Pontifical Catholic University of São Paulo

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Group.png Pontifical Catholic University of São Paulo  
PUC-SP Logo.png
HeadquartersSão Paulo, Brazil
One of the largest and most prestigious universities of Brazil.

The Pontifical Catholic University of São Paulo, locally known as PUC or the Catholic University (Universidade Católica), is a private and non-profit Catholic university. It is one of the largest and most prestigious universities of Brazil. It is maintained by the Catholic Archdiocese of São Paulo.

Most of the scientific production in PUC-SP is in the areas of law, philosophy, social sciences, economics, education, social service, and communications; in these areas, it is considered one of the most important universities in Latin America, and internationally recognized by the issues and research in disorders of human communication, political economics, semiotics and psychology. It has national and international recognition for its teaching and tradition, appearing in excellent positions in many brazilians and globals university rankings (with due regard to the criteria and methodologies used).

In 2016, for example, according to the Brazilian Ranking de Universidades da Folha (RUF), the institution was considered the best private university of Brazil by the category of teaching quality.[1] Besides that, fifteen courses from PUC-SP are the best in the country among private universities and another eight are among the top five.[2][3] Figure in the 2016 QS World University Rankings (Quacquarelli Symonds) as the 38th best university in Latin America,[4][5] and, according to the same ranking, was considered the best private university in the State of São Paulo and the 2nd best private university in Brazil (just after the Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro PUC-RJ).[6] In 2019, QS Ranking also classified PUC-SP as the 49th best university in the BRICS group and 6th in Brazil (behind USP, Unicamp, UFRJ, Unifesp e Unesp).[7] Therefore, the university is in a privileged position: the official ranking of higher education of the Ministry of Education (MEC), published annually, points to PUC-SP as the best private university in the entire State of São Paulo, the largest, richest and most populous state in the whole country, and the second best Brazil.[8] But not only academically, the university stands out with its visibility in the market. PUC-SP is one of the most respected institutions in the job market in all Latin America and in the BRICS countries, so a professional formed by PUC is highly valued.

PUC-SP was the first university in Brazil to offer graduate programmes in the areas of Philosophy, Multimedia, Social Service, Psychology of Learning, Applied Linguistics and Speech-language Therapy. It also was the second university to offer a bachelor's degree in International Relations, which offers "double diplôme" for selected students that can finish their studies in Sciences Po. Since 2003, PUC-SP participates in the joint graduate program in International Relations Programa San Tiago Dantas together with UNICAMP and UNESP, one of the most important graduate programmes in the area in Brazil. Since 2010 it also offers a joint master's degree with Pantheon-Sorbonne University at "Economie de La Mondialisation" ("Mestrado Profissional em Economia da Mundialização e do Desenvolvimento").

Despite being maintained by the Catholic Archdiocese, PUC-SP is well recognized in the city of São Paulo as a liberal environment since its professors and alumni's historical political engagements during the military dictatorship, especially within its main Perdizes campus, which hosts the Philosophy, Social Sciences, Communications, Arts and Humanities courses.

During the Military Dictatorship

During the Military Dictatorship in Brazil, many students and professors at PUC-SP were present in manifestations against the Government, and the archbishop at that time, Paulo Evaristo Arns, admitted teachers from the public universities who were dismissed by the militaries. Some of the persons who started working at PUC are Florestan Fernandes, Octavio Ianni, Bento Prado Jr., José Arthur Gianotti.

In 1977, PUC hosted the 29th meeting of the Sociedade Brasileira para o Progresso da Ciência (SBPC, Brazilian Society for the Progress of Science), which had been forbidden by the government in public universities. In September, some students celebrated the third National Meeting of the Students, also forbidden by the dictatorship. As a response, troops of the Military Police broke into the campus and arrested some students, professors and other workers.

In the early 1980s, PUC-SP was the first Brazilian university to elect the rector and other administrative functions by direct vote from the students and teachers. In 1984, two fires (one in September, the other in December, the latter believe to be criminal) damaged the theater of the university.



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Michel Temer23 September 1940Politician