The university started in 1936 as School of Commerce Castro Carazo. At the end of the 19th century, the Minister of Education, Mauro Fernandez, carried out a reform to democratize education, as we only had at that time a few schools and a pontifical university attended by the elite. That reform focused on improving elementary schools, while also building four high schools, closing the pontifical university, and organizing a polytechnic higher education institution. However, the dream of building a polytechnic did not take place, so in 1936 Miguel Angel Castro Carazo created this school to provide more, higher education opportunities. He also created a network for distance education in collaboration with the post office system in Costa Rica, local governments, and the church. In 1996, the School of Commerce Castro Carazo was transformed into a private university. We are proud of and faithful to our roots, and are growing wings to fly into an innovative future and meet the demands of society with more agility.
Rector, Universidad Castro Carazo
Administrative Director, Texas Tech
There is a soft revolution going on in the world called the internationalization of higher education. While there have been certain initiatives, like Education City in Dubai, they have grouped overseas universities together. Out of 2,600 American universities, my research shows only 75 have one or more overseas campuses that offer degrees. These are institutions that understand the importance and power of education across frontiers. Education may be the best chance we have at liberty, peace, justice, and economic development on a grand scale. The hope does not lie in armies or even diplomats; it lies in teachers, schools, and education. Promerica Group has always had an educational vision. If an institution is able to educate for creativity, innovation, and problem solving, rather than drill-and-kill and memorization, then it is helping to nurture the kinds of minds that can deal with the issues that the future will call for.
Prof. Dr. Henning Jensen Pennington
Rector, University of Costa Rica
Un the QS University Rankings published in mid-2017, we made a tremendous leap and moved up approximately 60 positions in the global rankings. This is due to many factors. One is that Universidad de Costa Rica does a great deal of international networking in order to be present at important scientific and academic endeavors. The university has become extremely competent at research and works with many universities in the world at the same level. Second, we have made many investments to improve and expand our infrastructure. This will be dedicated not only to conducting more classes, but also improving our laboratories and equipment to be on par with widely acknowledged universities around the world. These are the key factors that have translated into our excellent reputation. We also have a strong commitment to entrepreneurship. We have an agency called the University Agency for the Management of Entrepreneurship (AUGE) that is making a concerted effort to impart both hard and soft skills to our students and faculty members.
Rector, Universidad Autónoma de Centroamérica (UACA)
In the 1970s, the only university in Costa Rica was the Universidad de Costa Rica (UCR), which was only able to receive 800 new students a year, despite much higher demand. Each year many young people could not get into college, a problem that caused family issues and an educational crisis. During this time, I was a teacher at UCR, where I had worked for 30 years. We were trying to convince the UCR to increase its number of admissions. Unfortunately, it was not possible. It got so bad that a group of parents called us and asked if it was possible to start a private university in Costa Rica. Our answer was yes, but how would we overcome the legal, social, political, and financial barriers? It took some time as we only had 18 people. When the government approved the foundations law, we knew this was our chance to create the university, and thus we founded the Universidad Autónoma de Centroamérica. It was not easy, but we did it.
Rector, Universidad Latina (ULatina)
ULatina was created 25 years ago. It was created by a family with a vision of being present not only in the Greater Metropolitan Area (GAM), but in provincial and rural zones. Its founders, the Salas family, set it up as a university that covered all areas of knowledge. It began operations with five educational faculties, but now has six, plus a post-graduate international center. We have seven regional facilities in Guanacaste, Santa Cruz, Cañas, and Liberia. In the Caribbean area, we have facilities in Guápiles and in Perez Zeledon. We also have other satellite locations in Ciudad Neily and Grecia. Santa Cruz, Guápiles, and Perez Zeledon are the largest rural operations. In GAM, we have campuses at Heredia and San Pedro, and a post-grade international center in Torre Mercedes Building in Paseo Colón. We plan to open a facility at San Carlos area in the medium term, since it is an emerging area and has a great need for quality educational services in certain specific knowledge areas.