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Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile is one of Chile’s oldest universities and one of the most prestigious educational institutions in Latin America. It was founded on June 21, 1888 with a focus on law, business, and technical subjects. It now has 18 faculties on four campuses in Santiago, Chile. UC’s mission declares that it should “contribute to building a truly humane nation, based on truth, freedom, justice, peace, and solidarity,” and its vision calls for a “permanent dialogue with society.” UC’s website>>
UC encourages members of its community, including students and faculty, to engage in initiatives to engage and serve their local community. UC keeps an official register of such initiatives, with the following criteria: they are voluntary, are for the welfare of others, have direct and tangible impact on their beneficiaries, and have existed for at least one year. For example, the San Alfonso Legal Consultative Office provides free legal assistance and legal awareness programs for poor people in Santiago. Learn more by searching through UC’s many community engagement initiatives>>
PuentesUC (Bridges UC) was launched in 2002 to set up a link between the university and local municipalities, it is a model of collaboration to maximize mutual capacities to further learning and local development. Its general objective is to contribute to student learning and community development, generating a permanent link between the university and local municipalities. Participants are students, professors, town officers and authorities in continuous learning and development. The program’s name refers to a bridge that links academia with city authorities and workers. Since its creation, the program has developed over 1000 projects in 14 municipalities with the participation of 6500 students and 200 professors of all faculties. These projects entail coursework, professional practices, thesis or dissertations, volunteerism, extension and research. Visit the PUC Public Policy Center website for more information on PuentesUC>>
The Public Policy Program was founded in 2002. Through the program, faculty and students engage the community through practical work, applied research, teaching and training, and communications/outreach, focusing on important public policy issues, including education, employment, and the environment. Academic units involved in this program include the School of Architecture, the Law School, Institute of Economics, Institute of Urban and Regional Studies, the School of Engineering, and the Institute of Sociology.