National Autonomous University of Mexico

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Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México
- UNAM -
motto Por mi raza hablará el espíritu
(The spirit will speak for my kind)
founding January 25, 1553 ( Real y Pontificia Universidad de México )
September 22, 1910 ( Universidad Nacional de México )
Sponsorship state
place Mexico city
Rector Enrique Graue Wiechers
Students 346,730 (including 112,229 high school students) (2015/2016)
Employee 69,364 (2015/2016)
including professors 12,172 (39,500 lecturers)
Annual budget approx. 39.4 billion Mexican pesos (2016; ~ 2.1 billion euros)
Rector's tower of the UNAM
Architects: Enrique del Moral , Mario Pani Darqui and Salvador Ortega Flores
Central Library
Architect: Juan O'Gorman

The National Autonomous University of Mexico ( Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México , UNAM for short ) is the oldest and one of the largest universities on the American continent. According to the annual “World University Ranking” of the British consulting firm QS for 2018, it is the third best (and at the same time the largest) Latin American university after the Universidad de Buenos Aires and the Universidade de São Paulo . In a global comparison, UNAM ranks 122nd, shortly after the Humboldt University of Berlin (120th place) and ahead of the Free University of Berlin (125th place). According to a 2005 study by The Times newspaper, UNAM is the best university in the Spanish and Portuguese-speaking countries. In a global comparison, it reached 95th place.

The ensemble of buildings, sports facilities and open spaces of the large campus ( Ciudad Universitaria ) has been declared a World Heritage Site.



On September 21, 1551 presented later King Philip II. On behalf of his father Charles V the Memorandum for the Real y Pontificia Universidad de México from. It was inaugurated on January 25, 1553 by Viceroy Luis de Velasco of New Spain in the Calle de San Ildefonso in the Centro Histórico ("Historic Center") of Mexico City. The university was dissolved in 1865 by the Mexican Emperor Maximilian .

In the spring of 1910, the university was re-established as Universidad Nacional de México on the initiative of Justo Sierra and opened on September 22, 1910 by President Porfirio Díaz . After the years of privation during the revolution , the university was able to consolidate itself as an institution from 1920. However, the university only achieved full autonomy after the first student and professors' strike of its career on August 26, 1929. Further strikes followed in 1936 and 1944.

In 1954, students and teachers moved into the new "university town" Ciudad Universitaria in the south of Mexico City.

Social movements

In 1968, the UNAM found itself in the midst of student protests that culminated in the Tlatelolco massacre ( Matanza de Tlatelolco ) in Plaza de las Tres Culturas . Hundreds of students died in the massacre, for which the then Interior Minister and later President Luis Echeverría Álvarez (1970–76) has been responsible for genocide since June 30, 2006 . It marked a turning point in the history of Mexico.

The university experienced numerous other student uprisings, including in 1987 and 1999. Both were a reaction to the government's attempt to end the public and unpaid university character. The 1999 strike against neoliberal education policy dragged on for nine months and completely paralyzed university operations.

Student body

Conditions for registration:

  • Abitur ( Bachillerato ) with a minimum average grade of "7" (the Mexican grading system goes from 0 to 10, with the lowest passing grade being 6)
  • Entrance exam (due to limited number of places)


Academia de San Carlos

The Escuela Nacional de Artes Plásticas (ENAP) and the Escuela Nacional de Arquitectura (ENA), departments for art and architecture, emerged from the Academia de San Carlos in 1929 .

Famous lecturers

see also Category: University Lecturers (National Autonomous University of Mexico) and List of Rectors of the National Autonomous University of Mexico


In 2009 the university was awarded the Spanish Prince of Asturias Prize in the Communication and Human Sciences category. The reason given was that the university had been an academic and educational model for numerous generations of students in its hundred-year history and had enriched the Ibero-American sphere with the most important intellectuals and scientists. It has also generously granted refuge to famous exiles of postwar Spain, fostered powerful currents of humanist, liberal, and democratic thought in America, and expanded its significant influence by creating a variety of institutions that enrich the academic world and connect it with the society they serve .

UNESCO World Heritage Site

Welterbe.svg The campus was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2007 .

See also


  • Jochen Meissner: The establishment of the Real y Pontifícia Universidad de México as a European “border university”. Colonial founding or European norm? In: Yearbook for University History . 7, 2004, pp. 11-26.
  • Enrique Rajchenberg: Rebellion X. The year of the strike at the university in Mexico City. Unrast, ISBN 3-89771-009-9 [1]
  • John Ross: Mexico. History-society-culture. Unrast, ISBN 3-89771-018-8 [2]
  • Taibo II, Paco Ignacio: 1968 / Gerufene Helden / A handbook for conquering power Black cracks / Libertarian Association, Berlin, ISBN 3-922611-63-X .

Web links

Commons : National Autonomous University of Mexico  - Collection of Images, Videos, and Audio Files

Individual evidence

  1. Dr. Enrique Graue Wiechers. In: Retrieved September 28, 2019 (Spanish).
  2. a b c d Official UNAM statistics
  3. " About the UNAM ( Memento of the original from November 24, 2010 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was automatically inserted and not yet checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. . “National Autonomous University of Mexico. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  4. QS-World University Rankings 2018, June 2018
  5. UNAM in the World University Ranking , January 27, 2017
  6. Fundación Principe de Asturias  ( page no longer available , search in web archivesInfo: The link was automatically marked as defective. Please check the link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. , June 10, 2009@1@ 2Template: Dead Link /  
  7. Entry on the website of the UNESCO World Heritage Center ( English and French ).