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National University of La Plata

The National University of La Plata is an Argentine national university and the most important one situated in the city of La Plata, capital of Buenos Aires Province. It is among the leading educational institutions in the country, and currently has over 75,000 regular students, 8,000 teaching staff, 16 faculties and 106 available degrees.

UNLP comprises the Rafael Hernandez National College, the Victor Mercante Lyceum, the Bachelor of Fine Arts program, the School of Agronomy, the La Plata University Radio, the La Plata University Press and numerous academic centers for research and outreach including La Plata Museum of Natural Sciences, the University Public Library, the Samay Huasi Retreat for Artists and Writers, the Institute of Physical Education, the Astronomical Observatory and the Santa Catalina Rural Association.

The institution began operations on April 18 1897 as the Universidad Provincial de La Plata with Dr. Dardo Rocha as its rector. In 1905, Joaquin V. Gonzalez, the Minister of Justice and Public Education of the government of Manuel Quintana, decided to nationalize it. Gonzalez also integrated many municipal scientific institutions into the university, and a year later he became the first President of the National University of La Plata. Today the university holds one of the most important paleontological and anthropological collections in South America.


The university coat of arms was adopted at the first university assembly on 14 February 1897. It represents the City of La Plata holding up the "Light of Science". The constellation of the Southern Cross is also featured as well as the coat of arms of the Province of Buenos Aires which is held in the hands of the woman who represents the city. The university emblem is the oak leaf, and its motto "Pro Scientia et Patria" is a Latin phrase meaning For Science and the Motherland.

The university hymn was composed by Carlos Lopez Buchardo, and its lyrics written by Arturo Capdevilla. The hymn premiered on 23 October 1927 in the Teatro Argentino of La Plata to commemorate the centenery of the death of Ludwig van Beethoven. It was performed by the orchestra of the Colon Theater of Buenos Aires under the direction of Adolfo Morpurgo, a professor in the School of Fine Arts.

History of the Universidad Nacional de La Plata


The national capital of Buenos Aires was federalized in 1880. This forced the surrounding Province of Buenos Aires to cede the city, and as a result it was left without the greater part of its institutions. The new provincial capital in La Plata was subsequently founded in 1882 but lacked a center of higher education and investigation. With the purpose of rectifying this situation, the provincial senators Rafael Hernandez, Emilio J. Carranza, Marcelino Aravena, and Valentin Fernandez Blanco presented a bill on 12 June 1889 to create a provincial university in La Plata.

The proposal had immediate repercussions in the city of La Plata. On 13 June, about 150 youths from the National College, the Argentine Institute, and the Literary Society mobilized around the home of Rafael Hernandez, accompanied by a band, in order to display their support.

The law was once and for all passed by the provincial Chamber of Deputies on 27 December 1889 and was enacted as Law Number 233 by the then-governor Maximo Paz on 2 January 1890. The new law established the creation of a university of tertiary studies with four faculties: Law, Medicine, Chemistry and Pharmacy, and Mathematical and Physical Sciences.

The new university was expected to open that same year; however, the governor had not written the corresponding regulatory decree, nor had he even mentioned the issue in his final address to the legislature. Due to this delay, a group of local citizens presented a request to the Ministry of Government on 5 May 1891 declaring their intentions that their children study law in La Plata. However, the file on that request was closed in 1893. On 28 May 1894, a similar request was presented to the new governor Guillermo Udaondo, insisting on the full completion of Law 233. Despite a favourable report made by the Consultancy Office of the government on 28 July of that year, the Ministry of Economy and Government did not advance on the determination of expenses or assignation of resources and a new note was sent to the governor in December 1896.

Concurrently, Dr. Dardo Rocha, the founder of the city and first provincial governor, was developing the founding bylaws at the request of Governor Udaondo. This was finally sanctioned on 8 February 1897 seven years after the passing of the Law. The first University Assembly came together on 14 February and designated Dardo Rocha himself as the first rector of the university. Studies began on 18 April in the Banco Hipotecario building the present-day site of the Rector's office with a class on Law History given by Jacob Larrain.

