Founded in 1957, the Universidad Autonoma de Baja California is one of Mexico’s network of 43 state universities. It is a public university, but under Mexican law enjoys autonomy from the administration of the border state.
It has grown steadily since its foundation. Early faculties included Education (1960), Economics and Commerce (1961) and Administration (1961), followed by Medicine, Odontology and Chemistry in the 1970s and Humanities and Engineering in the 1980s.
Now one of the largest universities in Mexico, and regarded as a leader in the north-eastern region, it is spread across three campuses and five sub-campuses. The rectorate and administration are located at Mexicali, while the Tijuana campus, which was built in 2003, accommodates schools of Chemical Science and Engineering, Humanities and Social Sciences and Arts.
It is perhaps best known for oceanography, located in the coastal town of Ensenada. The School of Marine Sciences, which is responsible for teaching, and the Centre for Oceanographic Research were both created in 1960. Its research has been highlighted since 1974 in its Marine Science magazine.
Students are admitted on the basis of a research examination, with an admission rate of between 70 and 80 per cent making UABC comparatively selective by Mexican standards. The university’s sports teams are known as Cimarrones.
UABC is one of 13 Mexican institutions involved in the cross-border CaliBaja educational consortium created in June 2017 by the University of San Diego. The university’s 60th anniversary, four months earlier, was marked by the issue of a special commemorative ticket by the Mexican national lottery.