The University of Notre Dame's work in Chile extends back to more than three quarters of a century, when the Congregation of the Holy Cross established the Saint George’s College in Santiago in 1936 – then, its first educational institution in Latin America. Today, with more than 3,000 students, Saint George’s is one of Chile’s most prestigious primary and secondary schools, with a long and proud tradition of educating the country’s future civic, social, business, cultural and political leaders. The congregation has subsequently expanded its range of educational and pastoral apostolates to Brazil, Haiti, Mexico, and Peru.
Over the past decades, multiple units at Notre Dame have engaged in profound and fruitful partnerships with Chile. Many of these partnerships began in the 1970s with the Kellogg Institute for International Studies and the Center for Civil and Human Rights, but have since expanded to almost all academic areas at Notre Dame, including several programs for study abroad, internships, research opportunities, dual degrees, sabbaticals, students and faculty exchange for undergraduate and graduate students, faculty and staff.
NDI's Santiago Global Center performs an ambassadorial role to create, represent, promote, and support all initiatives between Notre Dame and Chilean partners.
The University of Notre Dame and the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile (PUC) aspire to be among the world’s preeminent research universities with ever-increasing international reach, while remaining true to their Catholic mission. Both universities share a vision for increasing strategic scholarly engagement in a globalized context. Their complementary missions as excellent Catholic universities provide propitious ground for increasing collaborations, synergies, and a substantial impact on academia, society and the Church.
The Notre Dame-PUC collaboration continues to evolve, extending beyond undergraduate and graduate levels to faculty and staff relationships that include research and sabbatical opportunities, institutional support and development, dual Ph.D. programs, and internships.
Notre Dame International has a permanent office in Santiago, Chile, generously provided by PUC at San Joaquin Campus, PUC’s largest campus in Santiago. The Notre Dame presence at PUC has facilitated a mutually beneficial relationship for both institutions. PUC continues to facilitate access for Notre Dame students to its vast array of courses, services, support networks, and health benefits in addition to academic, religious, cultural and recreational activities and facilities. Collaboration has expanded to many fields including engineering, chemistry, theology, history, political science, sociology, biology, economics, astronomy, and more.
The strong commitment to mutual collaboration by both Notre Dame and PUC leadership, including presidents, provosts, vice-presidents, deans, and institute directors has encouraged and facilitated the development of new initiatives and brought the relationship to levels not normally seen in international cooperation. Several sabbaticals done by Notre Dame professors at PUC and vice-versa have deepened the friendship among colleagues, stimulating new research and academic interaction.
In the context of a more profound, strategic, and mutually beneficial collaboration, and agreement was signed in November of 2013 that allows PUC to send undergraduate students to Notre Dame. Open to various majors, students are now able to attend Notre Dame for a semester or a year of regular, credit-bearing, courses at Notre Dame, through reciprocal tuition waivers.
The relationship between PUC and Notre Dame is built on a strong foundation and is poised for many exciting opportunities. For these initiatives to flourish it is imperative to expand visits and research stays of faculty at both universities. Professional commitments and friendship at the faculty and leadership levels are critical to develop fruitful institutional collaborations. Support from the Luksburg Foundation to build an enduring partnership with Notre Dame and PUC promises to have a transformative impact on both universities, as its predecessor, the Luksic Fellowships, has done since 2013.
Following the efforts of PUC Rector Ignacio Sánchez and University of Notre Dame President Fr. John Jenkins to expand and deepen relationships with the top Catholic universities in the world, the partnership between Notre Dame and PUC is clearly a priority for both institutions. The promising conversations and growing friendships between Notre Dame and PUC leaders are testaments to the commitment and zeal of many administrators, faculty, and students, to this collaborative relationship.