Best universities in Latin America 2018

Explore the best universities in Latin America from data collected by Times Higher Education's World University Rankings 

July 18 2018
Best universities in Latin America

If you are looking to study in one of the best universities in Latin America, then heading to Brazil might be your best bet, according to the results of the 2018 Times Higher Education Latin America University Rankings. The country has an impressive 43 universities in the ranking of approximately 130 universities in the region.

The top two universities in the 2018 ranking are the State University of Campinas and the University of São Paulo, both located in Brazil. 

However, students looking to study abroad in Latin America do have options. Other countries in the region that have a strong presence on the list include Chile (26 universities), Mexico (22) and Colombia (19).

In fact, the third ranked university (Pontifical Catholic University of Chile) is located in Chile and a new entry into the top five, Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education is located in Mexico.  

The fourth placed institution is another Brazilian university, the Federal University of São Paulo

The Latin America University Ranking uses the same methodology as the World University Rankings, but some of the indicators have been recalibrated to reflect the profile of higher education in Latin America. The full methodology can be found here.

Best universities in the world

Best universities in Mexico
Best universities in Brazil
Best universities in South America
Best universities in Europe
Best universities in the UK
Best universities in the United States
Best universities in Australia

1. State University of Campinas, Brazil 

The State University of Campinas, or Unicamp, is located in the city of Campinas in the São Paulo region of Brazil. 

Although the university is one of Brazil’s youngest (it opened in 1966), it has established itself as a primary medical and scientific research centre. The institution is responsible for around 15 per cent of the research conducted in Brazil.

International undergraduate students will need to sit an exam before acceptance. The exam requires prospective students to have a good grasp of Portuguese.

Both Brazilian and international students do not pay tuition fees, as is the case in all state-run universities in the country.

The university offers 70 undergraduate programmes and 153 postgraduate programmes across four main areas: exact sciences, human sciences, biological sciences and technologies.

2. University of São Paulo, Brazil 

The University of São Paulo is the oldest and largest university in Brazil. Four of the 11 campuses can be found in the city of São Paulo, while the remaining campuses are in the cities of Bauru, Lorena, Piracicaba, Pirassununga, Ribeirão Preto and two in São Carlos.

The university has many recreational activities available to students, including 245 museums and galleries, two theatres, a cinema, a TV channel and an orchestra.

There are also five hospitals affiliated with the institution.The University of São Paulo Medical School Public Hospital is the largest hospital in Latin America and is a major training hospital for the university’s School of Medicine. 

3. Pontifical Catholic University of Chile, Chile

The Pontifical Catholic University of Chile is one of six private Catholic universities in the Chilean university system and one of two pontifical universities in the country.

The university originally taught law, mathematics, legal sciences and physical sciences. However the faculty of theology was established in 1935 and since then the course catalogue has expanded to include subjects such as philosophy, commerce and technology.

Four of the university’s campuses are located in Santiago, the capital city of Chile. Santiago is the cultural, political and financial centre of Chile, home to the headquarters of many multinational companies.

The fifth campus is in Villarrica next to the city’s lake.

4. Federal University of São Paulo, Brazil

The Federal University of São Paulo is a public university in Brazil. It was founded in 2005 as a health science specialist university to develop students into health professionals and contribute to medical research. 

Students are able to undertake work experience at São Paulo Hospital which is the largest hospital in Brazil, providing health services for underprivileged people. 

The university has expanded its number of campuses and now several of these campuses offer courses that deviate from medicine, such as philosophy, history and economics.

5. Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education, Mexico

The Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education is a private university system founded in 1943 in Monterrey, Mexico. 

It offers undergraduate, master’s and PhD programmes across a number of disciplines, including engineering, management, social sciences, arts, science and medicines. There are 31 campuses across 25 cities in Mexico. 

The university encourages students to study abroad for a period of time. Students at the university represent more than 70 nationalities.

The 50 top universities in Latin America 2018

Latin America Rank 2018 Latin America Rank 2018 University Country World University Rank 2018
1 1 State University of Campinas Brazil 401–500
2 2 University of São Paulo Brazil 251–300
3 3 Pontifical Catholic University of Chile Chile 501–600
4 7 Federal University of São Paulo (UNIFESP) Brazil 501–600
5 6 Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education Mexico 601–800
6 4 University of Chile Chile 601–800
7 9 Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro (PUC-Rio) Brazil 601–800
8 5 University of the Andes, Colombia Colombia 601–800
9 11 Federal University of Minas Gerais Brazil 601–800
10 NR Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul Brazil 601–800
11 12 São Paulo State University (UNESP) Brazil 601–800
12 8 Federal University of Rio de Janeiro Brazil 601–800
13 10 National Autonomous University of Mexico Mexico 601–800
14 15 Federal University of Santa Catarina Brazil 801–1000
15 18 Federal University of São Carlos Brazil 801–1000
16 19 University of Brasília Brazil 801–1000
17 13 University of Concepción Chile 801–1000
18 NR Pontifical Catholic University of Peru Peru 601–800
19 NR National University of San Martín Argentina NR
20 17 University of Antioquia Colombia 801–1000
21 31–35 Federal University of Viçosa Brazil 1001+
22 26–30 National University of Córdoba Argentina 801–1000
23 26–30 University of Santiago, Chile (USACH) Chile 801–1000
24 22 Federico Santa María Technical University Chile 501–600
25 24 Rio de Janeiro State University (UERJ) Brazil 801–1000
26 26–30 Metropolitan Autonomous University Mexico 801–1000
27 =20 Pontifical Catholic University of Valparaíso Chile 801–1000
28 23 Austral University of Chile Chile 801–1000
29 25 Pontifical Javeriana University Colombia 501–600
30 NR Federal University of Bahia Brazil NR
31 =20 National University of Colombia Colombia 801–1000
32 NR National University of La Plata Argentina NR
33 16 Pontifical Catholic University of Rio Grande do Sul (PUCRS) Brazil 801–1000
34 14 Federal University of ABC (UFABC) Brazil 601–800
35 26–30 Federal University of Pernambuco Brazil 801–1000
36 51–60 Federal University of Paraná (UFPR) Brazil 1001+
37 NR The University of the West Indies Jamaica NR
38 NR National University of Cuyo Argentina NR
39 26–30 Simón Bolívar University Venezuela 801–1000
40 36–40 National Polytechnic Institute (IPN) Mexico 1001+
=41 NR Cayetano Heredia University Peru NR
=41 41–45 Pontifical Catholic University of Paraná Brazil 801–1000
43 NR Torcuato Di Tella University Argentina NR
44 51–60 Federal University of Lavras Brazil 1001+
45 41–45 Fluminense Federal University Brazil 1001+
46 31–35 University of Valparaíso Chile 801–1000
47 51–60 Federal University of Pelotas Brazil 801–1000
48 51–60 Londrina State University Brazil 1001+
49 NR Federal University of Technology – Paraná Brazil NR
50 41–45 University of the Andes, Chile Chile NR

Explore the full searchable table of the Latin America University Rankings 2018

Read more: Best universities in the world 


Have your say

Log in or register to post comments

Related articles