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Universidad de Santiago de Chile


Universidad de Santiago de Chile

Universidad de Santiago de Chile
Motto Labor Lætitia Nostra (Latin)
Motto in English Work is Our Joy
Established June 21, 1849 (EAO)
April 9, 1947 (UTE)
March 21, 1981 (USACH)
Type Public
Rector Juan Manuel Zolezzi
Academic staff 2762
Undergraduates 18,155
Postgraduates 931
Location Santiago, RM, Chile
Campus Urban (340,000 m²)
Majors 55
Mascot Lion

The University of Santiago, Chile (Usach) (Spanish: Universidad de Santiago de Chile) is one of the oldest public universities in Chile. The institution was born as Escuela de Artes y Oficios (Spanish School of Arts & Crafts) in 1849, under the government of Manuel Bulnes. It became Universidad Técnica del Estado (Spanish Technical University of the State) in 1947, with various campuses throughout the country. In 1981, as a consequence of a reform on higher education under the dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet, it became what is now known as Universidad de Santiago de Chile, with all activities centered in a single 340,000 m² campus in the capital Santiago.


The University of Santiago of Chile (USACH) was created in 1849. It is one of oldest traditional universities in Chile. The university was originally the "School of Arts and Crafts" which was founded in 1849 during the Manuel Bulnes Prieto rule. Later during the presidency of Gabriel González Videla through the DFL Decree No. 1831 of April 9, 1947, the School of Arts and Crafts was joined with the School of Mining in Copiapó (1857), La Serena (1887) and Antofagasta (1918), with the Industrial Design Schools (1905) in Temuco (1916) and Valdivia (1934), with the Industrial Engineering Schools in Santiago (1940) and with the Technical Education Institute. Together these formed the Technical State University (Universidad Técnica del Estado, UTE). The unifying of the different school resulted in it becoming the best Chilean university in the area of applied engineering and industrial technician training. In 1952 the first statute that allowed the grouping to begin functioning as a university in legal, administrative and academic terms, was enacted. Its first president was Don Octavio Valenzuela Lazo (12 March 1952 to March 12, 1953). Academic activity remained in the hands of the four Faculty Councils under the tuition of the University Council. During the 1960s, the DFL No. 2, 1971, allowed for the enacting of a second organizational statute, which allowed the University to be organized through offices, colleges, departments, and all academic structures that the board would deem appropriate.

In 1968 due to the University Reform of 1967-1973, Enrique Kirberg Baltiansky assumed the rectory, the only university rector fully elected by faculty and students.

In 1971, during the government of Salvador Allende, Revised Statutes of the Universidad Técnica del Estado were approved. During the 1973 coup, Kirberg was removed from his post and imprisoned by the military regime, the statute previously approved was declared void, and new guidelines were reformulated with appointments done entirely by the military regime.

In 1981, the military regime through the DFL Decree No. 23 of March 21, 1981, divided the headquarters of the State Technical University, giving rise to new universities and professional institutes. Steps were taken to form the headquarters into the University of Santiago de Chile. The other sites became separately named universities such as the University of Atacama, the University of Antofagasta, the University of Serena, the Professional Institute of Talca (later transformed into the University of Talca), the University of the Bío-Bío, the University of La Frontera, the Professional Institute of Osorno (subsequently transformed into the University of Lagos), the Professional Institute of Valdivia (later integrated in 1988 into the Southern University of Chile) and the Magellan Professional Institute (later transformed into the University of Magallanes). The University of Santiago de Chile, near the University of Atacama and the University of Magallanes are the only heirs of the traditional State Technical University, because at the time of the dissolution and the creation of the new universities in 1981, the headquarters (Santiago), Copiapó and Punta Arenas, were not integrated with other university offices. The headquarters is located where the old School of Arts and Crafts used to be in the municipality of Estación Central. One of its symbols is the planetarium built in the 1980s.


The university houses over 18,000 undergraduate students in 55 different majors, in the following faculties:

Notable alumni

  • Victor Jara, musician, theatre director, social activist, academic.
  • Sergio Campos, journalist, National Prize in Journalism 2011.
  • Carlos Caszely, former football player. Journalism graduate.
  • Santiago González, civil engineer, former minister of Mining.
  • Enrique Kirberg, electrical engineer and academic, former rector of the university.
  • Sergio Lavanchy, civil engineer, rector of the University of Concepción.
  • Andrés Molina, civil engineer, intendant of Araucanía Region.
  • Luis Riveros, professor of History and Geography, former rector of the University of Chile.
  • Karla Rubilar, doctor of medicine, current deputy in Chile's lower chamber of Congress.
  • Ernesto Schiefelbein, professor and economist, former minister of Education. Teaching graduate.

External links

  • Official web site

Coordinates: 33°27′S 70°41′W / 33.450°S 70.683°W / -33.450; -70.683

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