Higher Education which Cares for the Community

Universidad Privada Antenor Orrego Focuses on Producing Well Rounded, Socially Conscious Graduates

Peru’s First Man of Letters, Mario Vargas Llosa, also has Ties to Northwestern Peru

Practical experience combines with classroom theory to produce a well rounded graduate
The Universidad Privada Antenor Orrego (UPAO), after less than twenty-five years in existence, has already made an important difference in the lives of the people that it serves in northwestern Peru, with its main campus in the city of Trujillo and a branch campus in Piura. This year, UPAO has been selected to receive the BID Quality Crown Award for 2015.

Besides being home to one of the UPAO campuses, Piura also witnessed a portion of the childhood of Nobel prize winner Mario Vargas Llosa, who received the Prize for literature in 2010. The award was given to him "for his cartography of structures of power and his trenchant images of the individual's resistance, revolt, and defeat.” Along with Julio Cortázar, Gabriel García Márquez, Octavio Paz, and Carlos Fuentes Vargas Llosa was among a handful of Latin American writers who brought fame and international attention to the literary output of that part of the world.

In addition to the Nobel Prize, Vargas Llosa has won the Premio Leopoldo Alas, the Premio Biblioteca Breve, Premio Planeta de Novela, the Jerusalem Prizefor the Freedom of the Individual in Society, the Miguel de Cervantes Prize, the Rómulo Gallegos Prize, the Peace Prize of the German Book Trade, the Menéndez Pelayo International Prize, the Prix Mondial Cino Del Duca, the Grinzane Cavour Prize, the Maria Moors Cabot Prizes, the Irving Kristol Award, the PEN/Nabokov Award, the Carlos Fuentes Prize, the National Book Critics Circle Award for Criticism, and the Prince of Asturias Award for Literature, the Harold and Ethel L. Stellfox Visiting Scholar and Writers Award at Dickinson College.

Vargas Llosa has produced a huge body of work, with novels, essays, literary criticism and journalism. Although he writes a lot about his native Peru, Vargas Llosa’s work has an international flavor. He has been active in politics, running for president in 1990 and giving many speeches around the world. His outspoken manner has attracted fans and critics alike.

One of Vargas Llosa’s most famous speeches occurred in 1990, right after losing the Peruvian election. He was invited by the famous Mexican writer Octavio Paz to attend a conference where the collapse of communism was the main theme. During the conference he had this to say about the then ruling PRI party in Mexico: "I don't believe that there has been in Latin America any case of a system of dictatorship which has so efficiently recruited the intellectual milieu, bribing it with great subtlety. Mexico is the perfect dictatorship. The perfect dictatorship is not communism, not the USSR, not Fidel Castro; the perfect dictatorship is Mexico. Because it is a camouflaged dictatorship."

Higher Education with a Higher Purpose in Peru

In its role as a private, nonprofit university conferring bachelor degrees, masters, and doctorates, UPAO has as its primary mission, the education of young men and women, preparing them for careers in 23 fields of study in 8 schools: Engineering, Agriculture, Architecture, Communication, Education, Law, Medicine, and Health Sciences. For this, the university has on staff an eminently qualified faculty with terminal degrees and who are well respected in their fields.

The university is noteworthy, however, for its unusual focus on the community and for its establishment of programs that integrate the university with the people who live around it. The university recognizes that a well rounded student also has a social conscious, and the institution takes its mission very seriously of training students to do good in addition to doing well. In the words of its Rector, Dr. Víctor Raúl Lozano Ibáñez, “Families who have entrusted their young charges to our University can be confident in the effort that we put forth, and will continue to put forth, in ensuring that students will receive a complete education -- scientific, technological, and humanistic -- based on the essential values that strengthen the humanity of each member of the University Community which then benefit ourselves and, in turn, the nation. “

Part of the university’s written Institutional Philosophy is a “commitment to social service and the defense of tolerance and integration in Latin America, in accordance with the inspiration of our mentor, Antenor Orrego Espinoza.” Consistent with this outward looking point of view, the University has founded a wide range of programs closely related to its core courses of instruction in order to edify its students and help the community.

UPAO Business Incubator and INVESTIGA

The UPAO Business incubator trains students in the creation and development of innovative companies in the area surrounding the university. These aren’t merely academic exercises, but the goal is to grow the entrepreneurial spirit for the long term and to use successful businesses already started and run by the school as models. Students learn not only how to draft and carry out a business plan, but they also can take advantage of numerous contacts that the university has in the business community in order to bring their ideas to life. And true to the core values of the university, major emphasis is placed on conducting business ethically and with concern for the environment.

