Unam

"University of Mexico" redirects here. For the earlier institution with this name, see Royal and Pontifical University of Mexico .
"UNAM" redirects here. For other uses, see UNAM (disambiguation).
National Autonomous University of Mexico
Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México
Official seal
Motto Por mi raza hablará el espíritu
Motto in English For my race the spirit shall speak .
Established

22 September 1910[1][2][3][4][5]

[6]
Type Public university
Endowment US$2.4 billion (2012)[7]
Academic staff 36,750 (As of 2012)[8]
Students 324,413 (2011–2012 academic year)[8]
Undergraduates 187,195 (As of 2012)[8]
Postgraduates 26,169 (As of 2012)[8]
Location

Mexico City, Mexico
19°19′44″N 99°11′14″W / 19.32889°N 99.18722°W / 19.32889; -99.18722Coordinates: 19°19′44″N 99°11′14″W / 19.32889°N 99.18722°W / 19.32889; -99.18722

Campus Urban, 7.3 km2 (2.8 sq mi), main campus only
Colors Blue and gold         
Athletics 41 varsity teams[9]
Mascot Cougar
Website

The Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM) (National Autonomous University of Mexico) is a university in Mexico.[8] UNAM was founded on 22 September 1910 by Justo Sierra[1][2][3][4] as a liberal alternative to the Roman Catholic-sponsored Royal and Pontifical University of Mexico (founded on 21 September 1551 by a royal decree of Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor and brought to a definitive closure in 1867 by the liberals).[10] UNAM's autonomy, granted in 1929, has given it the freedom to define its own curriculum and manage its own budget without interference from the government. This has had a profound effect on academic life at the university, which some claim boosts academic freedom and independence.[11]

The UNAM generates a number of different publications in diverse areas, such as mathematics, physics and history. It is also the only university in Mexico with Nobel Prize laureates among its alumni: Alfonso García Robles (Peace), Octavio Paz (Literature), and Mario Molina (Chemistry).

Besides being one of the most recognized universities in Latin America, it is one of the largest and the most artistically detailed. Its main campus is a World Heritage site that was designed by some of Mexico's best-known architects of the 20th century. Murals in the main campus were painted by some of the most recognized artists in Mexican history such as Diego Rivera and David Alfaro Siqueiros.

History

The university was founded on 22 September 1910 by Justo Sierra,[1][2][3][4] then Minister of Education in the Porfirio Díaz regime, who sought to create a very different institution from its 19th-century precursor, the Royal and Pontifical University of Mexico, which had been founded on 21 September 1551 by a royal decree signed by Crown Prince Phillip on behalf of Charles I of Spain[12] and brought to a definitive closure in 1867 by Benito Juárez and his fellow Liberals.[10] Instead of reviving what he saw as an anachronistic institution with strong ties to the Roman Catholic Church,[13] he aimed to create a new university, secular in nature and national in scope, that could reorganize higher education within the country, serve as a model of positivism and encompass the ideas of the dominant Mexican liberalism.[2]

The project initially unified the Fine Arts, Business, Political Science, Jurisprudence, Engineering, Medicine, Normal, and the National Preparatory schools;[14] its first rector was Joaquin Eguía y Lis.[15]

The new university's challenges were mostly political, due to the ongoing Mexican Revolution and the fact that the federal government had direct control over the university's policies and curriculum; some resisted its establishment on philosophical grounds. This opposition led to disruptions in the function of the university when political instability forced resignations in the government, including that of President Díaz. Internally, the first student strike occurred in 1912 to protest examination methods introduced by the director of the School of Jurisprudence, Luis Cabrera. By July of that year, a majority of the law students decided to abandon the university and join the newly created Free School of Law.[15]

In 1914 initial efforts to gain autonomy for the university failed.[15] In 1920, José Vasconcelos became rector. In 1921, he created the school's coat-of-arms: the image of an eagle and a condor surrounding a map of Latin America, from Mexico's northern border to Tierra del Fuego, and the motto, "The Spirit shall speak for my race". Efforts to gain autonomy for the university continued in the early 1920s. In the mid-1920s, a second wave of student strikes opposed a new grading system. The strikes included major classroom walkouts in the law school and confrontation with police at the medical school. The striking students were supported by many professors and subsequent negotiations eventually led to autonomy for the university. The institution was no longer a dependency of the Secretariat of Public Education; the university rector became the final authority, eliminating much of the confusing overlap in authority.[16]


In 1943 initial decisions were made to move the university from the various buildings it occupied in the city center to a new and consolidated university campus; the new Ciudad Universitaria (lit. University City) would be in San Ángel, to the south of the city.[17] The first stone laid was that of the faculty of Sciences, the first building of Ciudad Universitaria. President Miguel Alemán Valdés participated in the ceremony on 20 November 1952. The University Olympic Stadium was inaugurated on the same day. In 1957 the Doctorate Council was created to regulate and organize graduate studies.[18]

