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The National University of San Marcos (Spanish: Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos, UNMSM) is a public research university in Lima, the capital of Peru. Also known as the University of Peru and the "Dean University of the Americas", it is the first officially established (privilege by Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor) and the oldest continuously operating university in the Americas. Since its foundation, it was commonly referred as the "Royal and Pontifical University of the City of the Kings of Lima" until the Viceroyalty period and as of now, it is referred to as Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos or La Decana de América.
Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos
Latin: The Academy of St. Marcos in the City of Kings in Peru
|Latin: Academia S. Marci Vrbis Regvm in Perv|
|Motto||Universidad del Perú,|
Decana de América
Motto in English
|University of Peru,|
Dean of the Americas
|Established||May 12, 1551|
|Affiliation||Alianza Estratégica |
Unión de Universidades de América Latina y el Caribe
International Association of Universities
Consortium of Universities
|Endowment||PEN S/. 400,732,439 (FY 2013)|
|Rector||Dr. Jeri Ramón Ruffner|
70 hectares (170 acres) (main campus)
It is one of a few Peruvian universities which has managed to rank 1st nationally in several editions of different international university rankings. Its main campus, the University City, is located in Lima. It was chartered on May 12, 1551, by a royal decree signed by Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor, which makes it the oldest officially established university in the Americas. San Marcos has 66 academic-professional schools, organized into 20 faculties, and 6 academic areas. All of the faculties offer undergraduate and graduate degrees. The student body consists of over 30,000 undergraduate and 4,000 graduate students from all the country, as well as some international students. The university has a number of public institutions under its government such as the San Marcos Cultural Center and the Museum of Natural History of Lima.
Notable alumni include Peruvian Nobel laureate Mario Vargas Llosa and twenty-one Peruvian presidents. San Marcos is also recognized for the quality of its curricular contents, a competitive admissions process, as well as for being a center of scientific research. Several Peruvian and Latin American influential thinkers, researchers, scientists, politicians and writers have studied there, which underscores San Marcos' leading role as an educational institution in the history of Peru and the world.
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Once established the viceroyalty after the Spanish conquest of Peru, an educational program known as «Estudios Generales» (General Studies) was founded in 1548 and directed by the Dominican Order inside the Basilica of Santo Domingo, Lima. By teaching arts and theology, its principal aim was to educate officials to be in charge of the administration and the catholic clergy and hence, guarantee the colonial order. In 1550, because of the Cabildo of Lima's initiative, which was a municipal corporation, Dominican predictor Tomás de San Martín and captain Jerónimo de Aliaga were sent to Spain with the mission to ask for the foundation of a university back in Peru. San Marcos was officially established by a royal decree (signed by Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor) in Valladolid on May 12, 1551 and named as The University of Lima. Its activities started officially on January 2, 1553 in the Chapter Room of the same dominican convent and its first rector was friar Juan Bautista de la Roca. Since then, it has operated without interruption; in fact, it is considered the oldest university in the Americas[a] and locally known as the Dean of the Americas ("dean" in the sense of "oldest member").
During its early years, all rectors were dominican priors. However, that situation changed with the election of the first laical rector, Pedro Fernández de Valenzuela, on May 11, 1571. During that time, San Marcos' foundation was ratified through a papal bull given on July 25, 1571 by Pope Pius V; since then, the university added the adjectives Royal and Pontifical to its denomination. Continuing its secularization, in 1574 the university was moved to a new building, which had been worked as the Order of Saint Augustine's Convent. That year, the university chose Mark the Evangelist as its prior saint. Nevertheless, in 1576 it was moved to a building located in "Plaza del Estanque", today known as Plaza Bolívar, Lima, in which it stayed thorough the colonial period and currently functions as the Congress of the Republic of Peru.
Administration and organizationEdit
- The University Council
- The University Assembly (composed of professors and students, with the latter holding a third of the seats)
- The Rector (president)
- Two Vice-Rectors:
- Academic Vice-Rector
- Vice-Rector of investigation
The original faculties at San Marcos were Theology, Arts (the old Scholastic term for what is now known as academic Philosophy) and Law; Jurisprudence, and Medicine were added later in the colonial period. The Faculty of Natural Sciences and the Faculty of Economics and Commerce were created in the mid-19th century. The Faculty of Science was subdivided by specialities in the 20th century. The Faculty of Theology was closed in 1935.
In the mid-1990s, San Marcos' departments were grouped into four academic blocks. Nowadays, San Marcos' faculties are grouped into 6 academic areas.
Libraries and museumsEdit
Throughout its history, the National University of San Marcos has significantly contributed to the scientific development of Peru. Currently, the National University of San Marcos is one of the few Peruvian universities that conducts research – only 10 out of over 80 universities. This is mostly due to the fact the national government has not properly financed research development in the last decades.
