In 2003, the Universidad Andrés Bello became one of the first private universities to voluntarily participate in the initial accreditation cycle of the National Commission for Undergraduate Accreditation (CNAP, Spanish acronym).
This first cycle resulted in UNAB receiving institutional accreditation from 2004-2008 in the areas of Institutional Management and Undergraduate Teaching. This recognition validated the work of UNAB in offering the community a quality academic alternative based on instructor excellence and an availability of pedagogical support, sound infrastructure, and equipment.
During this period, significant advancements were made in the health sciences, translating into multiple agreements for clinical practice, with significant investments made in the El Pino Hospital of the San Bernardo Community of Santiago. These advancements led to the Faculty of Health Sciences being separated into three distinct faculties, each addressing distinct programs of study. Specifically, the Faculty of Health Sciences adopted the Biochemistry; Medicine; Nutrition and Diet; Medical Technology; and Chemistry and Pharmacy Programs. In turn, the Faculty of Rehabilitation Sciences was assigned the Speech Therapy; Kinesiology; and Occupational Therapy Programs. Finally, the Faculty of Nursing was established to provide dedicated nursing instruction.
Further development occurred in programs related to Engineering and the Social Sciences and Humanities, which progressively grew in terms of academic faculty and in the number of academics available for teaching student courses.
Also worth highlighting from this period, UNAB participation in Fondecyt projects and other scientific endeavors grew, as reflected by a sustained increase in the number of internationally published research papers.
Towards the end of 2008, when the Universidad Andrés Bello had an enrollment of 30,000 students, the CNA renewed accreditation for five years, the maximum period that could be granted to private institutions at the time. Accreditation was renewed for Institutional Management, Undergraduate Instruction, Outreach, and, notably, Research. Indeed, UNAB became the first and remains the only private university to receive accreditation in Research.
In 2009, the University began instruction at the newly inaugurated Conception Campus, which offered 10 daytime and 4 evening programs. Through this campus, UNAB became a consolidated presence in the three most important urban centers of Chile.
Near the end of this same year, and considering UNAB’s commitments to permanently improving quality and adhering to educational regulations, the seven degree programs within the area of Education were submitted to the CNA for evaluation. All seven programs were granted accreditation.
Bearing in mind the maturity achieved by UNAB at this point, the Vice-Rector for Quality Assurance was established to reinforce institutional desires for a culture of self-regulation.
In March 2011, Dr. Pedro Uribe Jackson became the Rector of UNAB, after having served as a Dean for the Faculty of Health Sciences. Dr. Uribe, a man with a recognized trajectory and insatiable commitment to Chilean higher education, strongly supported quality assurance processes, particularly in regards to both institutional and program accreditations.