The Central University of Venezuela began as the Colegio Santa Rosa de Lima in 1673. It gained university status in 1721, when it became the Universidad Real y Pontificia de Caracas.
UCV is Venezuela’s oldest and most prestigious university, as well as being one of the oldest in the Western Hemisphere.
Venezuela’s independence was declared in the site’s seminary chapel in 1811. However, the building is now the Palacio Municipal de Caracas.
Comprising 11 faculties, with 40 departments and five research centres spread across the country, 54,222 undergraduate and 8,317 graduate students were registered at UCV in 2016.
It is considered to be one of Venezuela’s most productive research institutions and in the top 20 for Latin America.
In the 1940s, architect Carlos Raúl Villanueva designed the main campus, Ciudad Universitaria de Caracas. Working with 28 avant-garde artists and contemporaries from across the world, Villanueva built the only campus to receive such acclaim – now regarded as one of the most successful examples of urban planning and modern architecture in Latin America. In 2000, UNESCO declared it a World Heritage Site.
Notable alumni include 14 of Venezuela’s presidents, as well as many eminent scientists, politicians and businessmen.
Located in Caracas, the capital of Venezuela (population: 4 million), university students have access to the coast (La Guaira Port) and the Museum of Modern Art, known as one of the most important in South America. The city is host to an international theatre festival every year, which draws performers and crowds from across the world.
UCV also has buildings in Maracay, a northern Venezuelan city known as the country’s "garden city". It is the most important city in the State of Aragua and has a population of almost a million.