Our students choose the Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia for many reasons, among which high academic quality stands out. In addition, they choose a teaching staff committed to sharing their valuable knowledge to develop students that are focused on their objectives and eager to discover new trends. Beyond having the highest international academic and research standards, in Cayetano, we have a commitment to society. We strive together, researchers, professors, and students, to make a significant contribution that will provide wellbeing in all the fields that we work.
The history of the Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia is closely linked to the development of medicine and science research in Perú. It was founded in 1961 when a major group of professors with extensive experience in teaching medicine at the most prestigious public university in the country at the time, had the vision to create a university characterized by its high academic standards. The goal was to become an ongoing contributor to research in health and science in the country and the world. These visionary physicians created the Cayetano Heredia Medicine Professors Union, on July 25, 1961, and began operations at the site of the National Academy of Medicine.
From the beginning, the founders received support from the local and international community to create a new center for health science studies. The support of the local community became tangible with the establishment of a Board of Trustees, chaired by Mr. Enrique Ayulo Pardo. After two months, thanks to the arduous and continuous work of the members of the Union, on September 22, 1961, the Peruvian government formalized the establishment of the University of Medical and Biological Sciences; that name was eventually changed to the current one.
In April 1961, the first admission exam was held. It would serve as a future model for other universities in the country. A total of 585 applicants competed for 65 openings. The admitted students, together with others that transferred from universities in Perú and abroad, started classes in May 1962. The official inauguration of the new university was June 18, 1962, under the leadership of doctors Honorio Delgado and Alberto Hurtado.
The establishment of the Cayetano Heredia National Hospital in 1967, made official the permanent collaboration between the UPCH and the Ministry of Health, and enabled the development of community medicine by students and professors from the University in an area of influence, from the district of Rímac to the province of Canta, in Lima.
Many professional and research programs have been developed since then. The specialties of Stomatology, Veterinary Medicine, and successively, Psychology, Biology, Chemistry, Pharmacy, and Nursing were added to the program of Medicine. In 2001, the program of Education was launched, offering teacher formation programs. Since 2015, undergraduate degrees in Elementary Education and Early Education have been added. The most recent degree is in Public Health and Global Health, which was launched in 2015 to assist society’s need to work in prevention rather than only in the treatment of a disease.
In 2006, the University became the first one in Perú to receive an international accreditation, which was renewed in 2010 with special mention in research.
Contribution to global research and wellbeing
As for research, many professors and students have contributed to the development of projects and solutions with a global impact and received international recognition. Among them, a recent example is Dr. Gotuzzo, head of the Department of Infectious Diseases at the Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia. In 2014, he received an award in recognition of his extensive career for his work in fighting tuberculosis. The “Bright Futures” project, by Dr. Patricia García, dean of the School of Public Health and Administration (FASPA), was selected in 2011 by the organization Grand Challenges Canada (GCC) and by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to finance the creation of an implementation model of new technology in Maternal and Child Health to be used worldwide.
The contributions of the UPCH to life in Perú and to research at national and international levels have been made possible thanks to the vision and institutional policies that always were geared toward the real needs of Peru. This work is reflected in the development of pioneering community educational programs, as well as in the participation and contribution to solve various pathologies, particularly those regarding the adaptation to high altitudes, diseases that affect mining workers, goiter, acute dehydration therapy, the fight against cholera, studies and treatments against tuberculosis, sexually transmitted diseases, and other endemic diseases that affect vulnerable populations in the country.
Today we prepare students with a global vision, based on the principles that guided our founders: Honorio Delgado, Alberto Hurtado, Carlos Monge C., Víctor Alzamora C., Javier Mariátegui, Uriel García, Mariano Querol, among others. Also, our former Provosts, besides the first three already mentioned, doctors Enrique Fernández, Homero Silva, Alberto Cazorla, Carlos Vidal, Roger Guerra-García and Oswaldo Zegarra. That is how we who received this legacy understand it today. Therefore, we have sought to make our institution an especially conducive place for research and reflection, where knowledge is nurtured with all the necessary resources. We are aware that a true university is rooted in the society that hosts it, and which it must serve, while it also opens up to the world to engage in an ongoing dialogue and exchange of knowledge.
Currently, more than 9 000 alumni from different UPCH faculties/programs are making their contributions in their profession in the country, and the world.