“Like loving a beautiful woman, we will forge here on this earth among wheat, science and art La Frontera your University”. So begins our University’s anthem, and in the essence of its words is the spirit that gave it life in 1981, the same spirit which in 40 years has encouraged it to grow, cultivating knowledge, leadership, entrepreneurship anda forward-looking vision.
Located in the heart of the Region of the Araucanía, the Universidad de La Frontera was born and grows through the effort and commitment of its community.Its story began in 1981 when a Government decree merged the regional campuses of the Santiago universities, forming the derived regional universities.
On March 10 of that year, after merging the Temuco campuses of the University of Chile and the State Technical University, the Universidad de La Frontera was born as an autonomous institution, with the mission of contributing to the development of its surroundings and to Chile by generating and disseminating knowledge, educating professionals and postgraduates, fostering the arts and culture, maintaining its commitment to quality and innovation by respecting people, nature and cultural diversity, and building a more just and democratic society.
The UFRO is the heir to a rich academic tradition of universities that left a strong legacy, large campuses and an academic faculty who began to become familiar, on the one hand, with research and, on the other, with professional training.At that time, their managers had to adjust to new structures like the creation of Faculties and to design at least one traditional program in each, to generate the internal entities, statutes, authorities, staff, as well as manage the economic resources.
The University has had four Rectors; the first was Colonel Juan BarrientosVidaurre (1981-1985), a designated authority, whose mission was to promote the Institution.IvánDobudUrqueta (1985-1987) followed him, and he was also designated. Dr. Heinrich von Baer von Lochow (1987-2002) was designated and then elected three times. In 2002, professor Sergio Bravo Escobar (2002-2018) was elected by his peers in 2002 and was re-elected three times. In 2018, Dr. Eduardo Hebel Weiss was elected and has been leading the University since then.
In its first year as an autonomous institution, the UFRO had 4,773 students and 20 programs in four Faculties.Thirty-five years later there are more than 8,000 students, six Faculties, 45 undergraduate programs and more than 70 graduate programs (doctorates, master’s degrees and specialties), making it a leader in the academic offerings in the Region of the Araucanía.
Recognized as a dynamic institution open to the changes in the national and international context, the Universidad de La Frontera has confidently assumed the new education paradigms, innovating its curricula for top-quality professional training, strengthening scientific research and graduate studies, increasing and diversifying its academic activities, generating art and culture, firmly progressing in institutional management and reaching out to engage with the community to form networks that contribute to the country’s development.
Among the University’s varied and significant achievements, the first institutional accreditation in the areas of Teaching, Research and Management in 2005 stands out (the UFRO was the first university to be accredited in the Araucanía), in addition to the processes of self-evaluation and accreditation of undergraduate and graduate programs.
Its continuous commitment to quality and the challenge of providing a public guarantee of its processes led the University in 2008 (and until 2013) to become the first derived state university in the south of Chile to be accredited by the National Accreditation Commission (CNA) in all areas: Teaching Leading to a Qualified Degree, Graduate Teaching, Research, Institutional Management and Outreach and Community Engagement. This recognition was granted again in 2013 for five years and in 2018 for six years in all areas, until 2024.
Objective productivity and quality indicators determine the excellence of an institution of higher learning in Chile, a scenario in which the Universidad de La Frontera has distinguished itself in its 41 years as a public, state institution of higher learning, where the growth of the University has been built on quality and excellence, hallmarks that have been key in its tradition and in the prestige that it currently enjoys.