Nationalization of the University

Despite the objectives for which it may have been established, the first years of the university were discouraging, as much for the dearth of students as for the low operating budget. From 1897 to 1905, it only succeeded in enrolling 573 students, owing not only to the low population of La Plata in its founding era but also because of the lack of national recognition for the degrees it granted, which heightened the attraction exerted by the University of Buenos Aires.

At the same time, Joaquin Victor Gonzalez, then Minister of Justice and National Public Instruction began to give shape to his idea of creating a national university on the base of the existing provincial university and other teaching institutes. In October 1904, Joaquin V. Gonzalez reunited with governor Marcelino Ugarte and the national deputies of the province and they convened to advance the nationalization project. This idea took shape with the transfer from a provincial to a national level, on January 1 1905, of the Veterinary and Agronomy Faculty, the Astronomical Observatory and the fields of Santa Catalina (in Lomas de Zamora).

On August 12 of that year the university and its faculties, the Museum, the Astronomical Observatory, the Institute of Arts and Crafts, the University Library, the School and the Teachers' College were taken over by the national government. In the covenant of transfer, the Nation was obliged to found a university institute.

On August 15, the creation of the Universidad Nacional de La Plata was approved in the House of Representatives and on August 19 it received definitive sanction in the National Senate. On September 25, it was promulgated by President Manuel Quintana. On March 17, 1906 the first president of the Universidad Nacional de La Plata was selected to be Joaquin V. Gonzalez and the vice-president Dr. Agustin Alvarez.

In 1908 the national university was composed of the following faculties:

A Faculty of Social and Legal Sciences, with a Department of Teaching and a Department of Philosophy and Letters.

A Faculty of Agronomy and Veterinary Medicine (the one that the Regional School of Agriculture depended on) and the School of Stockbreeding of Santa Catalina.

A Faculty of Physical Science, Mathematics, and Astronomy, which is divided into a School of Mathematical Sciences, a School of Physical Sciences, a School of Astronomical Sciences, a School of Architectural Engineering, and a School of Engineering Hydraulics.

A Faculty of the Museum, (the one that the Faculty of Natural Sciences depended on), the Museum, the School of Chemistry and Pharmacy, the School of Physical Geography and the School of Drawing and Art.

A Department of Primary and Secondary Studies, consisting of the National School, the Secondary School for Young Ladies and the Graduate School.

A Library and the University Extension.

An Astronomical Observatory, consisting of the Division of Seismology, the Division of Meteorology, and the Station of lengths of Oncativo.

It is recorded that the University had a student body of 1,845 students in 1908. Joaquin V. Gonzalez served four terms as president, retiring on March 18, 1918.

The epoch of the University Reform

The University reform in Argentina was a movement that emanated from the National University of Cordoba in 1918 that sought various changes to the Argentine university system: free university education, student participation in the administrative bodies of the university, autonomy, curricular flexibility, and university extension. These were to become the prominent pillars of an ideology that spread throughout all of the universities of Argentina as well as many in Latin America.

The National University of La Plata had been founded with a strong impulse for university extension which had developed, in its early years, into the form of systematic programs of conferences and courses that were open to the general public. Nevertheless, in other aspects related to the reform movement, its position was a source of controversies. In March 1918 Rodolfo Rivarola took charge of the university. One of the opponents of his election, Jose Nicolas Matienzo (who would later become Attorney General of Argentina) said about the reform of the Statutes in 1920: "Examining the proposed reforms to the statutes of the National University of La Plata, I believe that amongst all the universities of the republic, this is the one that has endured the most oligarchic regime until now.". His criticism centered principally on the excessive decision-making power of the president, the existence of excessively long mandates, the possibility of undefined elections and the lack of participation in the designation of instructors.

