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Catholic University of Uruguay

Catholic University of Uruguay

Catholic University of Uruguay. Institution belonging to Higher Education. It is the oldest private university in the country and the most geographically extended.


It was initially founded in 1882 by the first Archbishop of Montevideo, Monsignor Mariano Soler, reopened and entrusted to the Society of Jesus in 1985. It is the main work of the Catholic Church in the field of Uruguayan higher education. The birth of this institution was the result of a long process, begun in the 19th century, through which the Uruguayan Catholic Church continuously claimed the constitutional right to freedom of education at all levels, including the university level..

We would have to wait until the middle of the 20th century for new Catholic initiatives in the field of higher education to emerge in the country. The founding of the Institute of Philosophy in 1954, its slow but steady growth in the 1960s and 1970s, and the frustrated projects of the Catholic University of 1961 characterize a first phase of this process.

In september In 1953, the Congress of the National Union of Catholic Education (UNEC) met in Montevideo, chaired by Bishop Antonio Mª Barbieri. Within the framework of this Congress, the first definite proposals for the creation of a Catholic center for higher studies emerged. The concrete result of these proposals was the founding, in March 1954, of the Institute of Philosophy at the initiative of the Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and with the approval of the Archbishop of Montevideo. In the strongly secularized Uruguayan society the task of providing a solid humanistic formation of Christian foundations was imposed. In 1967 the Institute of Philosophy, which had extended its educational tasks to other sectors of knowledge, was renamed the Institute of Philosophy, Sciences and Letters. Since 1962 it depended on the Episcopal Conference of Uruguay. Mons.

In the 1960s, two currents were detected in Catholic circles. One of them was in favor of making a strong evangelizing effort within the University of the Republic, the other supported the need to create a Catholic University in the country. The courses of the Institute of Philosophy, the Interdiocesan Seminary of Toledo and the courses of Law organized by the Jesuit Fathers were proposed as the starting point of the projected University.

The 7 of March of 1961 the Episcopate Uruguay issued a statement of support for freedom of education at all levels including the tertiary level, and the establishment of the Free University – “postulate clear of the Catholic conscience” – in Uruguay.

The 22 of August of 1984, by Decree 343/984, the operation was authorized by the Catholic University of Uruguay “Damaso Antonio Larrañaga” and recognized curricula and programs presented.

On October 23, 1984, the law regarding the validity of professional degrees awarded by Private Universities was approved.

The university was reopened and entrusted to the Society of Jesus in 1985


The Catholic University of Uruguay is an institution of higher education committed to excellence, the construction of a more just and humane society and the evangelization of our culture.

  • As a University, it constitutes a plural community, open to the world and innovative, oriented towards the training of professionals and academics, the generation of transformative knowledge, the dissemination of culture and service to society.
  • As Catholic, it promotes, from the rich educational tradition of the Jesuit-inspired universities, the integral formation of the person, the openness to transcendence, the search for truth and justice, the defense of life and solidarity among men.
  • As for Uruguay, it contributes through teaching, research and service to the sustainable human development of local communities, the country and the region.


  • To be the main university in the country in the training of professionals and academics recognized for their Christian values, for their technical competence, their leadership and their commitment to Uruguayan society.
  • Being an actor that, driven by the search for truth, generates relevant knowledge and proposals that affect society, opinion and the public agenda, becoming a benchmark that contributes to the development of the country.
  • To be an effective environment for dialogue between the Uruguayan faith and culture, contributing to a broad historical vision, the defense of human rights and interreligious dialogue.
  • Being a university that, with the involvement and commitment of all members of the university community, has consolidated through self-assessment and accreditation processes an organizational culture consistent with the Mission, based on transparent, effective management and supported by the continuous improvement.

Catholic University of Uruguay