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Best universities in South America 2022

Find the best universities in South America using Times Higher Education’s World University Rankings data

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October 1 2021
Caminito Street in Buenos Aires, Argentina

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Top 8 universities in South America

Scroll down for the full list of best universities in South America

 World University Rank 2022 South America Rank 2022 University Country City/State
201–250  1 University of São Paulo Brazil São Paulo
401–500  =2 University of Campinas Brazil São Paulo
401-500 =2 Pontifical Catholic University of Chile Chile Santiago
501-600 =4 Universidad Autónoma de Chile Chile Temuco, Talca and Santiago
501-600 =4 University of Desarrollo Chile Concepción
501-600 =4 Diego Portales University Chile Santiago
501-600 =4 Pontifical Javeriana University Colombia Bogotá
601-800 =8 Federal University of Minas Gerais Brazil Minas Gerais
601-800 =8 Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul Brazil Porto Alegre
601-800 =8 Universidade Federal de Sergipe Brazil São Cristóvão
601-800 =8 Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia Peru Lima

 

Studying in South America may not be quite as popular as studying in North America, but the region has 19 universities in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2022 top 1000.

Just under half of these South American universities are in Brazil, including the University of São Paulo in first place, in the top 250 in the world. 


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Chile has 20 universities in the full ranking, followed by Colombia with 10 institutions, Ecuador with six, Argentina with five, and Peru with three. The language of instruction at these South American universities is either Portuguese or Spanish.

The South America filter of the THE World University Rankings 2022 supplements a specific Latin America ranking last published in July 2021, which includes Central American universities.

Top 3 universities in South America

=2. Pontifical Catholic University of Chile

-Pontifical Catholic University of Chile has a history that dates back to 1888, making it one of the country's oldest universities.
-It is one of six private Catholic institutions in the country.

The university has four campuses located in Santiago, Chile's capital, and one in Villarrica, a city in the south of the country.

When the university was first established it offered courses in law, mathematics, legal sciences, and physical sciences. The university has since expanded and today it has courses available in a wide range of subjects such as architecture, engineering, and philosophy.

=2. University of Campinas

-The University of Campinas is commonly called Unicamp, and it is a public research university in the state of São Paulo, Brazil.
- It was opened in 1966, and although one of Brazil’s younger institutions has established itself as a primary medical and scientific research centre.

The campus has a unique design, with the main library, student service buildings and restaurant in a central circular plaza, and most of the academic buildings located in blocks radiating out from the centre. 

1. University of São Paulo

-The University of São Paulo is Brazil’s largest public institution of higher education and one of the largest in South America.
- There are currently about 83,000 students enrolled across 11 campuses, four of which are in São Paulo.

It is unsurprising that the institution is the best South American-university in the World University Rankings 2022; it was also named the most prestigious Latin American-university in a survey of top scholars and is second in the overall Latin America rankings.

Alumni have a strong track record of becoming CEOs of the world’s largest companies. Twelve Brazilian presidents graduated from USP.

When it was founded in 1934, the university attracted famous foreign professors and created a new standard for teaching and research in the country.

More than 200 undergraduate programmes and 200 postgraduate programmes are offered across the full range of academic disciplines.

In addition to its faculties, the university operates four hospitals and 24 museums and galleries across its campuses.


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Best universities in South America 2022

