University studies in uruguay are free, there's no entrance or monthly fee. If you have your high school studies finished it's ok to register, attend courses and take exams. A long time ago in galaxy far away this made uruguay stand out from other south american countries and people would come to get their medicine degree from places like colombia, bolivia and paraguay, mostly paraguay. There is no career quota and the trendy careers get crowded, actually today all careers get crowded :( There are also private universities, which are about ten or fifteen years old, but they do not cover all careers, and still the public degrees remain the most valued at least in the national job market (IMHO this is wearing off).
Being a poor country and all, infrastructure it's not what it used to be, worst of all it's not what it ought to be. I've heard that a couple years ago psychology classes where given on a church (the irony is great :), and the place used as classroom would leak on rainy days. Today classes get crowed, it's rather normal to see people arrive early to classes and make "reservations" for friends, by leaving notebooks on the classroom seats, or using clothes or whatever.
The notion of university campus does not exist, the university of the republic has specialized schools for the different careers distributed in the capital city montevideo. This forces people living outside the capital travel frequently or move into the capital. About half of the university students are'nt from the capital, and are informally called "canarios" by the inhabitants of montevideo (i remember one graffiti on a classroom desk saying "canarios go home" ;)
One cool thing about university in uruguay is that it's a self managed, state independent entity, with it's own government formed by one third of representatives of the students, one thirds of the teachers, and one thirds of professionals, former students.
Due to the economic situation in uruguay the usual thing is for students to study and work part or full time, which leads to an average of more than eight years for people to get their diplomas.
Whenever someone gets a college degree tradition in uruguay says he or she must be exposed to humiliations of sorts. If you are male, forced head shaving it's mandatory, and no matter your sex you get the usual flour bath, with eggs (preferably rotten) crashed in your head, along with yerba (the stuff for mate, remember?), and pretty much whatever the imagination of you college mates dictates. Some schools have more specialized traditions, like in architecture they new architect must be thrown to the pond of the mutant fishes (that eat cigarettes), in the chemics school they throw to the victim radioactive components with smells and colors that won't go away for days. In engineering the brand new engineer must sit on a stone seat, mortally cursed for any nonengineer.