The flagship institution in Peru is excited about its present and future.
Seventh-day Adventist higher education in Peru has come a long way since the Industrial Institute was founded in 1919 in Miraflores, a district in the capital city of Lima. Years later, after moving an hour east and being eventually chartered as a university in 1983, the now Peruvian Adventist University has one main campus and two branches across the country, with over 13,000 students and a combined offer of 43 degree programs.
Peruvian Union University’s exhibit in booth #B556 of the convention center invites delegates and visitors to stop by to “enjoy the wonders of Peru.” Together with an impressive plotted photograph of Machu Picchu and a multicolor map of the country, a third giant poster reveals the beauty of the university campus that, as advertised, is a place “where things turn out for the better.”
“We really believe that together we can make our students’ dreams come true,” says Le-Roy Alomía, director of the university public relations office. “This is a place with a healthy Christian environment that fosters academic enterprise of a high order.”
The university, which is advertised as a place “for young people with big dreams and lofty ideals,” is based on the wholistic approach to education advocated by the Seventh-day Adventist Church. Its three campuses strive to provide a balanced education. That is why a music school, a foreign language institute, student work centers, and sports activities all find a place as part of the curriculum-related activities.
“We have two immediate goals,” says Dr. Maximina Contreras Castro, the university president, in a brief interview with the Adventist Review. “We want to strengthen the degree programs by increasing and improving our laboratory facilities. We are in urgent need of new labs for our program in medicine introduced three years ago and for our brand new program in architecture and civil engineering. In addition, enrollment increase in degree programs in nutrition also demands new laboratories.”
“That’s not all,” adds Dr. Castro. “Our greatest dream is to have a church building on our campus. In recent years, we have been meeting in a huge makeshift tent, which is far from ideal.”
“But we have begun the construction of a church building, which, when finished, will seat 3,500,” says Contreras. “Our goal is to complete the church building by 2019, the year of our centennial celebrations.”