The University of Havana

The University of Havana is rich in history and tradition. Founded in 1728, it will celebrate it’s tri-centenary in about a decade. According to Sergei, our guide:

  • It enrolls 15,000 students, including 2,000 foreign students.
  • Some 1,500 faculty members serve the students.
  • The University of Havana is completely free for Cuban students living in Cuba.
  • The blue-eyed owl atop the administration building (below) symbolizes the wisdom of white people. Prior to the revolution, black Cubans were not permitted to enroll at the University of Havana.

Foreign students are welcome. Sergei in fact admits them. The fee structure is complicated for different years and levels of study, but a rule of thumb suggests that annual tuition for foreign students is about $5,000.

The university has several impressive buildings, including the library and law school building below (where Fidel Castro studied in the 1940s). The library also contains a spectacular large meeting hall for important sessions. During our visit, the Minister of Education and the university chancellor were concluding a meeting launching a new program named in honor of Raul Castro’s son.

Graduating classes typically have their picture taken in front of a statue of Alma Mater and the Roundtable graduates of the tour of the university were pleased to take advantage of that tradition.

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