University of Concepción

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University of Concepción
Universidad de Concepción
Escudo udec.gif
Motto Por el desarrollo libre del espíritu.
Motto in English
For the free development of the spirit.
Type Private (with State contributions)
Established May 14, 1919
Budget US$66 million
Rector Sergio Lavanchy Merino
Academic staff
Students 23,130
Postgraduates 1,597
Location Concepción, Región del Biobío,  Chile
Campus Urban
Colors Blue and yellow         
Sports University of Concepción F.C.

The University of Concepción (Spanish: Universidad de Concepción), also known by its acronym UDEC, is a private-law Chilean traditional university in Concepción, Chile. It is the third oldest and one of the most prestigious universities in Chile.[1]

It was the first university founded in the south of Chile, and the first to become a private-law corporation. In addition, it belongs to the Southern Cross University Network (in Spanish: Red Universitaria Cruz del Sur) and has additional campuses in the cities of Chillán and Los Ángeles.

The QS University Ranking 2012 ranks the University of Concepción as the ninth best in Latin America. The 2011 CSIC University Ranking named it as the second best in Chile and 19th best in Latin America, while business magazine America Economía's 2010 SIR Iberoamerican Ranking rates it as the nation’s number three university.


Sculpture in honor of the founders of the University at the University Forum.


In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, many scholars from Concepción started to plead for the construction of a university for the south of Chile where it would be possible to study professional degrees outside the capital, Santiago. However, a project of this magnitude required a high level of organization, which as yet did not exist. In February 1917, the newspaper El Sur reported:

The idea of creating a university cannot yet be possible because of "the lack of organization of those who want to create it".

— Diario El Sur, 1917.

Committee Pro-University[edit]

On March 23, 1917, the first official meeting took place to realise two dreams of the citizens of Concepción: a clinical hospital and a university.

After debate, a committee was named to take charge of the construction of these two projects. The projects were closely related because the hospital would become the base of the new university's medical school. Some notable members of the committee included Enrique Molina Garmendia, Pedro Nolasco, Edmundo Larenas and Virginio Gómez.


The commission then presented the documentation to Congress that would officially create the university. These were sent and approved, and on May 14, 1919, Enrique Molina Garmendia founded the university and became its first rector.

Nowadays, the university is funded by various organisations belonging to the "University of Concepción Corporation". The Lottery is one of the main organisations. With this funding, the University of Concepción has become one of the most modern and important universities in Chile.


The University of Concepción is divided into three campuses, located in Chillán, Los Ángeles and Concepción. The latter is the main and most important campus.

Concepción Campus[edit]

The Arc of Medicine, at the entrance of the Concepción Campus

The university is located in the University District. The whole campus comprises what is known as the Ciudad Universitaria (University City), which also contains museums, sculptures and parks. Today, the campus has an area of 1,425,000 m2, of which 239,856 are built upon. It is the knowledge, science, culture, technology and research centre of the city of Concepción. The Presencia de América Latina mural by Jorge González Camarena is within the Casa del Arte on the university campus.

In 2010, the University of Concepción campus was named one of Chile’s most important architectural works from the first half of the 20th century. The "Obra Bicentenario" award distinguishes works that, in the last 100 years, have changed the face of Chile’s cities and most improved the quality of life of its inhabitants.

A gift from the Mexican government in the 1960s, the famous artist Jorge González Camarena created this remarkable mural recounting the unity between Latin American peoples and cultures thorughout the long history of the continent.[2]

Chillán Campus[edit]

The Chillán campus was founded in 1955 with the support of many institutions such as the United Nations, the OAS, American and European universities, and others. It mainly focuses on agricultural sciences and has approximately 2,000 students, more than 100 academic staff and 250 administrative staff | |.

Los Ángeles Campus[edit]

The Los Ángeles campus was founded in 1962 at the request of the people of the province to the university rector, David Stitchkin Branover. Currently, it has 1,300 students and 35 full-time teachers, plus other part-time academic staff.

Schools and Departments[edit]

The University of Concepción is made up of 19 schools and departments:

  • Department of Agronomy.
  • Department of Architecture, Urban Planning and Geography.
  • Department of Biological Sciences.
  • School of Economics and Business Administration.
  • Department of Physical Sciences and Mathematics.
  • Department of Forestry.
  • School of Law and Social Sciences.
  • Department of Natural and Oceanographic Sciences.
  • Department of Chemical Sciences.
  • Department of Social Sciences.
  • School of Veterinary Science.
  • School of Education.
  • Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry.
  • School of Humanities and Arts.
  • Department of Engineering.
  • Department of Agricultural Engineering.
  • School of Medicine.
  • School of Dentistry.
  • School of Pharmacy.
  • School of Environmental Sciences


The university's current rector is Sergio Lavanchy. The university belongs to the Council of Rectors of Traditional Chilean Universities. The rectors that have directed the university have been:

Rector Period
Enrique Molina Garmendia 1919–1956
David Stitchkin Branover 1956–1962
Ignacio González Ginouvés 1962–1968
David Stitchkin Branover 1968
Edgardo Enríquez Frödden 1969–1972
Carlos Von Plessing Baentsch 1973
Guillermo González Bastias 1973–1975
Heinrich Rochna Viola 1975–1980
Guillermo Clericus Etchegoyen 1980–1987
Carlos Von Plessing Baentsch 1987–1990
César Augusto Parra Muñoz 1990–1997
Sergio Lavanchy Merino 1998 -

See also[edit]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ "Universidad de Concepción". Top Universities. Retrieved 9 February 2017. 
  2. ^ Short documentary about the Mural "Presencia de América Latina", released on January 18, 2014, retrieved on February 18, 2014

Coordinates: 36°49′42″S 73°02′14″W / 36.82833°S 73.03722°W / -36.82833; -73.03722