Universidad Austral de Chile
The history of UACh dates back to 1942 when a society called Sociedad de Amigos del Arte was formed in the city of Valdivia to promote culture. One of the society’s main goals was the establishment of a university in the city. The idea of creating a university was presented to the national congress in the 1950s by the senator for Valdivia, Carlos Acharán Pérez de Arce, who later succeeded in consolidating the project. In a meeting held on 16 February 1954 supporters of installing a university created a directory and proclaimed Eduardo Morales Miranda as president of it. The initial founding depended on donations from private persons including some industrial businessmen. After have been founded by decree on 7 September 1954 the university was inaugurated on 12 March 1955 by president Carlos Ibáñez del Campo. The inauguration was also attended by the rectors of the University of Chile and the States Technical University as well as the ambassadors of Venezuela and Argentina and representatives of the Netherlands, Germany and the United States.
The first degree programmes to be taught at the university were fine arts, agronomy, forestry engineering and veterinary medicine, each of which had also its own faculty.
On June 3 of 1968 UACh was granted autonomy from the University of Chile as law 16.848 was enacted. The autonomy did that UACh became allowed to decide its own plans and study programs and put the university out of the tutelage of the University of Chile.
Isla Teja Campus
UACh main campus, Isla Teja Campus, occupies the whole northwest of Isla Teja in Valdivia. Campus Isla Teja is the home of UACh’s administration, Cine Club, botanical garden and most faculties. The botanical garden is a recreational area as well as a place of study with a total of around 950 plant species growing in its 12 ha. Most plants in the botanical garden belong to Valdivian temperate rain forest but there are others with exotic origins. The waters of Cau-Cau River that flows through the northern parts of the botanical garden allows a section of wetland plant species included in the garden.
The engineering faculty operates in Campus Miraflores located along Valdivia River south of Valdivia’s Plaza de Armas. A third campus exists in Puerto Montt where business administration, speech and language pathology and aquaculture are studied. UACh has apart from the campuses several properties spread through Los Ríos and Los Lagos Region such as Parque Arboretum in northern Isla Teja, the Calfuco field station in the coast near Niebla and the forests of San Pablo de Tregua in the Andean foothills.