Through Decree with Force of Law No. 150 of December 11, 1981, of the Ministry of Public Education, the University of Tarapacá is created, merging the Professional Institute of Arica with the Arica headquarters of the University of the North (Annex IV).
For the academics and officials of the Universidad del Norte, the news about Arica caused surprise, although the event had had a long incubation process. It was unexpected that it came to light when the conversations with the Church did not come to an end and without the rectory of the university has had any influence on the decision. It had a long incubation since the 1960s the Arica headquarters had been aspiring to be independent of Antofagasta, as there were tensions between the two university centers. Notwithstanding the foregoing, the church at no time renounced its rights over the headquarters, which is always considered inseparable from the Alma Mater, even in the distribution of state contributions.