Regarding development of research activities of San Marcos, halfway through the 20th century, the Peruvian government issued provisions to place emphasis and create areas of scientific and student-led research. As a result, throughout these years many museums and institutes have been created within San Marcos to promote research in different areas of human knowledge. During the last years of the decade of 1990 and the beginning of 2000, the university renewed its research system through the assignation of specific projects to diverse academic departments.
There are currently over 30 centers, units and institutes of research in San Marcos. Each one of these centers or institutes are grouped according to the academic area where they develop their research, therefore they are categorized in the following general areas: health sciences, basic sciences, engineering, economy-business, and humanities.
According to their area of study, the research centers have specialized museums and laboratories where they develop and display their work. Each institute also has their own publications where they present reports and results of the work of their researchers.
Together with the Cayetano Heredia University and the Pontifical Catholic University of Peru, the National University of San Marcos is one of the only three Peruvian universities, and so far the only public one, which has managed to rank first nationally in several editions of different international university rankings. In 2021, the Webometrics Ranking of World Universities of the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC) ranked the National University of San Marcos as the best university in the country, in its first ranking of the year.
Casona of the National University of San MarcosEdit
San Fernando CampusEdit
Basketball: San Marcos competes in the top league in Lima, the Liga de Basket de Lima.
Notable alumni and academicsEdit
- Mario Vargas Llosa, novelist, Nobel Prize in Literature (2010)
- Miguelina Acosta Cárdenas, first woman to graduate in law
- Santiago Antúnez de Mayolo, engineer and scientist
- José María Arguedas, novelist and anthropologist
- Alberto Andrade Carmona, politician, Mayor of Lima and founder of We Are Peru.
- Alberto Barton, physician and microbiologist
- Jorge Basadre, historian
- Luis Bedoya Reyes, attorney, congressman, Mayor of Lima and founder of the Christian People's Party
- G. E. Berrios, professor of psychiatry at the University of Cambridge
- Bertha Bouroncle, physician
- Violeta Bermúdez, lawyer, activist and diplomat.
- Alfredo Bryce Echenique, novelist
- Carlos Bustamante, biophysicist
- Daniel Alcides Carrión, medical student and pioneer in medical research
- Ramiro Castro de la Mata Caamaño, scientist
- Carlos Manuel Chavez, heart surgeon
- José Santos Chocano, poet
- Antonio Cornejo-Polar, literary critic
- Marco Aurelio Denegri, literary critic, sexologist and television host.
- Luis A. Eguiguren, educator, magistrate, historian and Peruvian politician
- Alan García (LLB), President of Peru in two occasions, member of the American Popular Revolutionary Alliance (APRA)
- Godofredo García, mathematician and engineer
- Víctor Raúl Haya de la Torre, revolutionary thinker, founder of the American Popular Revolutionary Alliance (APRA)
- Cayetano Heredia, physician.
- Martha Hildebrandt, peruvian linguist.
- Elmer Huerta, physician and health communicator.
- Mariano Iberico Rodríguez, philosopher.
- Andy Martínez, athlete and national record.
- Pilar Mazzetti, physician.
- Francisco Miró Quesada Cantuarias, philosopher and logician.
- Óscar Miró Quesada de la Guerra, scientific journalist.
- Carlos Monge Medrano, physician.
- Ciro Gálvez Herrera, lawyer and professor of quechua. Current minister of Culture.
- Bernardo O'Higgins, military officer and first President of Chile
- Valentín Paniagua Corazao, former President of Peru
- Susel Paredes, LGBT rights activist and politician.
- Hugo Pesce, physician and leprosy specialist
- Nicole Pillman (es), singer, songwriter and certified public accountant.
- Manuel Prado Ugarteche, former President of Peru in two occasions
- Laura Esther Rodriguez Dulanto, first female physician in Peru
- Luis Alberto Sánchez, writer and statesman
- Manuel Scorza, novelist
- Ruth Shady, archaeologist and anthropologist
- Alberto Tejada, urologist and soccer referee.
- Gladys Tejeda, long-distance runner
- Julio C. Tello, physician, archaeologist, and anthropologist
- Oscar Ugarte, physician
- Hipólito Unanue, physician
- Abraham Valdelomar, poet and short-story writer
- Carlos Vidal Layseca, physician and professor of medicine.
- Federico Villarreal, scientist and mathematician
- Augusto Weberbauer, German naturalist
- Pedro Zulen, philosopher and librarian
- María Luisa Aguilar, Peruvian astronomer
- Esther Festini, first woman alumni
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