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The Princess of Asturias Foundation

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Laureates  

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The National Autonomous University of Mexico

Prince of Asturias Award for Communication and Humanities 2009

The National Autonomous University of Mexico was founded in 1910 as a centre for higher education to succeed the Royal and Pontifical University of Mexico, which itself was founded in 1551 following the Salamanca University model. In 1929, as a result of internal social reform, the federal Government granted the university its still-current autonomous status, resulting in its present-day name of National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM). Currently, it has become the most important public centre for higher education in the United States of Mexico and one of the most important in Ibero-America.

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The UNAM has a total of 18 faculties and 4 university schools, as well as 46 institutes and research centres. It has branches in every State in Mexico as well as small foreign campuses in the United States (Chicago, Los Angeles and San Antonio) and Canada (Gatineau). It has a total of 299,688 registered students this academic year, divided amongst secondary education, bachelor's degrees and postgraduate studies. 34,835 researchers and teachers make up its teaching staff.

In the field of Humanities, the UNAM stands out for its open approach to Ibero-American thought and its role as a reception centre for intellectuals and professors that were exiled after the Spanish Civil War. Its research institutes in History, Philosophy, Philology and Aesthetics have published over 2,700 books and 16 journals.

The UNAM manages the National Library and the National Newspaper Library, as well as its own system of 141 libraries. Its many facets lets it boast a wide cultural offering, including philharmonic orchestras -whose home base is the renowned Nezahualcóyotl concert hall- and a symphony orchestra; a radio station and a television channel; the most important film library in the country, the University Centre for Film Studies, which is the oldest film school in Latin America and a network of university museums that cover a wide range of fields, with spaces for exhibiting various artistic expressions along with history, sociology, science and technology. The UNAM has its own digital portal as well as many others for its numerous centres, making it the best in Ibero-America. 3 Nobel Prize winners have studied at the UNAM as well as 8 of the 11 Mexican Prince of Asturias Award Laureates. Its main campus in Mexico City, the University City, which was inaugurated in 1954, was named World Heritage site of the UNESCO in 2007 for being an example of a modernist monumental complex of the 20th century. It has several buildings in Mexico City's Historic Downtown, also a World Heritage site.

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