In 1948, Dom Emmanuel Gomes de Oliveira, the Archbishop of Goiânia, decided to create Central-Western Brazil’s first university and set up a Philosophy College, which was the region’s first higher education institution, offering degrees in history, geography, Portuguese and teaching.
The Colleges of Economics, Law, Fine Arts, Nursing, Social Service and Social and Economic Studies were added throughout the 1950s. In 1958, all establishments were gathered into the Universidade de Goiás, later renamed Universidade Católica de Goiás and recently recognised by the Holy See as a University of Pontifical Right, becoming PUC Goiás.
PUC Goiás has five campuses, four of which are in Goiânia (population: 1.3 million), the state capital, and another in the municipality of Ipameri (population: 26,800). The library is stocked with over 213,000 books and has a school of foreign languages, its own television network (UCG-TV), four research institutes, over 400 laboratories, two museums and two on-site medical clinics. There are around 25,000 students attending PUC Goiás, making it one of the region’s biggest private higher education institutions.
Goiânia is located in the Brazilian Highlands in the Meia Ponte River Valley, approximately 177km southwest of Brasilia, the federal capital. With its wide avenues, attractive parks and a large-capacity football stadium, it has been described in the past as having the largest green area per resident in Brazil and the second-most globally, after Edmonton in Alberta, Canada. It is one of the region’s key economic hubs and is considered a strategic centre for industry, medicine, fashion and agriculture.