleo Universitario "Alberto Adriani", El Vigía
- Núcleo Universitario "Rafael Rangel", Trujillo
- Núcleo Universitario "Pedro Rincón Gutiérrez", Táchira
- Galería de fotos de la Universidad de Los Andes
- Portal wiki de la Universidad de Los Andes
- Portal del Rectorado
- Laboratorio de Demostraciones de Física (LABDEMFI)
- Puerta a la mayoría de enlaces de la ULA
- Proyecto Alma-Mater (obras de arte en la ULA)
- Agendas del Consejo Universitario de la Universidad de Los Andes
- Oficina de Prensa ULA
- Centro de Atención al Usuario (CAU)