Created in 1973 from the Normal School of Costa Rica and the Superior Normal School, The National University of Costa Rica brought together some of Latin America’s greatest minds to lay the foundation for an institution that serves the underprivileged in Costa Rica and offers access to a good education for everyone.
Located in the province of Heredia, the Universidad Nacional de Costa Rica (UNA), is one of five public universities in the Republic of Costa Rica, in Central America and is known for its strengths in the teaching of ecology, sociology and education.
It has five faculties: the faculty of philosophy, the faculty of exact and natural sciences, the faculty of health sciences, the faculty of social sciences and the faculty of land and sea. The Omar Dengo Campus, which is the nucleus of UNA, comprises the administration buildings and the majority of the colleges. Most other buildings are located on the Benjamín Núnez Campus, named for the founder of the National University and its first president.
It is home to the Volcanological and Seismological Observatory of Costa Rica (OVSICORI), which is dedicated to the research of volcanoes, earthquakes and other tectonic processes in Costa Rica, which is in the Central American Volcanic Arc. The geologists at OVSICORI particularly observe Poas Volcano, which is a 2,708-metre active volcano in central Costa Rica. It has erupted 39 times since 1828.
Heredia is only 11km from San Jose but is far from Costa Rica’s capital in terms of personality. The university adds a scholarly, bohemian air to the city (population: 123,000) and it is a good base from which to explore the Parque Nacional Braulio Carrillo.