The events of Cordoba had little impact in La Plata that year, with the exception of the proposal by the University Federation carried out in July 1918 on the teaching conditions in the Faculty of Agronomy and Veterinary Medicine. Nevertheless, beneath this calm facade was brewing an intense movement that was reflected in the pages of the student magazines "Atenea" of the National School, and "Renovacion" of the University Federation.

In early 1919, the Upper Council approved the participation of members of the student body in the government of the University by a voice vote. On 20 October of that year, a strike broke out in the entire university, ignited by the resurgence of the conflict in the Faculty of Agronomy and Veterinary Medicine. At the beginning of 1920, after a ferocious crackdown on a student rally in March, the conflict turned violent, culminating in the murder of the student David Viera during an examination in the School of Medical Sciences. In the meantime, a strong rivalry exploded between opposing student factions: the reformers in the University Federation of La Plata and the University Concentration group.

On June 5 President Rivarola tendered his resignation, which was accepted by Carlos Melo. In the meantime, Professor Alejandro Korn, a member of the Upper Council, became the most prominent representative of the reformist movement, carrying out some of the demands of the student body, such as the closure of the boarding school of the university which the students considered to be a source of favoritism and nepotism.

Student activism staged a return during the university presidency of Nazar Anchorena, from 1921 to 1927. Despite not having achieved significant changes, it maintained the ideals of reform through the group Renovacion (Renewal), named after its goal of transforming the Federation of the University of La Plata. The federation had at this time become more commonly known by the initials, FULP (Federacion Universitaria de La Plata). The group was at the center of intense cultural campus activity. It was also the direct antecedent of what would become the university's theater group and the magazine Valoraciones (Appraisals). The latter would become a venue of expression for the reformer Alejandro Korn and such professors as Pedro Henriquez Urena. During this period, the radio station LR11 Radio University is born.

Between 1927 and 1930, the presidency was held by Ramon Loyarte and in 1 December 1930 the new president Ricardo Levene was elected. His tenure oversaw the turbulence produced by the coup d'etat of general Jose Felix Uriburu and lasted only 6 months.

The University of Buenos Aires intervened immediately after the blow, its administrator was Nazar Anchorena, former president of the UNLP. This designation very was questioned by the dirgencia student of La Plata, that considered it a violation of the university autonomy. The tension that was generated between the two universities concluded with the expulsion of Levene of its professorship in the UBA and the unemployment of educational as was the case of Gabriel of the Mallet, by its membership radical. This episode derived in a student strike and the dissolution by governmental decree of the Upper Counsel, causing the renunciation of Levene and of all the counselors and deans of the faculties.

The university then is intervened in by Dr. Federico Walker, who is gifted of extraordinary powers and declares its intention to exclude to educational and opposing students, as in fact it happened with the separation of 31 students and various professors. In August of that year, the situation began to be normalized and brought to order in 1931, with the recovery of certain institution in the national government and the start of the decade of the "fraude patriotic", is initiated a process of normalization that restricted the student participation.

This enclosed opening was fought by students and educational, and despite those conditions Ramon Loyartebeing was appointed as the president of the university January 14, 1932, in May from that year the pressure of the students and of the Upper Counsel forced it to renounce. Already the majority of the students and educational exclude you had been reincorporated the 17 March. On June 25, Dr. Leveneis was chosen with the support of the University.

In 1935 Julio Castineiras assumes the position and in that epoch the Association of Mutual Aid for the students is created, and the company subsidized by the university and by the students that offered services of foods, health care, odontologica and a pharmacy. Also in this epoch a strong dispute between the conduction of the university arises and the governor of the Province, Manuel Fresh of sympathies done not dissemble with the fascism Italian.

