LIMA, PERU--(Marketwired - April 20, 2017) - Like great institutions, the Pontifical Catholic University of Peru was born from a dream and overcame obstacles. Since the beginning of the 20th century the idea to found a superior educational institution with Catholic foundations in Peru had matured in religious circles.
At the Plenary Council of Latin America, convoked by Pope Leo XIII in Rome in 1899, the Latin American bishops raised the importance of promoting Catholic education at all levels and of installing higher education centers throughout the countries in the region. Thus, in 1888, the first Catholic university in South America was founded in Chile. Then, in 1910 the Catholic University of Argentina started to function. In Peru, the initiative was undertaken by a group of laymen and together with priest Jorge Dintilhac, succeeded in the project of founding a Catholic university. March 24, 1917 was the publication date of the Supreme Decree authorizing his opening. From the beginning, the university was registered as a private law legal person/entity, and then, as a non-profit civil association. The first private university in Peru started.
The university started with two faculties: Letters and Jurisprudence. Aesthetics was the first class that was given the morning of April 10, which was attended by nine students in an environment of La Recoleta School in Plaza Francia, located in Downtown Lima. This was the first place where the university worked. The first General Regulation indicated that its aims were to provide a humanistic, Christian and professional education, as well as to promote scientific research. From the beginning it was announced as a service vocation to the community, aimed at achieving a fair society.
In 1942, when the university turned 25, Pope Pius XII conferred on him the honorary tittle of Pontificia, "with all the privileges of which such institutions enjoy juridically". José de la Riva-Agüero y Osma legacy, one of the greatest Peruvian intellectuals of the past century and the benefactor of the PUCP, was able to use the great grounds of Pando Fund in San Miguel district, located in the northwestern portion of Lima. There, in 1954 began the campus construction. Today the faculties, academic departments and services of the university are located in 42 hectares.
The PUCP is broadening and changing how they teach and do research according to social changes and country needs, following ethical principles and Catholic values. This is the identity force of our institution, dedicated to have complete formation for people: high academic level and knowledge creation with humanistic perspective.
In our daily life, the Catholic spirit always remains in the different activities. An essential part of the university is the Catholic character. It is kept alive at different levels: institutional and academic. All faculties' courses are linked to faith and religion. The same ones that are prepared by the Department of Theology, whose teachers are priests and committed lay people who participate actively in the academic life. The Institutional Relations Office with the Church is responsible for reaffirming the Catholic presence in university life. Also, since its founding in 1977, the University Pastoral Counseling Center has brought the university community closer to Catholic life through daily masses, sacraments preparation and missions in marginal places of the country. They are offering spiritual support and educational seminars.
Throughout its history, PUCP promoted research as an essential activity, generating new knowledge as an indispensable tool for the development of the Peruvian society. Applied and interdisciplinary research is developed in academic departments, faculties, centers and specialized institutes through stimulus programs for researchers, students and teachers.
One of the greatest scientific university achievements was in 2013 with the launching into space of the first two Peruvian satellites developed by the Institute of Radio Astronomy from our university. This was possible thanks to an interdisciplinary effort of teachers and students who put into orbit the Pocket-PUCP and PUCP-Sat 1. It was recognized by the National Aerospace Research and Development Commission as the first Peruvian satellites in space.
Since early years of the 21st century, PUCP established itself as the most prestigious institution in higher education in Peru and one of the best university in the continent. According to QS World University Rankings 2016-2017, PUCP ranks among the 500 best universities in the world and is the only Peruvian university in that range. At the regional level, PUCP is ranked 21st in Latin America. This ranking evaluates criteria such as academic reputation, research cited, number of international students and professors.
Currently, the PUCP community has more than 22 thousand students undergraduate level and 6 thousand postgraduate students. The university has 11 Faculties, 15 academic departments, 49 undergraduate degrees, 76 postgraduate programs, 13 doctoral programs, diplomas, virtual education, continuing education, 38 specialized centers and institutes. Academics and exchange agreements with national and international universities.
In the 100 years of institutional life, thousands of highly competent professionals graduated from our classrooms and appreciated knowledge and human qualities. The successive generations of graduates who have excelled in many areas of national life (including business, political, cultural, scientific, artistic and religion) have always been committed to the development of our country.