Top Ten Universities in Latin America 2013 | Top Universities

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Top Ten Universities in Latin America 2013

By Laura Bridgestock

Updated March 5, 2016 Updated March 5, 2016

The article below is based on the 2013 results. To view the latest version of this article based on the QS University Rankings: Latin America 2015, click here.

Take a closer look at the top ten universities in Latin America this year, according to the 2013 QS University Rankings: Latin America. Find out what makes the region’s top universities special, where their strengths lie, and what’s new this year. (For 2014's top 10 universities in Latin America, click here.)

1. Universidade de São Paulo – USP (Brazil)

Holding onto the top spot once again, USP has been number one since the QS University Rankings: Latin America since launched three years ago. Brazil’s largest university, it has strong scores across most of the seven indicators used to create the rankings, including the top spot in the employer reputation survey and the region’s strongest online presence.

2. Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile (Chile)

One of six Catholic universities in Chile, the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile is based in Chilean capital Santiago. The university gains its strongest score for employer reputation, academic reputation and research penetration. While falling one place in the employer reputation survey, to third, it climbs one place this year in the academic reputation survey, now fourth.

3. Universidade Estadual de Campinas (Brazil)

Commonly known as Unicamp, Brazil's second entry is based in Campinas, about 100km north of São Paulo. Its strongest score is for research papers per faculty member, and in fact Unicamp’s researchers appear to be the most productive in Latin America, beating even USP on this measure. It’s rated 6th in the region by academics, 12th by employers, and has one of the strongest percentages of staff with a PhD.

4. Universidad de Los Andes (Colombia)

Colombia’s highest entry is found in the country’s capital, Bogotá. Like all these top ten, the Universidad de Los Andes gets very high ratings on both the academic and employer surveys, rated 9th and 7th in the region respectively. Overall, the university has climbed two places this year, having gained ground on all the indicators used except for academic reputation (down one place) and proportion of staff with a PhD.

5. Universidad de Chile (Chile)

Like its fellow Chilean top-ten entry, the Universidad de Chile is based in Santiago. Down one place this year, the university has fallen on most of the seven indicators. However, it stays at 6th place in the employer reputation survey, and has lost just one position in the academic reputation survey, where it now ranks fifth.

6. Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México – UNAM (Mexico)

Mexico City-based UNAM retains the number one spot in the academic survey, as well as the region’s second strongest score for online presence (behind USP).  Overall, however, the university has dropped by one place this year, having fallen on most indicators – including the employer survey, where it falls three places to 8th.

7. Tecnológico de Monterrey – ITESM (Mexico)

Mexico’s second top-ten representative is found (you guessed it) in Monterrey, reputed to be the country’s richest city. ITESM boasts the second highest rating in the employer reputation survey, behind USP, though is outside the top ten (14th) according to academics. Overall ITESM has no change in position this year.

8. Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro (Brazil)

As you may have guessed from the name, Brazil’s third-ranked university is based in Rio de Janerio, famed worldwide for its carnival and confirmed host of the 2016 Summer Olympics. The Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro is rated 7th in the region by academics but only 53rd by employers – though it has climbed significantly in the employer survey since last year. It also has strong scores for papers per faculty member, online presence and proportion of staff with a PhD.

9. Universidad Nacional de Colombia (Colombia)

Climbing three places to enter the top ten this year, Colombia’s second ranking university is again in Bogotá. The Universidad Nacional de Colombia beats countrymate Universidad de Los Andes on the indicators for papers per faculty (5th overall) and online presence (6th) and has climbed two places in both the academic and employer surveys – to 7th and 5th respectively.

10. Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais (Brazil)

Also climbing three places this year, Brazil’s fourth ranking university is based in the city of Belo Horizonte. The Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais has its strongest scores for proportion of staff with a PhD (6th), papers per faculty member (6th) and online presence (10th). This year it’s rated 18th in the region by academics (17th last year) and 70th by employers (102nd last year).

This article was originally published in May 2013 . It was last updated in March 2016

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Written by

The former editor of, Laura oversaw the site's editorial content and student forums. She also edited the QS Top Grad School Guide and contributed to market research reports, including 'How Do Students Use Rankings?'

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