INVESTIGA is a unique program dedicated to providing polling and public opinion services to the community at large. Students learn how to ask appropriate questions, analyze and synthesize data of importance to entrepreneurs, large businesses, and social scientists. They also learn how to craft policy and strategy based on the results.

La Clínica Estomatológica and the Instituto de Competencias y Destrezas Médicas

The Stomatology Clinic allows students from high school all the way through postgraduate school an opportunity to learn first hand how to provide dental procedures in a full service clinic that treats not only teeth, but all diseases of the mouth. With its emphasis on preventative care, the Clinic has become a valuable part of the community of Trujillo.

The Institute for Medical Skills and Competencies is another full service teaching clinic that provides care to the surrounding community. It is equipped with the most modern equipment available and provides training and care in basic and advanced minimally invasive surgery and in 3D and 4D ecography. Students and professionals in Medicine, Nursing, Obstetrics and Veterinary Medicine hone their skills at the Institute. Additionally, the school makes its advanced facilities available to domestic and international companies doing research and development on issues focused specifically on the well being of the Peruvian people.

Among the most important specific activities engaged in by these groups are free operations in partnership with the Global Smile Foundation for people suffering from cleft lip and cleft palate and the provision of low cost and no cost prenatal and maternal care. Infant and maternal morbidity and mortality are reduced while a committed staff of faculty and students gain valuable experience.


The cost of books can approach or even exceed the costs of tuition. Especially critical is access to technical and scientific works that may have limited printing runs or may be available only in foreign languages. To address this, the university created LIBUN, which allows free and subsidized access to these works, significantly reducing the financial burden on students in obtaining the basic materials they need for study.

Businesses Operated by the Applied Food Industries Students

La Panificadora UPAO is a bakery operated by the School of Engineering in its Applied Food Industries department. Students have access to the latest technology in equipment for a large scale food production operation. Since it is an educational setting, the university has in addition to warehousing, refrigeration and baking facilities, a quality control and research laboratory. The business is expanding, and recently the university invited a team of German experts to Peru in order to effectively augment its product line. The Planta de Industrias Alimentarias, run by the same department, creates organic yogurts, manjar blanco, fruit nectars and jellies for sale to the public, once again combining the entrepreneurial with the academic and providing at the same time a valuable service to the community.

Construction Research

The Department of Applied Engineering operates a research laboratory available to construction professionals in the region where they may test new ideas and designs and have available faculty, student assistants and equipment that would be unobtainable elsewhere.

All of these programs have in common the early and continuous integration of students with the community at large, and promote the university’s values of ensuring that each year it graduates a class of work ready, socially conscious individuals.

Quality gets Noticed

The BID committee believes that good corporate citizenship and an awareness of connections to the outside world reflect values of quality, and UPAO is no exception. The Information Technology school has already been ISO 9001 certified, and in 2014 its software projects are developed using the Capability Maturity Model Integration process. Because of its commitment to continuous quality improvement as demonstrated by its integration with the community, its holistic approach to education, its recognition by outside parties regarding quality, and its good corporate citizenship, Universidad Privada Antenor Orrego has been selected to receive the BID Quality Crown Award for 2015 at the convention in London.


BID is a private and independent organization founded in 1984, whose primary activity is business communication orientated towards quality, excellence and innovation in management. A leader in the broadcasting of Quality Culture, BID recognizes those companies and organizations which lead the most important activities in the business world, and is considered the founding organization in the broadcasting of the Culture of Quality, Excellence and Innovation in 179 countries. The trophy symbolizes a pledge to the principles of Quality Culture. The QC100 Total Quality Management Model, together with the Quality Mix program, media coverage of the convention and its impact on the community and business sector, create an unmatched platform for continuous improvement within the organization and awareness of the achievements of the company at an international level. Awards are given only to those who are committed to improving their Quality Culture based on the principles of the QC100 Total Quality Management Model. Candidates are proposed by the leaders of previously awarded companies who they consider worthy of the award. Especially meritorious candidates may also be nominated. The International BID Quality Award Selection Committee then chooses the winning companies who will receive the award in New York, Paris, Geneva, Frankfurt, Madrid and London.

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