CHILE: The Salesian Silva Henríquez Catholic University opens new facility to provide space and services for 300 new students
(MissionNewswire) The Salesian Silva Henríquez Catholic University (UCSH), located in the Lo Cañas district of La Florida, a suburb of Santiago, Chile, opened a new facility to improve the quality of services and spaces for 300 new students taking courses in nursing, kinesiology and phonoaudiology and physical education.
The expansion project encompasses a total area of about 3 hectares which was made available by the local Salesian province. The new space includes 11 classrooms and two chemistry and biology laboratories as well as an extension of the boarding school, a theater redesign and new offices for academic staff.
Dean of the faculty of health sciences of UCSH, Professor Miguel Acevedo, said, “We are in a privileged environment which allows us to develop academic activities in a very good way, demonstrating all the commitment and the will of the university to offer the best to our students.”
Patricio Hevia, director of physical resources, noted, “At our management board, we are very happy because we have seen the work at the beginning, from scratch, and today everything is completely different, improved. There is a lot to do, but from my point of view, we are taking a big step forward that will benefit students.”
Father Galvarino Jofré, rector of the UCSH, thanked everyone who actively participated in the project. He said, “There’s a great team here, and I am also very grateful to the province for providing these spaces to the university.”
Father Jofré has indicated that the expansion of the university would continue. He said, “In the future we are planning to develop a Family Health Center, similar to the one we have in the Central House, which could be connected to the Study and Attention Center of the Community or the Legal Clinic. This answers the needs of the population that surrounds us and can become a truly significant contribution to this sector given that this service is currently lacking.”
The Salesian-run Silva Henriquez Catholic University was launched in 2016. Nearly 64 percent of its 1,106 students were admitted to the university free of charge. Salesian missionaries living and working in the region offer this free university education to students who are unable to afford it. The goal is to encourage higher learning, help students gain the education needed for a career and encourage graduates to contribute back to their communities.
According to the World Bank, Chile has a fairly low poverty rate of 14.4 percent. However, the country struggles with high rates of income and education inequality. Salesian missionaries working in Chile focus their efforts on providing education and social services to poor and at-risk youth. At Salesian schools, universities and youth centers throughout the country, youth can access an education as well as the skills and resources necessary to break the cycle of poverty. As a result of the vocational and technical education provided by Salesian programs, Chilean youth are more likely to find stable employment and improve their standard of living.
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