Another major student strike, again over examination regulations, occurred in 1966. Students invaded the rectorate and forced the rector to resign. The Board of Regents did not accept this resignation, so the professors went on strike, paralyzing the university and forcing the Board's acceptance. In the summer, violent outbreaks occurred on a number of the campuses of the University-affiliated preparatory schools; police took over a number of high school campuses, with injuries. During August 1968, protests formed on the main campus against the police actions on the main campus and in the center of the city. The protests grew into a student movement that demanded the resignation of the police chief, among other things. More protests followed in September, gaining frequency and numbers. During a meeting of the student leaders, the army fired on the Chihuahua building in Tlatelolco, where the student organization supposedly was. They also fired on the crowd that was outside, with many dead, wounded and detained. Protests continued after that. Only ten days later, the 1968 Olympic Games opened at the University Stadium. The University was shut down for the duration. Finally, some progress was made toward restoring order.[19]

The 1970s and 1980s saw the opening of satellite campuses in other parts of Mexico and nearby areas, to decentralize the system. There were some minor student strikes, mostly concerning grading and tuition.[20][21] The last major student strike at the university occurred in 1999–2000 when students shut down the campus for almost a year to protest a proposal to charge students the equivalent of US$150 per semester for those who could afford it. Referendums were held by both the university and the strikers, but neither side accepted the others' results. Acting on a judge's order, the police stormed the buildings held by strikers on 7 February 2000, putting an end to the strike.[22][23][24]

In 2009 the university was awarded the Prince of Asturias Award for Communication and Humanities[25] and began the celebration of its centennial anniversary with several activities that will last until 2011.[26]

Campuses

University City

Main article: Ciudad Universitaria

"Ciudad Universitaria" (University City) is UNAM's main campus, located within the Coyoacán borough in the southern part of Mexico City. It was designed by architects Mario Pani, Enrique del Moral, Domingo García Ramos, Armando Franco Rovira, Ernesto Gómez Gallardo and others, and it encloses the Estadio Olímpico Universitario, about 40 faculties and institutes, the Cultural Center, an ecological reserve, the Central Library, and a few museums. It was built during the 1950s on an ancient solidified lava bed to replace the scattered buildings in downtown Mexico City, where classes were given. It was completed in 1954, and is almost a separate region within Mexico City, with its own regulations, councils, and police (to some extent), in a more fundamental way than most universities around the world.

In June 2007, its main campus, Ciudad Universitaria, was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.[27]

Satellite campuses

Apart from Ciudad Universitaria, UNAM has several campuses in the Gatineau, Quebec.


Museums and buildings of interest

Palacio de Minería


Under the care of UNAM's Engineering Faculty, the Colonial Palace of Mining is located in the historical center of Mexico City. Formerly the School of Engineering, it has three floors, and hosts the International Book Expo ("Feria Internacional del Libro" or "FIL") and the International Day of Computing Security Congress ("DISC"). It also has a permanent exhibition of historical books, mostly topographical and naturalist works of 19th century Mexican scientists, in the former library of the School of Engineers. It also contains several exhibitions related to mining, the prime engineering occupation during the Spanish colonization. It is considered to be one of the most significant examples of Mexican architecture of its period, conceived by Manuel Tolsa during de Spanish colonial rule in a neoclassical style (18th century).

Casa del Lago

The House of the Lake, in Chapultepec Park, is a place devoted to cultural activities, including dancing, theatre, and ballet. It also serves as meeting place for university-related organizations and committees.

Museum of San Ildefonso

Main article: San Ildefonso College

This museum and cultural center is considered to be the birthplace of the Mexican muralism movement.[28][29] San Ildefonso began as a prestigious Jesuit boarding school, and after the Reform War, it gained educational prestige again as National Preparatory School, which was closely linked to the founding of UNAM. This school, and the building, closed completely in 1978, then reopened as a museum and cultural center in 1994, administered jointly by UNAM, the National Council for Culture and Arts and the government of the Federal District of Mexico City. The museum has permanent and temporary art and archaeological exhibitions, in addition to the many murals painted on its walls by José Clemente Orozco, Diego Rivera and others.[30][31] The complex is located between San Ildefonso Street and Justo Sierra Street in the historic center of Mexico City .[28]

Chopo University Museum

Main article: Chopo University Museum

The Chopo University Museum possesses an artistic architecture, large crystal panels and two iron towers designed by Gustave Eiffel. It opened with part of the collection of the now-defunct Public Museum of Natural History, Archeology and History, which eventually became the National Museum of Cultures.[32] It served the National Museum of Natural History for almost 50 years, and is now devoted to the temporary exhibitions of visual arts.

