UQ and Chile

Partnering for change

UQ's world-recognised research strengths in mining and engineering are valuable to Chile, where copper export alone stands for more than one third of government income. In fact, the country’s major copper mining companies – including Codelco – are currently partnering on a range of projects led by UQ chemical engineers.

Fast facts


Chilean students enrolled at UQ


Chile-UQ co-publications


academic staff born in Chile


English language/TESOL enrolments


alumni in Chile


agreements with 8 official partners

Fast facts show full-year 2018 data.



Chile and UQ have partnered on more than 350 co-publications in the past 5 years, with key research areas including obstetrics and gynaecology, biology, and pharmacology. UQ's top co-publishing partners are the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile, the University of Chile, and San Sebastian University.

Research collaborations

In the past 5 years, UQ has collaborated with Altonorte and Universidad Austral de Chile on 2 research projects, backed by more than A$2.9 million in funding. Projects cover the high-temperature extraction of metals from complex copper ores and recycled materials, and the population distribution of endangered stingrays.

Research funding

Chilean organisations, including Codelco, JKTech South America SpA and Minera Escondida, have contributed more than A$2.9 million (5.6 billion CLP) towards 12 research projects in the past 5 years. Projects investigate a range of topics including mine water management and new methods for minerals processing.

Collaboration in action

Innovation in sustainable mining

UQ’s long and rich history of mining-related research and education is being exported to Latin America through the Sustainable Minerals Institute’s (SMI’s) International Centre of Excellence (SMI-ICE-Chile). The establishment of the Centre followed UQ’s successful application for funding through the Chilean Government’s Economic Development Agency (CORFO). UQ's partners in the Centre – JKTech South America S.p.A (JKSpA) and the Universidad de Concepción (UdeC) – have developed a multi-year platform for research and capacity building that will engage with industry, government, research organisations, and communities to address major challenges facing the country’s minerals sector.

Future-proofing copper supplies

UQ's Pyrometallurgy Innovation Centre (PYROSEARCH) provides research services, consulting, test work, and analysis to the worldwide minerals industry. The Centre's research programs are largely funded by industry, including Complejo Metalúrgico Altonorte (formerly Xstrata Copper Chile), a subsidiary of multinational mining company Glencore. Currently, Altonorte is partnering with School of Chemical Engineering Chair Professor Peter Hayes and Professor Evgueni Jak to create sustainable copper supplies by using innovative high-temperature chemical processing of highly complex impure ores and recycled materials. Several international resources companies are also involved in the project, including BHP Billiton (Australia), Anglo American PT (South Africa), and Aurubis AG (Germany).

Revitalising the metals industry

Codelco and China’s Shandong Fangyuan Nonferrous Metals Group are jointly sponsoring a Professorship. The position is currently being held by Dr Baojun Zhao, Associate Professor within UQ’s School of Chemical Engineering and the Pyrometallurgy Innovation Centre. The aim of the Professorship is to support the research behind the next-generation of copper smelting technologies, and to enable a sustainable future for the global metals industry. Dr Zhao plays a pivotal role in international metals research, and has developed a number of novel techniques to accurately determine phase equilibria and viscosity of complex ceramics and metallurgical slag systems.

Committment to improving global health

In October 2017, UQ and the Chilean Ministry of Health (MINSAL) signed an agreement in Santiago during the 'International symposium on challenges in public health: experiences of Australia and Chile'. Organised by UQ and MINSAL with the support of the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile and the Australian Embassy in Chile, the Symposium aimed to exchange knowledge and best practices in research, policy and practice in obesity, cancer, healthy ageing, and health and indigenous peoples. The agreement signals intent to work together on these shared pressing health challenges. 

Chilean students at UQ

More than 230 Chilean students have enrolled in UQ degrees in the past 5 years. PhD studies, the Master of Business, MPhil studies, and the Master of Environmental Management are among the most popular program choices. Chileans can apply for the Latin America Global Leaders Scholarship and School of Chemistry and Molecular Biosciences Latin American Scholarship, as well as scholarships from the Chilean Government.

The UQ Latin American Student Association and UQChile are just a sample of the clubs and societies on campus that provide a platform for sharing cultures and welcoming Chilean students to UQ.

Video: Andrea from Chile talks about studying English at the UQ Institute of TESOL and Continuing Education (ICTE-UQ) before enrolling in a degree.



Student mobility

Masters of Business articulation

High achieving students from the University of Chile have the opportunity to articulate into the UQ Master of Business thanks to a long-standing double degree arrangement with the Faculty of Business, Economics and Law (BEL). Students undertaking the UChile Master of Global Management can undertake a study abroad year or a Master degree, following the first part of their studies in Santiago. Students complete the UQ Master of Business in seven months by following an accelerated study plan.

Hands-on experience for engineering students

The Faculty of Engineering, Architecture, and Information Technology facilitates field trips to Chile, giving chemical and metallurgical engineering students exposure to some of the world's largest minerals processing operations. In partnership with the Catholic University of the North, in Antofagasta, the students are given the opportunity to visit mine sites, and meet industry representatives from a range of companies, including Complejo Metalúrgico Altonorte, Codelco, BHP Billiton, and Anglo American.


Nearly 300 alumni live in Chile. Alumni from or living in the country include:

Professor Victor Cubillos Godoy
Veterinary science academic and researcher, and former Rector of Austral University of Chile (PhD – Vet Pathology 1988)
Michael Farrelly
Vice-President Finance and Administration, Collahuasi (Bachelor of Commerce 1993) (Bachelor of Laws 1996)
Camila Teutsch
Co-Founder and Executive Director of Patagua (Master of Integrated Water Management 2011)
President, CEO and Director, Coro Mining (Master of Engineering Science 1999)