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Universidad de Buenos Aires, Argentina

Last modified: 2023-07-08 by rob raeside
Keywords: universidad de buenos aires |
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[Flag of the Universidad de Buenos Aires] image by Oscar Villota and Juan David Vargas Osorio, 8 June 2018
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About the Universidad de Buenos Aires

Universidad de Buenos Aires (UBA) was established on 9 August 1821 by a Provincial Decree and inaugurated on 12 August 1821 in the San Ignacio church. This eventually fulfilled the request made by the inhabitants of Buenos Aires to the Spanish colonial authorities in the 1770s, which had been turned down under the pressure of the academics of Córdoba.

The new university incorporated existing educational institutes, such as the Prodomedicato, founded in 1780 to control health in the town; the Schools of Design and Navigation, founded in the late 18th century to increase the technical skills of pilots; the School of Mathematics, the Academy of Mathematics and Military Art and the Medical Military Institute, founded during the first decade following the independence; and the Academy of Jurisprudence, founded in 1814 by local lawyers.

The first rector of UBA, the respected priest Antonio Saénz (1780-1825), had been in charge of the preparation of the new university since 1816, as part of the complete reorganization of the institutional structure of the state promoted by Bernardino Rivadavia (1780-1845). Saénz organized UBA in the Departments of Basic Letters, Preparatory Studies, Formal Sciences, Medicine, Jurisprudence, and Sacred Sciences. This was in strong opposition to the colonial University of Córdoba, which was organized in Faculties centered on Theology, according to the medieval scholastic model. The 6th rector of UBA, Francisco Pico (1805-1875), appointed in 1852, ended the tradition of clerical rectors. His successor, Juan M. Gutiérrez, appointed in 1861, eventually released UBA from the influence of the church, inviting three renown Italian scientists to revamp the Department of Formal Sciences. In March 1874, UBA was transformed into a federation of Faculties: Humanities and Philosophy, Medical Sciences, Law and Social Sciences, Mathematics, and Physics and Life Sciences, the two latter being soon merged.

Transferred in the 1880s to the state following the federalization of the town of Buenos Aires, UBA was part of the emerging national system of higher education. UBA incorporated in 1909 the Instituto Superior de Agronomía y Veterinaria and, in 1911, the prestigious Colegio Nacional Buenos Aires.
In 1918, UBA taught 6,000 students representing the small social elite of the time. Bernardo Houssay (1887-1971) reorganized in 1921 the Institute of Physiology of the Faculty of Medicine, where he performed most of the experiments that yielded him the Nobel Prize in Medicine in 1947. Other renowned professors of the period were the Spanish Julio Rey Pastor (Mathematics; 1888-1962) and Amado Alonso (Philology; 1896-1952).

UBA lost its autonomy in 1947, being placed under the control of the Executive by Law No. 13,031. The autonomy was re-established by Decree No. 6,403, enacted after the fall of Perón's government on 16 September 1955. Violence broke out in UBA in 1966 following the military coup led by General Juan Carlos Onganía and the suppression of the elected authorities of the university. Rector Hilario Fernández Long (1918-2002) resigned while professors and students occupied the Faculty of Formal Sciences; following the assault by the infantry, more than 150 people were jailed, while 1,300 members of the educational community resigned from office.
During Perón's second rule (1973-1974), the university was renamed to Universidad Nacional y Popular de Buenos Aires. After Perón's death, UBA entered a period of political violence, which increased after the military coup of March 1976.

After the return to democracy in 1983, Raúl Alfonsín's government implemented the normalization of universities. UBA regained the Statutes cancelled in 1966, while professors expelled for political and ideological reasons were reincorporated., UBA website

Ivan Sache, 8 June 2018

Description of the flag

The flag of UBA, unveiled on 13 August 2012 at the Faculty of Law, was designed by Oscar Villota and Juan David Vargas Osorio, two post-graduate students at the Faculty of Architecture, Design and Town Planning. The flag was selected by the Rector and the Higher Council of the UBA, among five designs, which had been previously short-listed among 90 proposals by a jury composed of Clorindo Testa (architect), Carlos Venancio (graphic designer) and Oscar Steimberg (semiotician). UBA website Oscar Villota's page APUBA website

The flag is blue with the seal of the university in canton, featuring an allegory of the Motherland, designed in 1921 by the painter Ernesto de la Cárcova (1866-1927). The Motherland is represented by a sitting woman with an open book on her lap. The seal is surrounded by the name of the university and the Latin motto "Argentina virtus robur et studium", "The Argentine Virtue is Made of Work and Study". According to the designer, the seal represents "A great nation dedicated to knowledge and wisdom through work and force".
The seal is flanked on the right by the white letters "UBA".
The right part of the flag features a close-up of the allegory.
Blue and white are a straightforward reference to the national colors. UBA website

The former flag of UBA was blue with a shield and two rows of four red four-pointed stars each., UBA website

Ivan Sache, 8 June 2018

[Flag of the Universidad de Buenos Aires] image located by Paul Bassinson, 4 June 2023

This photo shows the university flag and another flag of the University of Buenos Aires obtained from The white flag to be connected to the Faculty of Science.

Paul Bassinson, 4 June 2023