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Inquiring minds take the social initiative

Article - November 29, 2013
PUCP's social responsibility, cultural contributions and institutional and academic leadership have made it a much sought-after institution by both students and international collaborators
Founded in Lima in 1917 as Peru’s first non-profit private institution of higher learning, the Pontificia Universidad Catolica del Peru (PUCP) is the nation’s oldest and most prestigious private university. Its academic excellence, research, infrastructure and the reputation of its alumni and publications have made it a highly esteemed institution among all Peruvian universities. 
It offers 44 undergraduate programs, 106 masters degrees and 15 doctorates, as well as 78 distance learning programs, and has 345 academic agreements with foreign universities. “PUCP is a university with international standards and accreditations, dedicated to research and teaching,” says Dr. Marcial Rubio Correa, Rector of PUCP.
Outside the main campus in San Miguel, Lima, PUCP complements its academic programs with 29 centers and institutes specializing in the study of a variety of disciplines and research, such as foreign languages, the environment, industrial automation and human rights. 
Its prestigious Centrum Catolica Business School, for example, offers various professional and managerial Masters programs, both campus-based and on line, as well as Peru’s first international MBA that gives a simultaneous degree, taught in Centrum and the Maastricht School of Management. Among many other accolades, Centrum is also the first school in Peru to earn AACSB International Accreditation – a hallmark of excellence earned by less than 5% of the world’s business schools. 
With regard to social responsibility, the university has a wide variety of far-reaching programs on the go. For example, it has a major project in areas of Chincha that were affected by the 2007 earthquake that hit Peru. When it happened, the entire university reacted. Examples of student and faculty involvement include a geographical group that began mapping out seismic risk in the area, while other groups focused on activities for children. Psychology students decided to start working on the mental health effects of the catastrophe, as people had “not only lost their homes, but with that they lost the sense of a future for their lives.” 
"At PUCP, all our teaching methods are bang up to date;
it cannot be just listen and repeat. The market
demands problem solvers”

Dr. Marcial Rubio Correa,
Rector of the Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú (PUCP)
The combined efforts of the university reflect the importance of social responsibility that runs throughout the institution, as it aims to provide its students with a holistic, integral education that embraces human as well as academic development. 
“We also have a unit for low-cost renewable energies, especially for remote places with no electric service. Our engineers create systems to produce energy with accumulators based on wind or hydraulic energy, so they serve to offer electricity, communication, etc.” says Dr. Rubio, who adds that the university works hard to promote inclusion in education. “We have some programs to offer scholarships for poor people, the Dintilhac Fund, named after our founder. Today we have more than 300 students with integral scholarships.”  
The rector first came to PUCP as a student in 1965. Having spent seven years as a student and 40 years as a professor there, he has seen it open up access to education and evolve Peruvian teaching styles. 
“At PUCP, all our teaching methods are bang up to date; it cannot be just listen and repeat. The market demands problem solvers,” he says. “Teaching must be based on problems. This is a modernization process that is more evident in certain universities, and more evident in parts of our university. With the internet, information is universal, so you do not have to travel to London to know how they are teaching there. When you come here, you feel the energy of the students eager to learn.”