National Astronomical Observatory

The National Astronomical Observatory is located in the Sierra San Pedro Mártir mountain range in Baja California, about 130 km south of United States-Mexican border. It has been in operation since 1970, and it currently has three large reflecting telescopes.

Organization



UNAM is organized in (National Preparatory School), and the Colegio de Ciencias y Humanidades (CCH)

Faculties and national schools

UNAM recognizes two different types of university schools: faculties and national schools. Only faculties have postgraduate studies. Currently, most of the schools, either inside or outside the University City, have this title. A national school is an institution that cannot offer all postgraduate studies (Master's degrees and Doctorates). This is the case of the National School of Music, the National School of Arts, the National School of Nursery and Obstetrics, and the National School of Social Work.[33]

List of faculties, national schools, and institutes

Academics

Rankings

According to the 2009 THES - QS World University Rankings, the University is the 190th best-ranked university in the world and the second best in Ibero-America.[34] According to the 2008 Academic Ranking of World Universities, developed by the Institute of Higher Education of Shanghai Jiao Tong University, UNAM is ranked in the 152–200 tier,[35] and holds second place among Ibero-American universities in a tie between the University of Buenos Aires and Brazilian University, below the University of São Paulo (101–151 tier).[35] The university was also ranked joint 169th with University of São Paulo in the 2011 QS World University Rankings.[36]

Research


UNAM has excelled in many areas of research and houses many of Mexico's premiere research institutions. In recent years, it has attracted students and hired professional scientists from all over the world, most notably from Russia, India, and the United States, creating a unique and diverse scientific community.

Scientific research at UNAM is divided between faculties, institutes, centers and schools, and covers a range of disciplines in Latin America. Some of the more noted institutes include: the Institute of Astronomy, the Institute of Biotechnology, the Institute of Nuclear Sciences, the Institute of Ecology, the Institute of Physics, the Institute of Cell Physiology, the Institute of Geophysics, the Institute of Engineering, the Institute of Materials Research, the Institute of Chemistry, the Institute of Biomedical Sciences, and the Applied Mathematics and Systems Research Institute.

Research centers tend to focus on multidisciplinary problems particularly relevant to Mexico and the developing world, most notably, the Center of Applied Sciences and Technological Development, which focuses on connecting the sciences to real-world problems (e.g., optics, nanosciences), and Center of Energy Research, which conducts world-class research in alternative energies.

All research centers are open to students from around the world. The UNAM holds a number of programs for students within the country, using scientific internships to encourage research in the country.

UNAM's scientific output continues to grow; despite numerous attempts by the Mexican government to curtail its budget, the University currently produces 60% of all scientific publications in Mexico.

As for basic sciences, UNAM currently has two Howard Hughes Medical Institute Scholars and an endowment from the NIH extramural research program.

Students and faculty

Sports, clubs, and traditions

Professional football club


UNAM's football club, Club Universidad Nacional, participates in the Primera División de México of the Mexican Liga MX. The club recently became two-time consecutive champions of the Apertura, and the Clausura in 2004. Their home ground is the Estadio Olímpico Universitario.

Cultural traditions

The University has as an annual tradition to make a large display of Day of the Dead offerings (Spanish: ofrenda) all over the main square of Ciudad Universitaria. Each school builds an offering, and in the center, there is usually a large offering made according to a theme corresponding to the festivities of the University for that year.[37]

Political activism

UNAM students and professors are regarded throughout Mexico as politically aware and politically active. While most of its students usually adhere to left-wing political ideologies and movements, the University has also borne a number of prominent right-wing and neoliberal politicians, such as Carlos Salinas de Gortari and Manuel Gómez Morín.

Student associations

The UNAM contains several associations of current students and alumni that provide extra-curricular activities to the whole community, enriching the University's activities with cultural, social, and scientific events.

Noted alumni

See also Category:National Autonomous University of Mexico alumni

Many of the most prominent figures in the economical, political, scientific, and artistic life in Mexico were members of the UNAM alumni or faculty:

Heads of state

Politicians

Diplomats

Artists, writers, and humanists

Physicians and surgeons

Scientists

Businesspeople

Athletes

  • Hugo Sánchez (one of Mexico's most acknowledged football players; Real Madrid legend and former Mexican National football team and Almeria manager)
  • María Eugenia "Cuca" Huerta (one of Mexico's top female football flag players and multiple champion at local and international leagues)

Noted faculty

See also Category:National Autonomous University of Mexico faculty

See also

  • XHUNAM-TV ("Teveunam", UNAM's educational and cultural television channel)
  • DGSCA (Dirección General de Servicios de Cómputo Académico, Hub of Computer Sciences/Engineering in UNAM)

References

External links

  • Leon Campus

This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and USA.gov, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for USA.gov and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
 
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
 
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.