Tuesday, August 16, 2011

The Universidade Federal de Ouro Preto (UFOP)

The Universidade Federal de Ouro Preto (UFOP) main campus is in the UNESCO patrimony city of Ouro Preto, in the state of Minas Gerais. UFOP was originally established as a Fundação de Direito Público on August 21, 1969, incorporating two centuries of higher education institutions: The Escola de Farmácia and the Escola de Minas both form the oldest higher educational institutions in Brasil. It is one of 63 projected campuses in the Brazilian Federal University system.

Combining tradition and modernity, UFOP expanded with the creation of academic units and the introduction of courses. UFOP offers 28 undergraduate courses, with 22 departments and seven academic units, including the Centro de Educação Aberta e a Distância (Center for Open and Distance Education - CEAD), now administers degrees in, mathematics, geography, early and elementary education specialization courses in business administration and pedagogy, working in 13 centers, in partnerships with municipal governments in five Brazilian states.

UFOP boasts nine libraries, distributed over four campuses with over 62,000 titles and 101,688 volumes, not including those found in CEAD. Besides these, there is the Center for Rare books (Biblioteca de Obras Raras), which has a collection of 20,000 volumes. Among them are books of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries relating to foreign researchers and naturalists who studied Brazil. Currently, the Library holds a books restoration project, funded by Gerdau/Açominas.

Academic activities are coordinated by the Reitorias de Graduação, de Pesquisa e Pós-Graduação e de Extensão. The faculty includes 335 instructors with a high qualification, of which 74% are doctors and 13% are teachers. The technical and administrative staff comprises 641 employees, with 111 top-level, mid-level 319 and 211-level support.

The student body is made up of 8289 post-graduate students with another 3617 students obtaining degrees via distance education. At the graduate level, there are 250 students in the Masters, 52 PhD and 167 obtaining specialization certificates.

Recently, UFOP has carried-out a number of impressive transformational projects designed to give it autonomy and independence, and to contribute to the economic development of Ouro Preto, Mariana and our greater region.

With the vibrant Arts & Convention Center (O Centro de Artes e Convenções) located in the former Parque Metalúrgico da Escola de Minas, UFOP has multiplied the economic strength of tourism in Ouro Preto and the greater region. With a renewed focus on culture, science and education, the Center receives seminars and conventions, shows and concerts from around the country.

The development of the university is also reflected by its impressive research and graduate studies. New policies for teacher training, the creation of postgraduate courses and assembly of different laboratories funded by agencies such as CNPq, FINEP and FAPEMIG consitute the main facilities. Through the Núcleo de Pesquisa em Ciências Biológicas (Nupeb), and brings teachers from three units for research and graduate education in UFOP and is a participant in the Minas Gerais Genome Network.

One of the important partnerships established by UFOP is through Rede Temática em Engenharia de Materiais (REDEMAT). The network, which integrates UFOP, the Universidade Estadual de Minas Gerais (UEMG) and the Fundação Centro Tecnológico de Minas Gerais (CETEC) offers post-graduate level degrees, specialization certificates, masters and doctorates. REDEMAT has constructed modern laboratories, and possesses a tradition in teaching and research with highly qualified scholars and professionals, with its 30 doctors and instructors and more than 140 students from various companies, universities and research institutes.

One outstanding annual event related to research, is Seminário de Iniciação Científica (SIC/UFOP), which has occurred annually since 1993, features works from all over Brasil and divided into five areas: Applied Sciences, Exact Engineering and Earth Sciences, Life Sciences and Humanities.

University extension helps train citizens, enabling the synthesis between theory and practice. An example since 2000, is the Projeto Rio Vivo, in which UFOP extends its boundaries to the Jequitinhonha Valley, working to combat Chagas disease, malnutrition, and performing other activities.

In the Ouro Preto community benefits by projects such as the Laboratório Piloto de Análises Clínicas, which serves 60 people a day for free, making four thousand tests per month. The Escritório Piloto da Escola de Minas, the population has access to courses in industrial welding, practical works and supplementary 1 and 2 degrees.

In more than 70 projects related to Cultural Heritage, UFOP proposes initiatives to preserve the memory, culture and history of Ouro Preto and Minas Gerais.

The UFOP seeks to bring the 21st century to a city more than 300 years ago, and assists to preserve through projects such as the Oficina de Cantaria I (stonework), which restores important historical monuments and is a mjor sponsore of the annual Festival de Inverno-Forum das Artes, which promotes the celebration and reflection of our arts and heritage. 

The Museu de Ciência e Técnica, the Museu de Pharmácia and the Observatório Astronômico and numerous conservation centers are important centers of culture and memory to keep a legacy of history, culture and knowledge for all

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Copyright 2011 by Daniel C. Orey All rights reserved. No part of this website may be reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the author.