The Business Year

Miguel R. Fiallo Calderón

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC - Health & Education

Agents of Change

Rector, UNPHU

Bio

Miguel R. Fiallo Calderón became Rector of the Universidad Nacional Pedro Henrí­quez Ureña (UNPHU) in 2005, and has worked to ensure its gradual, but stable growth. He also serves as Vice-Treasurer of Fundación Universitaria Dominicana Pedro Henrí­quez Ureña (FUDPHU). He has recently been awarded for his contribution to education by the New York State Assembly, and became a representative of the Inter-American Universities Organization in 2012. In addition to teaching in a range of Dominican universities, he also co-founded the Diseños, Proyectos y Contrucciones and Fiallo, Rodriguez y Asociados companies.

What is the history of the Universidad Nacional Pedro Henrí­quez Ureña (UNPHU)? We were the first private university in Santo Domingo, and are one of the oldest universities in the […]

What is the history of the Universidad Nacional Pedro Henrí­quez Ureña (UNPHU)?

We were the first private university in Santo Domingo, and are one of the oldest universities in the city. UNPHU was established in 1966 after breaking away from the State University during a time when there was a lack of higher education options, especially those without political or religious links. Today, we are run as a non-profit organization with strong support from a group of businessmen. We can proudly say that currently there are more than 30,000 graduates of UNPHU, and our strongest departments are medicine, veterinary science, dentistry, engineering, agronomy, and architecture (the first in the Dominican Republic), among others. In fact, our graduate architects have considerably contributed to transforming the urban landscape of the country. Our medicine, veterinary, and dentistry students take their exams in the US, which enables them to work professionally both there and in Puerto Rico. I would say that one of our strongest competitive advantages is the array of international agreements we have with other universities. We have a strong focus on the US, but also Mexico and Europe; for example, in Spain, we have agreements with the Medicine Faculty of the University of Seville and the architecture department of the University of Barcelona. As part of this internationalization process, we also have to comply with high standards, and many agencies and universities we have partnerships with come to visit our premises to ensure that we meet the required educational standards. We currently have seven faculties (architecture, health sciences, education, science and technology, social sciences, law, and economics), with around 450 professors and 7,140 students.

What are the core values and missions of the university?

At UNPHU we train students to become capable of becoming agents of change in the country. Our high academic standards and the recognition of our graduates demonstrate our strong commitment to society. Our mission is to contribute to the sustainable development and improvement of society through the education we provide to graduate students who are competitive in their fields and committed to innovation. Our values include academic excellence, responsibility, integrity, ethics, equality, social and environmental commitment, and diversity.

What is the average profile of your students, and how do you see the university expanding in the near future?

Of our 7,100 students, around 30% enjoy scholarships due to the lack of sufficient funds to access higher education and their strong academic qualifications. Also, we have middle- to upper-class students in our university, providing a perfect mix of individuals in an academic environment. There are currently over 70 foreign students at UNPHU, mainly from the US and Spain, and we expect to increase such figures in the years to come. We also have plans to expand our student body to approximately 8,000, as well as extend our campus. We perceive for the first time ever a common feeling between all social agents to push education to the forefront of our development and prioritize it over other sectors. The sector’s budget today represents 4% of GDP, up from 2% a couple of years ago. However, we must keep one thing in mind: we won’t see the results of such efforts in the short term.

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