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Universidad del País Vasco

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Universidad del País Vasco

University of the Basque Country
Universidad del País Vasco (UPV)
Euskal Herriko Unibertsitatea (EHU)
File:Ehu logo.svg
Motto Eman ta zabal zazu (Give and extend knowledge)
Established 1980
Type Public
Rector Pr. Iñaki Goirizelaia
Academic staff 3.420 (2009-2010)[1]
Students 44,921 (2009-2010)[1]
Undergraduates 42,026 (2009-2010)[1]
Postgraduates 2,895 (2009-2010)[1]
Location Bilbao
San Sebastián
, Spain
Campus Urban

The University of the Basque Country (Basque - Euskal Herriko Unibertsitatea (EHU); Spanish - Universidad del País Vasco (UPV)) is the only public university in the Basque Country, in Northern Spain. It has campuses over the three provinces of the autonomous community: Biscay Campus (in Leioa, Bilbao, Portugalete and Barakaldo), Gipuzkoa Campus (in San Sebastián and Eibar), and Álava Campus in Vitoria-Gasteiz. It is the main research institution in the Basque Country, carrying out 90% of the basic research made in that territory and taking advantage of the good industrial environment that the region constitutes.


Although there have been numerous institutes of learning in the Basque country over the centuries, starting with the Universidad Sancti Spiritus de Oñati, it was not until the 20th century that serious efforts were made to create an official university for the Basque people. The first of these opened its doors in Bilbao in 1938, largely thanks to the zeal of the Basque president (lehendakari) at the time, José Antonio Aguirre, an alumnus of the University of Deusto. However, this was during the Spanish Civil War, and an inopportune moment to open a centre of learning. The northwest of the Basque region mostly sided with the Republican movement at this time, earning the wrath of General Francisco Franco. Thus, when Franco's armies entered Bilbao in 1939, the fledgling university was shut down.

It was not until 1968 that another university in the Basque region was founded. In this year, the University of Bilbao was opened. In 1972, the Leioa premises were finished. They were in a remote place among cultivated fields. As in the case of the Somosaguas campus of the Complutense University of Madrid, the dictatorial authorities wanted to keep the rebellious students away from urban areas. In 1977, additional campuses sprang up in Álava and Gipuzkoa. Finally, in 1980, the university was officially designated to be the University of the Basque Country.

As of 2005, 78 different degrees are offered, and the university's 48,000 students can choose from more than 1,300 subjects of study. One can study 43% of the courses in the Basque language. The university is now recognised as one of the foremost in Spain, both in terms of the number of degrees offered and the quality of the typical degree awarded.

In 2009 the UPV/EHU project Donostia International Physics Center Foundation.

The current rector is Iñaki Goirizelaia. Former rectors:

  • Gregorio Monreal
  • Emilio Barberá
  • Juan Jose Goiriena de Gandarias
  • Pello Salaburu
  • Manuel Montero
  • Juan Ignacio Iglesias


Its motto is a Basque-language verse Eman ta zabal zazu ("Give and distribute [the fruit]"), from Gernikako Arbola, a Basque anthem from the 19th century. Its logo is an interpretation of the Guernica oak by the sculptor Eduardo Chillida.


The EHU-UPV has an important handball team. They also have a football team that played in the Spanish Tercera División, Grupo 4 in the 2006-2007 season. They finished 19th and were relegated to the regional divisions.

The Engineering School of Bilbao and the University of Deusto hold yearly rowing competitions on the Estuary of Bilbao, inspired by the Oxford Cambridge boat race.

English Language Distance Education

The University offers an English language, distance Postgraduate Diploma in International Election Observation and Electoral Assistance, the first official postgraduate qualification of its kind that provides advanced learning in electoral systems and electoral campaign processes, with a particular focus for those occurring in contexts of developing democracies or post-conflict situations. The programme is run in cooperation with many organisations in the field of election monitoring, such as The Carter Center, Electoral Reform International Services (ERIS), International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES), National Democratic Institute (NDI), the Organization of American States (OAS) and the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR).[2]

Other universities operating in the Basque Country

See also


External links

  • University of the Basque Country website
  • Campus of Internacional Excellence, Euskampus
  • Idex Bordeaux
  • The University of the Basque Country's own account of its history (Spanish)
  • University of Nevada's Centre for Basque Studies; article about the university's origins
  • International university study page

Template:Universities in Spain

Coordinates: 43°20′08″N 2°58′42″W / 43.33556°N 2.97833°W / 43.33556; -2.97833

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