A new campus of the Bolivarian University of Venezuela (UBV) has been inaugurated in Venezuela’s Falcon state. The UBV offers free degree courses at undergraduate and postgraduate levels.
Established in November 2003 under Mission Sucre, the UBV is aimed at providing higher education opportunities to Venezuela’s poor.
The UBV’s newest campus in Falcon’s Los Taques municipality has 30 classrooms, and will benefit over 5600 students, according to the government. The campus also has recreational, dining and administrative facilities, and was its construction was funded by state oil company PDVSA.
President Nicolas Maduro inaugurated the campus on Tuesday via radio.
Officially, the UBV has more than 1300 campuses in 335 municipalities across Venezuela.However, apart from the main campus in Caracas, most UBV facilities are significantly smaller than the new Falcon site. The mission initially operated out of buildings owned by PDVSA, but is now hosted by schools and other educational institutions outside normal operating hours.
More than 695,000 people have studied or are studying through the UBV, while 379,000 have graduated. Over 5000 UBV students are indigenous Venezuelans. The university has also handed out over 150,000 scholarships.
Like most universities in Venezuela, the UBV provides tuition free of charge to the student, including meals.
The university also primarily offers courses in areas considered by the government to be of national priority, ranging from education, law, healthcare, engineering and others. Courses generally involve high levels of community service, and usually have lower entrance requirements than Venezuela’s traditional universities.
The campus at Falcon will mostly be geared towards courses in agro-ecology, architecture, social communication, environmental management, public health, social development, computing, and petrochemical refining.