The National University of Quilmes (Universidad Nacional de Quilmes or UNQ) was founded in 1989 with the aims of teaching, research, extension courses, human resources formation, technological development, product innovation and culture promotion.
UNQ's building was constructed on land donated by the textile company Fabril Financiera and it opened its doors with only 10 classrooms for its first thousand students. It now has over 11,000 students, distributed among its graduate courses and postgraduate courses of study. It has grown to become one of the most important universities in Argentina, located in the heart of the Southern Buenos Aires metropolitan area in Bernal City, Quilmes.
It is organised under a departmental structure, with three departments: science and technology, social sciences, economics and administration and a university school of arts.
In 1999, the National University of Quilmes inaugurated its first virtual classroom, making it one of the first public universities to go on the internet. Through the Quilmes Virtual University Program, the UNQ became a pioneer university in the field of non-classroom education in Latin America. Many students from all over the world have been able to access quality training in their own time as a result, without the need to synchronise with teachers or move to attend classes.
UNQ has a Science and Technology Studies Institute (IEC), founded in 1996, which focuses on scientific research, postgraduate courses teaching, knowledge promotion within the specific fields, and consulting and technical assistance activities. It has two permanent research programmes: “Sociohistorical Studies of Science and Technology” and “ History and Philosophy of Science and Technology”.