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A public university, for the public, in a public square

A public university celebrates its 170th year anniversary, with the public, in the public square

"What a beautiful thing it is, that for the 170th aniversary of a public university, to take place in a public square and to be dedicated to its public, to all chileans who are and own this university." Prof. Víctor L. Pérez Vera, Vice-Chancellor, Universidad de Chile. (Santiago, November 17, 2012)

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Consistent with the values of the University of Chile (a public university), the commemoration of its 170 years were celebrated with a concert by the University of Chile's Symphonic Orchestra and Symphonic Choir in the public square, the Plaza de Armas. Values that have been continuously and traditionally held by the university, such as equity, quality education, public education, democracy and inclusion were stressed in the opening speech of the event.

The concert included classical music and the most loved and remembered national contemporary composers, such as Victor Jara. It was enjoyed by around 7000 people, basically anyone who happened to know about the event, or was just passing by.

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I am happy to report that events such as these are not unusual and are rather characteristic in Santiago, a city where the public space is naturally vibrant and still public. Furthermore, where a university such as this has not submitted to the pressures to make education a business. It is still serving the citizens, while remaining an integral part of the day-to-day events that shape the nation.

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