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 2017 Times Higher Education Latin America University Rankings. The country has an impressive 32 universities in the ranking of just over 80 universities in the region.
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 (17 universities), Mexico (13) and Colombia (11).
In fact, the third and fourth ranked universities (Pontifical Catholic University of Chile and the University of Chile) are both located in Chile, while the fifth university (University of the Andes) is situated in Colombia.
The Latin America University Ranking use 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 (in English, Portuguese and Spanish) can be found here.
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 different undergraduate programmes and 153 postgraduate programmes across four main areas: exact sciences, human sciences, biological sciences and technologies.
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.
This institution 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.
Founded in 1842, the University of Chile is the oldest higher education institution in Chile. The first woman to attend university in South America, Eloísa Díaz Insunza, attended the University of Chile. She graduated as a doctor in 1887.
Two Nobel laureates have been affiliated with the University of Chile – the poets Pablo Neruda and Gabriela Mistral. As well as this, 20 presidents of Chile have attended the institution.
The first and oldest student organisation in the country was also founded at the University of Chile.
Many of the buildings are considered landmarks due to their neoclassical architectural style including the Main House, School Swimming Pool, the Museum of Contemporary Art, and the Astronomy Observatory of Cerro Calán.
5. University of the Andes
The final university in the top five is the University of the Andes, in Colombia. The university is situated at the foot of the Andes, the longest mountain range in the world.
The institution provides courses in health, business and administration, engineering and the humanities.
The university’s mascot is a goat called Seneca, a story dating back to the late 1940s when a goat used to wander around the campus. Students adopted it, named it Seneca, and it became a symbol of the university. When it died in 1966, the students weren’t allowed to replace the goat, but the symbol still remains.
The 50 top universities in Latin America
Editor's note: These tables were correct at the time of publication. Rankings tables can often be updated throughout the year. For the latest version of the rankings please see the full table here