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Centro Universitário Franciscano
Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil


University description (as per official university website)

The Franciscan University Center, with headquarters in Santa Maria, Rio Grande do Sul is an institution of higher education, private law and confessional nature and community, maintained by the Charitable Society and Literary St. Francis North Zone - SCALIFRA -ZN.

The city of Santa Maria is the place where the Faculty of Philosophy, Sciences and Letters Immaculate Conception - FIC and the School of Nursing Our Lady Mediatrix - FACEM present themselves as pioneers in higher education institutions. The establishment of the FIC / FACEM had an important meaning of change for society santa-Mariense. Its operation has created a new moment in the lives of young people who might cross the barrier of entry to higher education for many an insurmountable barrier, and began attending a university which opened possibilities professionals.

Santa Maria, whose initial population consisted of a large representation of rail and military currently is composed of a significant number of university students. The comings and goings of a representative proportion of the population of this city, nurture the advantage of spreading in different locations, namely built here.

The act that started this institution took place on December 19, 1953, when the SCALIFRA-ZN assumed, as an entity sponsor, with support from the Association for Higher Education-Santa Maria, the creation of the Faculty of Philosophy, Sciences and Letters Immaculate Conception. This fact, the generator matrix of this story, consisted in the promising start in view of boosting higher education for the city of Santa Maria and its region of coverage.

The consolidation of the foundation occurred on March 21, 1955, by Opinion 40/55, Commission on Higher Education of the Ministry of Education, when the faculty was approved and authorized the initial selection process. On March 31 of that year, was signed Presidential Decree No. 37.103/55, which authorized the operation of the Faculty of Philosophy, Sciences and Letters Immaculate Conception - FIC, with courses in pedagogy and Anglo-German, whose facility was officially held on April 27, 1955.

The Medical College of Saint Mary, on 19/05/1954, highlighted the need for field hospitals have an adequate nursing service, which resulted in the request to SCALIFRA-ZN by the Director of Faculty of Medicine, Director of Hospital Charity Astrogildo Dr. de Azevedo and the Bishop of Santa Maria, for the creation of a Nursing College in Santa Maria.

The process of establishing the college of Nursing was awarded to May 16, 1955, by Decree No. 144/55, signed by the Minister of Education, Candido Motta Filho, which authorized the operation of the Nursing Course School of Nursing Our Lady Mediatrix maintained by SCALIFRA-ZN, single-level university in the State. The school was recognized by Presidential Decree No. 41570 of May 27, 1957, and on September 10, 1968, by Presidential Decree No. 63231, was named to College of Nursing Our Lady Mediatrix - FACEM.
The beginning had the enthusiasm of people committed to the project. There was no lack incentives and expectations for this initiative. There have been difficulties and setbacks. It was necessary to provide buildings, libraries, equipment, teacher ... Santa Maria was at the time, an underdeveloped town, situated in the geographic center of Rio Grande do Sul state of Brazil's southernmost state.

The creation of the Universidade Federal de Santa Maria (UFSM) on 14/12/1960, provided to students, faculty and staff the opportunity to study and work. For Santa Maria, expectation of development. Immaculate Conception School to be imposed difficulties: teachers and reduction of dropout students. Other historical situations of social, economic and political challenges that have spared somehow interfered in institutional maturation.

Although there were setbacks, the FIC has continued its growth. You can prove this assertion with data that in the period 1955 to 1963, were created and recognized ten courses, training for teachers. In subsequent years, the institution expanded its operations in nearby towns.

Considered the presence of the Franciscan Sisters in several cities of Rio Grande do Sul, which kept the Holy Heart of Jesus and Holy Cross Hospital, the Association of Teaching Pro-Santa Cruz do Sul insisted on an extension of the Faculty of Philosophy, Science Literature and the Immaculate Conception, which occurred in 1967 with courses in philosophy, literature and pedagogy, the year after, the social studies course. This cooperation continued until 1971, when the same courses became the extension of the Federal University of Santa Maria. This period was of new projects and commitments, as the FIC has remained under his administration: the city of Alegrete, RS, stroke letters: Portuguese / English and Portuguese and French in the years 1969 to 1971 and in São Gabriel, the social studies course in the period 1968 to 1971. Subsequently, these courses were incorporated, respectively, the Educational Foundation of San Gabriel and Alegrete.

The School of Nursing Our Lady Mediatrix - FACEM kept the nursing assistant course at Trinity College in Cruz Alta, in the period 1988 to 1991, in Rio Pardo, in the years 1989 to 1995, and the city of Uruguaiana, 1992 1997. The training of nursing staff called the hospital and nursing care for the communities of their cities. The presence of such suspension extensionist occurred as a result of the decline in regional demand, served in the various editions of the same course.
For a period of four decades, FACEM FIC and developed his work in undergraduate courses and the college of nursing, and also provide the education levels of technical and auxiliary nurses.

The institution had qualified faculty to develop courses of specialization, while it was necessary to upgrade the teachers in view of changes in education. Thus the creation of post-graduation courses, in 1976, is a result of the process of institutional update.

The FIC and FACEM worked alone in their organization-administrative teaching until 1995, when it was unified by Ordinance No. 1402 of November 14, 1995, the Minister of Education and Sports and now called itself Colleges Franciscan - FAFRA.

Colleges with the Franciscan, began a phase of growth by expansion of graduate and post-graduation courses, expansion of physical infrastructure and organizational and training teachers, which enabled direct transformation into the University Center.

Thus, by presidential decree of September 30, 1998, published in the Official Gazette of October 1, 1998, was accredited by transforming Colleges Franciscan, the Center Franciscan University, maintained by the Company Charitable and Literary St. Francis of Assisi - North Zone, established in Santa Maria. The institution was to reapply by Ordinance No. 1564 of May 27, 2004, the Minister of Education, published in the Official Gazette of May 31, 2004.

In this context, UNIFRA has a history of experience in higher education. Committed to the cause of education and consistent with its institutional design, develop production and dissemination of knowledge, promoting culture and contributes to the technical-scientific development and social development in line with the Franciscan philosophy. It constitutes, therefore, in an educational complex that offers courses in post-secondary education to post-graduate studies.

In this construction, we understand the complexity of this institutional history when considering the importance of individual experiences and collective construction. A non-linear story, but progressive, it has the comings and goings of daily facts. Finally, in constant process of building the quality of human design.

Today, the Franciscan University Center - UNIFRA, the result of integration FIC / FACEM, is an idea that materialized. Known and respected in the academic local and national, is an institution that makes up the scenery of this city and contributes to their social, cultural and educational. The days passed and the future, once desired, this has become. Thus, the story is also at present, characterized by pluralism and diversity. Although not always possible to foresee the possibilities, he blames us design the future.
This brief report aims to recognize and affirm the work of the contributors to the development of the Center Franciscan University and currently everyone to promote their growth.

Develop and disseminate technical and scientific knowledge and culture in its many manifestations, distinguished by academic excellence in professional training and integrity of people committed to human development and social welfare from Christian principles.


The Franciscan University Center is always being updated. With each passing year, the infrastructure is modernized, and new courses are emerging work related to research, teaching and extension becomes more robust and active. A key differentiator for those seeking a quality higher education, and good teachers and modern equipment, is to have the chance to be in permanent contact with the labor market. To this end, the Center Franciscan University students nurture their diverse ways, from courses and conferences to exchange with other universities and business institutions. Combining quality education, comprehensive infrastructure for the development of knowledge and technology, the Center Franciscan University prepares very more than talent. Intact form citi-zens, "capable of interfering with the changing world."

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