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The Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, UFRJ, was founded in 1920, and is part of an important public higher education system in Brazil. UFRJ is nowadays distributed in four campuses located in the State of Rio de Janeiro: Cidade Universitária, Praia Vermelha, Macaé and Caxias. The mission of the UFRJ is to contribute to the scientific, technological, artistic and cultural advancement of the Brazilian society through its teaching, research and outreach activities, in order to promote a just, democratic and egalitarian society. Our values are academic excellence, freedom of thought and expression, social and environmental responsibility, ethics and transparency, diversity, accessibility and social inclusion.
The history of UFRJ is marked by the coexistence of academic units that are older than the university itself, such as the Polytechnic School, created in 1792, the Faculty of Medicine in 1808, the National Faculty of Law in 1891, the School of Music in 1848 and the School of Fine Arts in 1816. UFRJ evolved, based on the traditional interaction between teaching, research and outreach activities. UFRJ remains the largest federal university in Brazil. Currently, there are 176 undergraduate courses, in which more than 55,000 students are enrolled. Approximately 3,000 masters and doctors graduate annually, in addition to the approximately 2,500 professionals who complete specialization courses in different areas of knowledge. Our students are involved in research and outreach projects from the beginning of the undergraduate courses, which increase the university’s exchange with society and its social commitment.
The teaching, research and outreach activities depend on the proper functioning of more than 1,450 research laboratories in different areas of knowledge, from arts, humanities, science and technology, 5 University Hospitals among the 9 health units, well-equipped classrooms, teaching laboratories, information technology infrastructure and several other characteristics of physical infrastructure that depend on high investments. This ecosystem has developed, and led to the creation, in the last decades, of several undergraduate and graduate courses in areas on the frontier of knowledge, such as: nanotechnology, biotechnology, biopharmaceuticals, among others.
The Federal University of Rio de Janeiro has faced new challenges during the last 20 years, mainly related to the democratization of access and the expansion of university. Student assistance has become a central theme of its policies, as well as the partnership with other research institutions in the City, the country and the world, which has led to greater dynamism and the internationalization of our institution. In the last years we have created new units, such as the “Universidade da Cidadania” at our Science and Culture Forum, and the Unit of Studies in Public Policy and Human Rights that ensure an important dialogue with movements of society, against the torture, confrontation with slave labor, and in defense of memory and justice.