The National Autonomous University of Mexico (NAUM) is the largest university in Latin America. Originally the ‘Royal and Pontifical University of Mexico’, it was founded in 1910 by the then minister of education, Justo Sierra, whose aim was to create a Mexican institute of higher learning based on liberal values.
In 1929 the university was granted autonomy from government influence, which allowed it greater freedoms around curriculum and budgetary management.
Today, as well as offering degrees at undergraduate and postgraduate level, it also runs several high schools throughout Mexico City which prepares students for higher education.
The university’s main campus, designed by some of Mexico’s best architects, is a recognised World Heritage site. Other campuses exist across Mexico and the university also has an international presence in Texas, Illinois and Quebec.
Although university instruction is given in Spanish, most degree programmes include an intensive, five-week Spanish language programme for international students who need to brush up on their language skills.
NAUM has associations with three Nobel Laureates in Peace, Literature and Chemistry. Other notable alumni include no less than five presidents of Mexico and a number of renowned journalists, philosophers and politicians.
The university prides itself on its research excellence and is home to various research centres – including the Centre for Applied Sciences and Technological Development – which emphasise the integration of science with real world problems. NAUM also specialises in conducting research into issues directly relevant to Mexico and the developing world.