Escudo de la República de Colombia

Historical Review

The idea of a public and state university, began to take shape shortly after the independence of our country.

Under the command of the vice-president of La Gran Colombia, General Santander, took place the organization of the Universidad Central de la República (with campuses in Bogota, Caracas and Quito), as the first legal-institution for a public University in Colombia. Towards 1830 it started to work with professors and students that kept alive the Botanical Experience.

Soon after, the federal and radical governments closed the Universidad Central, under the arguments of which the universities were education and work monopolies which attempted against the individual freedom. Until 1864, Jose Maria Samper, old radical, submitted a bill to the Congress that he called the Universidad Nacional de los Estados Unidos de Colombia. The 22nd of September, 1867, by means of the Law 66 expedited by the congress, the University was officially funded as such.

During this year the University consisted of six faculties: Law, Medicine, Sciences, Engineering, Arts, Literature and Philosophy. The Astronomical Observatory, the National Museum, the National Chemistry Laboratory, the National Library, the Hospital Caridad and the Military Hospital were also annexed.

Between 1903 and 1940 more than 20 professional careers were created, between which they are: Architecture, Nursing, Pharmacy, Chemical Engineering, Veterinary Medicine, Dentistry and Chemistry. At the end of the 60´s, the graduate programs got an impulse at the Universidad Nacional and the country. The first academic programs at a graduate level were created between 1967 and 1973, but wasn’t until 1986 that the doctorate programs in the country were created in areas like Math and Physics.

Aerial photography of Bogota campus 1960
Aerial photography of Bogota campus 1960
Graphic Design Building
Graphic Design Building



Sumary of the Campuses

Medellin Campus
In 1936 by means of Agreement 131 of the Superior Council, the National School of Mines was incorporated to the University (initially created in 1886). Two years later the Tropical Agriculture School was also incorporated and is nowadays the Faculty of Agricultural Sciences. Between 1954 and 1975 the Faculties of Architecture, Sciences, and Human Sciences were created, establishing a new academic structure for the campus.

Manizales Campus:
This Campus was consolidated with the creation of the Faculty of Engineering in 1948, one that gave way to the Faculties of “Engineering and Architecture,” and “Sciences and Business Administration.”

Palmira Campus:
The Faculty of Agricultural Sciences at the Palmira Campus originated as the Superior School of Tropical Agriculture, founded in 1934 by means of the Decree 262. Its inclusion to the Universidad Nacional de Colombia was realized under public writing and by means of which the Valle Department yielded the establishment to the Universidad Nacional.

Leticia Campus:
In December of 1989, the Universidad Nacional de Colombia created the “Estacion Cientifica de Leticia” (Leticia´s Scientific Station), as a small center to support research, teaching, and universitary extensión in the Amazonas.

February 16th of 1994, by means of the Agreement 013, the Superior Council turned the Leticia’s Scientific Station into the fifth campus of the University, which consequently yields to the Policy in Boundary Zones, from the Universidad Nacional.

San Andres Campus:
It was created by means of the Agreement 6, from January 30th of 1997, developing the Decree Law 1210 from June 28th of 1993, which authorizes the University to create campuses with the purpose of fortifying the regional, national, and international academic networks; and to develop specific programs and projects in cooperation with other state and official universities.

Arauca Campus:
The campus was created by means of the Agreement 40 of 1996 and with the Faculty of Nursing and Environmental Engineering. With the Agreement 24 of 1997, the “Orinocense” Institute was created.