Although it was over a century ago that the institution took its first steps, it was at the beginning of the 1960s that the university became more prominent. It started when a group of outstanding graduates from the fields of science and economics, who were and are still Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile (PUC-Chile) professors, went abroad to study PhDs. On their return, they were given the opportunity to apply their new knowledge, develop successful research areas, and teach methodologies in the fields of economics, medicine and engineering, making a relevant contribution to what is still the key basis of Chile’s success. “These are huge contributions of the university toward Chile’s development,” says Ignacio Sanchez, rector of PUC-Chile.
These achievements continue to attract the very best Chilean students to PUC-Chile. Yet on top of their excellence in academic terms, they are driven by Catholic principles and the promotion of knowledge through faith, thus creating the perfect launch pad for responsible leaders.
Mr. Sanchez also describes the PUC-Chile as a public-service-oriented, non-state university that develops projects for the country’s benefit. “Public service is demonstrated through teaching in our 18 faculties that range from theology to engineering, all of which strongly value the belief that culture and humanities are essential for a nation’s integral development. We really want to enrich our society.”
With over 25,000 students, PUC-Chile looks towards the future. Placing a strong focus on high quality teaching and advanced research, the university is building new infrastructure, including a 12- story building designed to accommodate technology and innovation research centers, where faculty, students and private institutions will work together and cooperate in order to create new products, services or solutions required by society. This is a pioneering center in Latin America which will combine the academic world’s drive with industry’s needs and ambitions to help Chile reach a fully developed status.
PUC-Chile has hundreds of student-exchange agreements with 45 countries so that its graduates head out into the world and make a strong contribution. “Our engineers who do their doctorates in foreign universities are always in the top 10% of their class. This means we’re doing something well,” comments Mr. Sanchez. PUC has a great story to tell, and an even greater one yet to be written by today’s students.