UIS is a public university established in 1944 located in the city of Bucaramanga, Santander, Colombia. The university also has satellite campuses across the cities of Barrancabermeja, Barbosa, Málaga, Piedecuesta and Socorro.
Some would say UIS have achieved their motto, "making our future", by being Colombia’s biggest higher education and research institution. Not only does it offer 124 programmes including 21 masters, six doctorate and nine residency programs to around 22,000 students, but it also ranks as one of the top research universities.
UIS is a leading multidisciplinary research institution based on their number of publications, technological development and research groups. It is known for its innovative research in the field of engineering, basic sciences, and medicine. The Colombian Institute of Petroleum and the National Center for Research in agrarian industry and tropical medicine are part of the university. Additionally, the University has 94 research laboratories, its own press publisher, and it’s the main academic centre associated with the Colombian Petroleum Company ECOPETROL.
UIS initially only offered engineering degrees in the field of electronics, mechanical and chemical. During the 1950s and 1960s petroleum and metallurgical engineering as well as the school of health sciences with programmes in medicine, nursing, bacteriology, nutrition, physical therapy and social work were added. Finally, in 1994, the faculty of law and political science were introduced to become the first law programme offered by a public educational institution in the north-eastern region of Colombia.
The university’s main campus, known as Campus Universitario Principal (Main University Campus, CUP), is located in the northeast part of the city and houses the faculties of sciences, engineering, and humanities. The second campus, however, is close to the University Hospital of Santander and hence contains the faculty of health in addition to a building known as Sede Bucarica, which is a national heritage monument.
Santander is located in the central Northern part of Colombia and is well known for its small towns and villages, delicious cuisine and fun activities. Visiting the Chicamocha Canyon where you can enjoy ziplining and enjoying the stunning view of the biggest Colombian canyon from the comfort of your cable-car is a must.
If you’re interested in an adrenalin rush then paragliding and extreme sports such as bungee jumping and white-water rafting are available. On the other hand, more relaxing activities such as taking a coffee tour of the beautiful Hacienda El Roble, admiring the caves and waterfall of Florian and walking the cobbled streets of Giron, one of Colombia’s 17 "Heritage Towns" is a requirement.