Universidad de las Ciencias Informáticas

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Universidad de las Ciencias Informáticas
University of Computer Science
founding 2002
place Havana
country Cuba
Students 5,000 (2013)
Website www.uci.cu

The Universidad de las Ciencias Informáticas ( UCI - University of Computer Science ) is a university study center in Havana , Cuba , in the Municipio Boyeros . Born as a project of the Cuban Revolution, called “Project Future”, it has two main goals: to equip the country with computer technology and software and to export software in order to strengthen the country's economic backbone. It is the first Cuban university to be founded as part of the special program “ Batalla de Ideas ” (German: “Battle of Ideas”) pursued under Fidel Castro . Among other things, she is responsible for the censorship of “anti-Cuban” content on the Internet .


Prehistory of the site

In today's university campus has been since 1942, the Instituto de Reeducación de Menores (also called "Finca Torrens") operated a closed correctional institution for young offenders under supervision for field work with new ideological guidelines under the new name Centro de Rehabilitación de Menores from 1959 was also continued by the revolutionary government.

In 1964, two years after the Cuban missile crisis , a radio listening station was set up on today's campus at the request of the new partner, the Soviet Union , which became known as “Base Lourdes”. It served to monitor the nuclear disarmament agreements between the USA and the USSR. As a result of the terrorist attacks on the twin towers in New York on September 11, 2001 , the military base was closed due to a unilateral decision by the Russian government.

The University of Computer Science

University entrance

On September 23, 2002 the with the first year and 2008 students and 300 university professors opened. The first public announcement of this so-called project of the future was made in March of the same year by the then head of state and party of Cuba, Fidel Castro . The conversion of a former military site into a training facility, as happened, for example, with the Moncada barracks in Santiago de Cuba , was a deliberate symbol for the educational policy of socialist Cuba. The barracks were converted into study buildings in just 106 days.

Construction work continued after the official opening. The plan was to create good research, working and living conditions for around 20,000 people who would represent the human capital for a progressive “digital city” in order to be able to offer urgently needed software and IT services for Cuban society.

In 2013 the UCI had around 5000 students. In 2008 and 2009 there were 10,000. Their primary goal is to promote the computerization of the country. In 2007, a graduating class with a total of 1,334 graduates as computer science engineers left the university for the first time. There are branches in Ciego de Ávila and the province of Granma .

The students and professors of the university

The university with its students and faculty should represent an elite of the country in every respect. They should be politically and ideologically stable so that they advance the revolution , which according to official Cuban ideology is still going on. Results to date include:

  • More than 60% of students are in productive and research projects for software for Cuban society and other countries, such as education, health, sports, free software , websites and portals, multimedia, etc.
  • The students and professors spend at least 2 weeks of their summer vacation on voluntary social work.
  • Offer of technical support and training within the country, but also outside of it, for example in friendly countries like Venezuela in various IT projects.
  • Participation in international, scientific and technical congresses at home and abroad, including the top conferences of the Society for Computer Science and the International Telecommunication Union .
  • Integration into political activities directed towards the main goals of the revolution.
  • Active participation in the Cuban student association Federación Estudiantil Universitaria (FEU).
  • Participation in the nationwide university sports games with good results.
  • Active participation in computerization and improvement of computer science education in the technical schools of the country.


The UCI has a different curriculum from the other universities in the country, as this includes integration into productive processes as the training content. At the beginning of the second or third year of study, students can be involved in various business projects. In addition, around 1000 more hours of lectures are held than in other universities in the country. The UCI is the primary center for telematics in Cuba because it can rely on the latest computer science technologies.

Software development

Nova Linux desktop

In addition to teaching, software development is one of the tasks of the UCI. 75% of the projects are intended for Germany. Cuba's Linux distribution Nova is developed by the UCI . The United States of America has an embargo against Cuba , which also affects the software sector.

Current events

The university gained international attention in February 2008 when a video of a discussion event with the Cuban Parliamentary President Ricardo Alarcón and students of the UCI came to the public, where there were sometimes violent criticism of the current conditions in Cuba, such as a lack of travel freedom, limited internet access and Inadequate payment in relation to the sometimes unaffordable prices for important consumer goods was practiced. Previously, the then interim head of state Raúl Castro had called on the people to criticize the prevailing conditions.

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. a b c software - made in Cuba . (PDF; 1.8 MB) In: Cuba Sí revista , No. 2/2013, p. 5
  2. Bert Hoffmann: Cuba in the post-Fidel era . (PDF) Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung , analysis from March 2007; accessed on February 16, 2015, p. 5 f.
  3. ^ Bert Hoffmann : Civil Society 2.0 ?: How the Internet Changes State-Society Relations in Authoritarian Regimes: The Case of Cuba . ( Memento of March 2, 2013 in the Internet Archive ) (PDF; 338 kB) GIGA Working Papers No 156, January 2011, p. 21
  4. Tania de Armas Fonticoba: La cuestión criminológica y jurídica de los niños en conflicto con la ley penal. El esquema legal cubano . In: Âmbito Jurídico , May 2009; Retrieved May 18, 2012
  5. Historia. Portal de la Universidad de las Ciencias Informáticas . In: uci.cu . Retrieved February 16, 2015.
  6. Cuban students are demanding more and more freedom . In: Die Welt , February 13, 2008
  7. Knut Henkel: Press in Cuba - criticism suddenly welcome . In: taz , December 13, 2007; Retrieved October 8, 2012