The Autonomous University of Puebla has a long and deeply political history, having been controlled by many different groups over its four centuries of history. It was founded in 1578 when a group of Jesuits settled in the city and built the College of the Holy Spirit.
In the late eighteenth century, political tensions in Spain resulted in the Jesuits being expelled twice. After Mexico gained independence from Spain, the College was renamed as the Imperial College of San Ignacio, St. Jerome and Holy Spirit, then as the State College.
The College established itself as a liberal, humanist hub, and in the early twentieth century, students supported resistance to the dictatorship of President Porfirio Diaz. The College became a University in 1937, and gained full autonomy in 1956, becoming the Meritorious Autonomous University of Puebla (BUAP).
The University continues to espouse liberal values, promoting inclusivity, equal opportunities, human rights and transparency in its mission statement. One of its outdoors spaces is known as ‘Democracy Plaza’.
BUAP has a number of campuses throughout the state of Puebla. Its four major zones in the city of Puebla include the University City – which houses the faculties of physical sciences – and the Health Area, where the Schools of Nursing and Medicine are based. BUAP also has nine regional sections, three near-autonomous ‘foreign academic units’, and six high schools.
A University Cultural Complex hosts regular dance, musical and theatrical events for BUAP students, who also have a radio station, Radio BUAP, and university sports teams, the Lobos BUAP (wolves).
Celebrated intellectuals associated with the university include the polymath Carlos de Siguenza y Góngora, and novelist Ignacio Manuel Altamirano.