Established on December 19, 1912 and initially named as Universidade do Paraná (University of Paraná), the Universidade Federal do Paraná – UFPR (Federal University of Paraná) is regarded as the oldest Brazilian university. UFPR is the 10th best university in Latin America, according to Webometrics Ranking Web of World Universities, and ranks 5th in Brazil at number of registred patents.
In 1920, the federal government split the university into separate colleges until 1946. In 1951, it became a federal public university and began to offer higher level education free of charges.
Nowadays, its facilities are scattered over the capital Curitiba and other cities of the State of Paraná. It offers 88 options of graduation courses, 124 "lato sensu" degrees, 52 master degrees and 35 doctoral programs. Since 2004, the University has been adopting in its vestibular a program in which twenty percent of the places offered are destined to students coming from public schools and another twenty percent are reserved for Afro-Brazilians. In both situations, documentation to confirm the situation are required, including an interview with an internal board of the University in the latter.
As of 2008, the rector Carlos Augusto Moreira Júnior resigned on June 29 to run as a candidate for Curitiba's mayorship. Because of that, the then vice-rector Márcia Helena Mendonça assumed as an interin Rector (Vice-rector in exercise of rectorship).
The election for the new rector, that was due to September 10, resulted in the victory of Zaki Akel Sobrinho, D.Sc. in Administration from Universidade de São Paulo, and now the Rector, and Rogerio Andrade Mulinari, D.Sc. in Medicine from Universidade Federal de São Paulo, and with a Post-Doc from Boston University, now the Vice-Rector of UFPR.
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