The University of Antofagasta (UA) is a state research university located in the port city of Antofagasta in northern Chile. It is a member of the Chilean Traditional Universities organisation, and was established in 1981.
However, the institution's heritage dates back to 1918, when the Salitre Industrial School was created to comply with skilled labour needs in Chile. This school, eventually renamed the School of Mines, later became a part of the Technical University of the State (UTE). 1957 saw the establishment of the North Zone University Centre, later to become the Regional Headquarters of the University of Chile. The University of Antofagasta was born out of a merger of these two institutions in 1981.
UA has three campuses. The nerve centre of the university is at Coloso campus. This is where the bulk of academic activities are based, and it features areas of recreation, a library, sports facilities, auditoriums, research laboratories, an astronomy observatory, and various teaching spaces.
Situated by the Leonardo Guzman Regional Hospital is the university's second campus - the Clinical Area. This is the home and operating quarters of the medical sciences department. Administrative duties are carried out at the Angamos Campus.
The University of Antofagasta has eight main faculties: law; education; health sciences; basic sciences; engineering; medicine and dentistry; social sciences, arts and humanities; and marine sciences and biological resources.
There is a strong commitment to productively improving the regional and national environment. The university's motto is "luz y vida en el desierto", which translates to English as "light and life in the desert".
The development of technology and systems for efficient utilisation of natural resources in the region is one of the main aims of the work carried out at the university.