In 1938 Julio Castineiras is happened for the Dr. Juan Carlos Rebora. That year the number of students arrives to 9,443. The start of World War Two generated strong tensions among the authorities, that according to the politics of neutrality they refused to permit the use of the localities of the university for political demonstrations, and the students. On June 27, 1941 Dr. Alfredo Palacios assumed the position of president, the one who expressed the need to again take up the plant fundacional of Joaquin V. Gonzalez to organize a university from the articulation of university institutes preexistentes creating a luck of "federal republic" with capacity of integrating and to synthesize contribute them of each one of the faculties that integrate it. That vision reflects in an ordinance, then abrogated, that prescribed studies of philosophy for all the graduates in order to link the different sciences, and in the development of an assembly of common courses to all the careers to provide a historic and ideological base, that would be abrogated in 1943, during the management of Ricardo Of Labougle. This vision of the university did not reach to be crystallized, being imposed a tendency of growing optional fragmentation. It is in this epoch, that begins to be closed with the coup d'etat of the 4 June, 1943, that the Institute of Theater was created, the Commission of Fonografia Cultural, the Latin American Institute, and the House of Rest was incorporated Samay Huasi to the patrimony of the university.

The limitation of the university autonomy (1943-1955)

In 1943 to 1945 there was a common denominator for all the national universities: the tension between the de facto government and the reformist sectors that would conform later to the Democratic Union. In October 1943 the management of Alfredo is interrupted Palaces due to its opposition to the decrees of the National Executive Power.

1966 to 1983

I am at the moment gathering information regarding this period of time in La Plata University, especially about the Union of the Student Government at that time, if there is anyone who can give me information on the Secretary after the new elections, where the new student government had won by 74% and the underground was formed. There were people that had principles that had convictions that had values and really were fighting for the best for the human being, to finish with the exploitation of the men, from the men with the capitalism and so on. The science department had their own printing press and therefore could fight with words. I need information about this time from 1966 to 1978. I need stories about a man called Ch: as I am writing about this period in his life. After I have all information regarding this time, which is now half finished, I will for sure publish the important and non personal facts here in Wikipedia as they were an important part of the existence of the La Plata University Science Department.

Recent history

Artistic Extension

The choirs

The University Choir of the National University of La Plata was the university's first artistic group which was brought about through student initiative and was the first one in its kind in Argentina. Its debut took place on 19 September 1942 under the direction of the maestro Rodolfo Kubik.

The choir's motto is "Friendship through Music" and since its inception, it has encouraged the creation of other university choirs. The First La Plata Festival of University Choirs was organized in 1959, thus initiating a tradition that is maintained to the present time.

The choir's repertoire includes classical works, religious music of the 16th century , popular Argentinian folk or contemporary music , Latin-American music and black spirituals.

Throughout the years, the choir has undertaken many memorable tours. Amongst its most prominent are: a cycle of concerts in cities along the East Coast of the United States in 1965, in which the choir was invited to take part in the inauguration of the Lincoln Center of New York; a tour of European cities in 1970 with performances in Rome, Paris, Munich, Vienna and Frankfurt; its participation in the 1995 International Music Festival of Cantonigros; and its 2000 participation in the International Festival of Choir Music "America Cantat III"in Caracas.

The Coro Juvenil (Youth Choir) was created in September 1983, and is now conducted by Mtro. Pablo Canaves. It has received several prizes, and its repertoire ranges from Renaissance music to contemporary music and popular folksongs.

The Chamber Choir was created in 1985. Its objectives are: the musical and professional preparation of youths who aspire to sing professionally; the featuring of soloists and instrumental ensembles; and an emphasis on the musical literature of the 20th century. It is conducted by Mtro. Roberto Ruiz.

The String Quartet

The University String Quartet (Cuarteto de Cuerdas) was created in 1953 by professors of the College of Fine Arts. Its first concert took place at the Salon Dorado'' of the municipality of La Plata on October 5 of that year. The UNLP formalized the status of the ensemble in 1958. The quartet has premiered the works of distinguished Argentinian composers such as Alberto Ginastera, Astor Piazzolla, Gerardo Gandini and Eduardo Alemann. Its repertoire ranges from classical to the present day.

