During its first years the University gave considerable support to education, institutional organization – such as the “Civil Code”, a model for America- , the building of the road network to join together the territory, and the energy and production infrastructure. Next to this it saw to health, the humanities and the arts.
The founders of the University, especially the first President, humanist Andrés Bello, set themselves the task to give Chile the capacity to incorporate new scientific methods and to generate thoughts that would grant it autonomy in economic, political, social and cultural matters.
The University has fulfilled this mission both through research and the transference of its results, as well as through education of professionals, specialists and post-graduates. It has also tackled, since the beginning, great national problems such as child malnutrition, exploration of the territory and prospecting its resources, the extension of national sovereignty at sea, forestry and horticultural development, geophysical studies, earthquake resistant engineering, among others.The University of Chile has also contributed to the formation of the intellectual elites and leaders of the country. Most of the Chilean Presidents have studied in its lecture halls, as well as people with prominent roles in politics, business and culture.