Click each institution to view its full World University Rankings 2022 results

 World University Rank 2022 South America Rank 2022 University Country City/State
201–250  1 University of São Paulo Brazil São Paulo
401–500  =2 University of Campinas Brazil São Paulo
401-500 =2 Pontifical Catholic University of Chile Chile Santiago
501-600 =4 Universidad Autónoma de Chile Chile Temuco, Talca and Santiago
501-600 =4 University of Desarrollo Chile Concepción
501-600 =4 Diego Portales University Chile Santiago
501-600 =4 Pontifical Javeriana University Colombia Bogotá
601-800 =8 Federal University of Minas Gerais Brazil Minas Gerais
601-800 =8 Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul Brazil Porto Alegre
601-800 =8 Universidade Federal de Sergipe Brazil São Cristóvão
601-800 =8 Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia Peru Lima
801-1000 =12 University of the Andes, Colombia Colombia Bogotá
801-1000 =12 University of Chile Chile Santiago
801-1000 =12 Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina Brazil Florianópolis
801-1000 =12 Universidade Federal de São Paulo (UNIFESP) Brazil São Paulo
801-1000 =12 University of Fortaleza (UNIFOR) Brazil Fortaleza
801-1000 =12 Pontifical Catholic University of Rio Grande do Sul (PUCRS) Brazil Porto Alegre
801-1000 =12 Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro (PUC-Rio) Brazil Rio de Janeiro
801-1000 =12 Universidad San Francisco de Quito Ecuador Quito
1001-1200 =20 University of the Andes, Chile Chile Santiago
1001-1200 =20 University of the Antioquia Colombia Medellín
1001-1200 =20 University of Brasília Brazil Brasília
1001-1200 =20 University of Concepción Chile Concepción
1001-1200 =20 Universidade Estadual Paulista (UNESP) Brazil São Paulo
1001-1200 =20 Universidade Federal do ABC (UFABC) Brazil São Paulo
1001-1200 =20 Federal University of Pelotas Brazil Pelotas
1001-1200 =20 Federal University of Rio de Janeiro Brazil Rio de Janeiro
1001-1200 =20 Federal University of São Carlos Brazil São Carlos
1001-1200 =20 University of La Frontera Chile Temuco
1001-1200 =20 National University of Colombia Colombia Bogotá
1001-1200 =20 National University of San Martín Argentina Buenos Aires
1001-1200 =20 Pontifical Catholic University of Peru Peru Lima
1001-1200 =20 Pontifical Catholic University of Valparaíso Chile Valparaiso
1001-1200 =20 Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Paraná Brazil Paraná
1201+ =35 Adolfo Ibáñez University Chile Santiago
1201+ =35 University of the Andes, Venezuela Venezuela Mérida
1201+ =35 Universidad Andrés Bello (UNAB) Chile Santiago
1201+ =35 Austral University of Chile Chile Valdivia
1201+ =35 University of Bío-Bío Chile Concepción
1201+ =35 Catholic University of the North Chile Antofagasta
1201+ =35 University of Caxias do Sul Brazil Caxias do Su
1201+ =35 Ceará State University Brazil Fortaleza
1201+ =35 Del Rosario University Colombia Bogotá
1201+ =35 EAFIT University Colombia Medellín
1201+ =35 Escuela Politécnica Nacional Ecuador Quito
1201+ =35 Escuela Superior Politécnica del Litoral Ecuador Guayaquil
1201+ =35 Universidade do Estado do Rio de Janeiro (UERJ) Brazil Rio de Janeiro
1201+ =35 Universidade do Estado de Santa Catarina Brazil Santa Catarina
1201+ =35 Universidade Estadual de Maringá Brazil Maringá
1201+ =35 Universidade Estadual do Oeste do Paraná (Unioeste) Brazil Paraná
1201+ =35 Universidade Federal da Bahia Brazil Salvador
1201+ =35 Universidade Federal do Ceará (UFC) Brazil Fortaleza
1201+ =35 Universidade Federal de Ciências da Saúde de Porto Alegre Brazil Porto Alegre
1201+ =35 Federal University of Espírito Santo Brazil Espírito Santo
1201+ =35 Federal University of Goiás Brazil Goiás
1201+ =35 Universidade Federal da Grande Dourados Brazil Dourados
1201+ =35 Federal University of Itajubá Brazil Itajubá
1201+ =35 Universidade Federal de Juiz de Fora Brazil Juiz de Fora
1201+ =35 Federal University of Lavras Brazil Lavras
1201+ =35 Universidade Federal do Maranhão (UFMA) Brazil São Luís
1201+ =35 Federal University of Mato Grosso do Sul Brazil Campo Grande
1201+ =35 Universidade Federal de Ouro Preto (UFOP) Brazil Ouro Preto
1201+ =35 Federal University of Pará Brazil Belem
1201+ =35 Universidade Federal do Paraná (UFPR) Brazil Paraná
1201+ =35 Federal University of Pernambuco Brazil Recife
1201+ =35 Federal University of Piauí Brazil Teresina
1201+ =35 Federal University of Rio Grande do Norte (UFRN) Brazil Natal
1201+ =35 Federal Rural University of Pernambuco Brazil Recife
1201+ =35 Universidade Federal Rural do Semi-Arido Brazil Mossoró
1201+ =35 Federal University of Santa Maria Brazil Santa Maria
1201+ =35 Federal University of Tocantins Brazil Tocantins
1201+ =35 Federal University of Uberlândia Brazil Minas Gerais
1201+ =35 Federal University of Vales do Jequitinhonha e Mucuri Brazil Diamantina
1201+ =35 Federal University of Viçosa Brazil Viçosa
1201+ =35 Universidade Federal do Triângulo Mineiro Brazil Uberaba
1201+ =35 Federico Santa María Technical University Chile Valparaiso
1201+ =35 Fluminense Federal University Brazil Rio de Janeiro
1201+ =35 Universidad de las Fuerzas Armadas – ESPE Ecuador Quito
1201+ =35 Universidad Industrial de Santander (UIS) Colombia Santander
1201+ =35 Londrina State University Brazil Londrina
1201+ =35 Mackenzie Presbyterian University Brazil São Paulo
1201+ =35 Universidad Nacional del Litoral Argentina Santa Fe
1201+ =35 Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos Peru Lima
1201+ =35 National University of Córdoba Argentina Córdoba
1201+ =35 National University of Cuyo Argentina Mendoza
1201+ =35 National University of the South Argentina Bahia Blanca
1201+ =35 University of the North, Colombia Colombia Barranquilla
1201+ =35 Universidade Nove de Julho (Uninove) Brazil São Paulo
1201+ =35 University of Passo Fundo (UPF) Brazil Passo Fundo
1201+ =35 Federal University of Pernambuco Brazil Recife
1201+ =35 Universidad Politécnica Salesiana Ecuador Cuenca
1201+ =35 Pontifical Catholic University of Minas Gerais Brazil Minas Gerais
1201+ =35 Universidad Pontificia Bolivariana (UPB) Colombia Medellín
1201+ =35 University of La Sabana Colombia Chia
1201+ =35 San Sebastián University Chile Santiago
1201+ =35 University of Santiago, Chile (USACH) Chile Santiago
1201+ =35 State University of Ponta Grossa Brazil Paraná
1201+ =35 State University of Santa Cruz Brazil Bahia
1201+ =35 University of Talca Chile Talca
1201+ =35 University of Tarapacá Chile Arica
1201+ =35 Technical University of Loja Ecuador Loja
1201+ =35 Universidade Tecnológica Federal do Paraná (UTFPR) Brazil Paraná
1201+ =35 Unisinos University Brazil São Leopoldo 
1201+ =35 University of Valparaíso Chile Valparaíso

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