Its members in 2005 were:

1st Violin: Jose Bondar

2nd Violin: Fernando Favero

Viola: Roberto Regio

Cello: Juarez Johnson

The wind quintet

The Wind Quintet of the Universidad Nacional de La Plata was created in 1979 as an instrumental ensemble of the university's radio station.

In 1982 the UNLP officialized it as its own. The Wind Quintet has developed an affinity for performing didactic concerts for the public who are not used to frequenting classical music.

Its repertoire covers composers of the romantic, classical, 20th-century and contemporary composers, which also includes folk and popular works.

As of 2005, its members are:

Marcelo Mancuso (flute)

Natalia Silipo (oboe)

Roberto Palomo (clarinet)

Calos Nalli, (horn)

Eduardo Rodriguez (bassoon)

The theater of the University

The Taller of theater of the UNLP was created the May 5, 1986 and has as an objective the artistic creation and to the investigation esthetics. Of so much, experimental character in the production of own spectacles destined al public in general as in the installment of services and artistic advice.

Its antecedents are mended al group of theater prompted by the student group Renewal, of reformist character that acted in the decade of 1920.

It has presented the adaptation carried out by the author Uruguay an Alberto Mediza of "El Process"of Franz Kafka with 50 actors in scene, 5 consecutive years in placard and 20.000 spectators in The Silver, "El Dictamundo"of Juan Carlos Tealdi, work that fruit of an investigation on the literature around the figure of the Latin-American dictator resulted; "Si I dwell, you leave the open balcony"in homage to Federico Garcia Of Juan Carlos Tealdi, "Rosa of two fragrances"of Emilio Carballido, "La Cooks"of Arnold Wesker, "A the Boys"of Beltran-Crespi, that surpassed the 150 representations and was presented in the International Festivals of Trujillo, Peru), Havana (Cuba), Baradero and The Golden one (Argentina), in the Week Argentina in Brest, France) and in the House Argentina in Paris. These works included the direction of Norberto Barruti.

In the year 2001 premiered itself "El tenement house of the Dove", original one-act comedy of Alberto Vacarezza, still in placard.

Academic units

Faculty of Architecture and Urbanism [*]

Faculty of Arts [*]

Faculty of Agrarian and Forest Sciences [*]

Faculty of Astronomic and Geophysic Sciences [*]

Faculty of Economic Sciences [*]

Faculty of Exact Sciences [*]

Faculty of Law and Social Sciences [*]

Faculty of Medic Sciences [*]

Faculty of Natural Sciences and Museum [*]

Faculty of Veterinary Sciences [*]

Faculty of Humanities and Education Sciences [*]

Faculty of Informatics [*]

Faculty of Engineering [*]

Faculty of Odontology [*]

Faculty of Journalism and Social Communication [*]

Faculty of Social Work [*]

Fine Arts High School "Profesor Francisco Americo de Santo" [*]

Famous students and professors

Raul Alfonsin (Law degree in 1950) President of Argentina (1983-1989)

Florentino Ameghino (professor of geology)

Juan Jose Arevalo (Philosophy PhD in 1934)

Mario Bunge (Physics-Mathematics PhD in 1952)

Rene Favaloro (Medicine degree in 1949)

Emilio Pettoruti

Carlos Saavedra Lamas

Ernesto Sabato (Physics PhD in 1937)

Nestor Kirchner (Law degree) President of Argentina (2003-2007)

Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner (Law degree ? ) President of Argentina (2007-until now)



History of the University of La Plata (Historia de la Universidad de La Plata), Julio Castineira, Universidad Nacional de La Plata. National University of La Plata on the Centennial of its Nationalization (La Universidad Nacional de La Plata en el centenario de su nacionalizacion)'', Universidad Nacional de La Plata.


External links

Official website

History of the University

UNLP Museum of Natural Sciences

UNLP Radio Station website

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