Free University of Colombia

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Universidad Libre
Motto "Scientia Fons Libertatis"
Motto in English
Science source of freedom
Type Private, Coeducational
Established 1890 (1890) (as Republican University of Colombia)
1923 (1923) (as Universidad Libre)
President Jorge Alarcón Niño
Rector Fernando Dejanón Rodríguez
Academic staff
Students 37.159 (2018)
Undergraduates 29.862
Postgraduates 7.297
Campus Urban
Colors Red and Black

Free University of Colombia (Spanish: Universidad Libre), also called Unilibre, is a nonsectarian,[1][2] coeducational, private and nonprofit university based in Bogota, Colombia[3] with six satellite campuses located in Cali, Barranquilla, Pereira, Cartagena, Cucuta y Socorro. It is considered one of Colombia's best universities, receiving a high quality accreditation from the Ministry of Education for 4 years[4] and offers sixty-seven degree programs at the undergraduate level and one hundred sixty-three postgraduates level programs.

Since the original intention of this program was to offer the space for unbiased learning during a radical political period in the country, the proper translation would be Freedom University because it promotes the liberty of expression and political thoughts.

The university is a member of the Association of Colombian Universities (ASCUN)[5] and the Iberoamerican University Network Universia.[6]


The Universidad Libre was established in 1890 as Universidad Republicana (Republican University of Colombia) by the Colegio Académico.[7] In 1910, Universidad Republicana went through terrible economic mishaps. A group of investors determined to save the institution led by Don Eugenio Lopez, proceeded to try to amass the necessary funds to keep the institution alive. On April 13, 1912 Universidad Republicana S.A. was constituted as a society but its commercial name was Universidad libre. In 1913 after many legal battles, Universidad Libre became an independent entity from Universidad Republicana.[8]

Now constituted as a separate entity, Universidad Libre was once again facing economic issues with many of the contributors withdrawing their funds. Cesar J. Rodriguez was in charge of the dawning task of yet again raising capital for the institution. Mr. Rodriguez hired the seasoned and charismatic leader Benjamin Herrera as head of the project. Mr Herrera was in charge of Universidad Libre until 1921 when he ran an unsuccessful presidential campaign against Pedronel Ospina. The defeated Mr Herrera finally raised the desired amount of capital in 1922 and Julio Cesar Rodriguez announced on March 29, 1922 the beginning of activities.

It was not until February 13, 1923 that Universidad Libre actually started classes, in the first faculty dedicated to Law and science.


Libre's alumni include a vast range of prominent individuals in the history of the country and the region, with the following list representative:


  1. ^ "Nonsectarian - Definition of nonsectarian by Merriam-Webster".
  2. ^ Ochoa Moreno, Benjamín. "Declaración sobre el laicismo". Retrieved 8 November 2010.
  3. ^ Universidad Libre, Sala General. "Acuerdo Nro. 01 de 1994". Retrieved 8 November 2010.
  4. ^ Republic of Colombia, Ministry of National Education (22 August 2016). "Por medio de la cual se otorga la acreditación institucional de alta calidad a la Universidad Libre". Autor (Resolución 16892).
  5. ^ "Universidades Asociadas - Asociación Colombiana de Universidades ASCUN" (in Spanish). Retrieved December 19, 2011.
  6. ^ "Universidades iberoamericanas socias de Universia" (in Spanish). Retrieved December 19, 2011.
  7. ^ Rueda J., Manuel Antonio (April 1890). "La Universidad Republicana". El Educacionista. Segunda (1). Bogotá: Eustacio A. Escovar. pp. 7–10. Retrieved 2017-12-13.
  8. ^ Republic of Colombia, General Archive of the Nation (1913). "Escritura Pública 1182". Protocolo del año 1913. Tomo 4. pp. 421–432.

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Coordinates: 4°35′43″N 74°04′32″W / 4.59528°N 74.07556°W / 4.59528; -74.07556