The Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, sometimes known as the "University of Brazil" and commonly abbreviated to UFRJ, is one of the largest and best known universities in Brazil. Founded by the Brazilian State in 1792, the university has gone on to have an enormous influence on public life in Rio, being responsible for laboratories, libraries and hospitals.
The University operates across a number of campuses and facilities throughout Rio de Janeiro, but is primarily focused on Ilha do Fundão, an artificial island off the western shore of Rio’s famous Guanabara Bay. This campus, known as College City, offers a huge range of services and activities for students including a free shuttle bus services for crossing Rio de Janeiro, various restaurants and cafes, a sports centre, as well as accommodation for students.
UFRJ can also lay claim to a number of high-quality academic facilities, such as the largest ocean tank in the world, as well as a domestically operated maglev train system.
As one might expect for a higher education institution of this size and reach, UFRJ offers a huge range and variety of undergraduate courses (more than 170), as well and numerous avenues for postgraduate and research students. UFRJ also distinguishes itself with a significant level of international co-operation, with extensive opportunities for foreign students to come and study in Rio.
The university can also boast of having produced a succession of successful alumni, including writer Jorge Amado, Nobel Peace Prize nominee Osvaldo Aranha, and physician Oswaldo Cruz.