The University of Costa Rica (UCR) has 1,191 laboratories, 48 research units, and is the main research institution in the country and in Central America. Defying the vicissitudes of the Second World War, this giant “of culture … dedicated to teaching, research, social action, study, meditation, artistic creation and the dissemination of knowledge“, came to light eighty years ago.
The soul of its creation and that of its promoter continue still shine bright today: “It is those living forces that, thanks to a permanent spirit of reflection, creativity and solidarity, keep the light of hope burning that another world is possible”, said the Dr. José Ma. Gutiérrez, Rodrigo Facio 2020 award.
The visionary creator of the UCR was the former president of the Republic Dr. Rafael Ángel Calderón Guardia, who conceived of education as a public good and not as a commodity. A good within the reach of all Costa Ricans, thus opening the possibility of knowledge to people regardless of their socioeconomic origin. It is he who on August 26, 1940, through Law 362, officially created the University of Costa Rica (UCR) as a public institution.
Regarding this work and its great contribution to the social rule of law, Calderón Guardia wrote in September 1942: “I understand that what I may have done is worth very little. But I am sure that the future generations will be able to complete other stages of the arduous struggle and complete what is today a great building stone that the Costa Rican nationality will have to build, to consolidate its future progress and culture, guarantee the enjoyment of its goods and social peace… that the people need so much to maintain their wealth and well-being”.
Research is one of the three fundamental pillars. Together with teaching and social action, they express that this public education center cannot limit itself in its analysis and in the rendering of accounts that many times it is intended to do, only to the important teaching function. Research, teaching and social action are part of integral development and allow constant dialogue with the various social, cultural, economic and political sectors of the country.
Great contributions to the nation
There are multiple contributions that research provides to the country, the region and even distant countries. In the context of the Pandemic that the world is experiencing, Costa Rica is proud of the projection and benefits that UCR centers and institutes are providing.
Eugenio Rodíguez Vega says that Luis Demetrio Tinoco, in his capacity as Minister of Education for Dr. Calderón, like him, was eager to achieve the project. Our recognition to him and to Don Rodrigo Facio for their contributions to the founding of the UCR.
Today, at 80 years of age, the UCR is one of the best 500 universities in the world and is ranked 19th in Latin America, according to Webometrics, which evaluates 21 thousand universities around the world.