In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, many scholars from Concepción started to plead for the construction of a university for the south of Chile where it would be possible to study professional degrees outside the capital, Santiago. However, a project of this magnitude required a high level of organization, which as yet did not exist.
As part of its educational line, the University of Concepción devotes a large part of its budget to academic research.
It has in its facilities the most complete museum of Chilean art in the country, several sports centers and a network of 11 libraries, the main one occupying an area of 10,000 m2 (110,000 sq ft) with a total of 100,000 volumes.
Its headquarters are located in the city of Concepción, and also has two other campuses in Chillán and Los Ángeles. In a citizen survey carried out in 2012, it was chosen as the symbol that most identifies Penquists.
The university is located in the University District. The whole campus comprises what is known as the Ciudad Universitaria (University City), which also contains museums, sculptures and parks. Today, the campus has an area of 1,425,000 m2, of which 239,856 are built upon. It is the knowledge, science, culture, technology and research centre of the city of Concepción. The Presencia de América Latina mural by Jorge González Camarena is within the Casa del Arte on the university campus.
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