In the year 1218 king Alfonso IX of Leon founded the University of Salamanca, which is considered to be the oldest Spanish universities in existence.
The university is made up of 9 teaching and administrative campuses in Ávila, Zamora, Béjar y Salamanca. Therefore, it is caracterised by its widely dispersed geography. In the city of Salamanca, the educational centres are grouped into six campuses: the Historical campus, Campus of Sciences, Campus de Canalejas, Campus Miguel de Unamuno (Campus of Bio(health/Sciences? and Campus of FES-Law), Campus Ciudad Jardín and Campus Villamayor.
The University of Salamanca is of medium size with 26,746 registered students in the first and second cycles of the 2006/07 course and 26,828 in the 2007/2008 course, (in nineteenth position among public universities (UUPP) according to the publication of CRUE, The Spanish University in Figures 2008). If we add to this figure the number of registered students in, University Masters, doctorate programmes and further studies, the figure surpasses 30,000 students.
The university offers 81 courses in the first and second cyclesspread throughout the five branches of knowledge. Like the majority of Spanish universities, the branch of Social and Legal Sciences is where the largest percentage of students are registered. However, there is also a large number of students specialising in Humanities and Experimental Sciences, which account for 15.31% and 13.82% respectively, well above those of Media and Spanish UU PP. (Source: The Spanish University in Figures 2008.).
From the perspective of offers, the conclusions are similar, the faculty of Humanities offers 77% of the courses contained in the branch catalogue (the same level as UCM and only behind that of the UAB and UB) (Source: The Spanish University in Figures 2008).
The University of Salamanca has always prided itself on its ability to attract students from outside of "its natural market". According to the publication The Spanish University in Figures 2008,The University of Salamanca is thesecond university in the country to attract more students from outside it's region, following closely behind Lleida. 43% of our new students in the classes of 2006/2007 were born outside of the Castille and Leon. This characteristic of the university has become more pronounced in recent years.
Also worth noting is our capacity to attract foreign students. In first and second cycle courses, 0.8% of new students in the classes of 2006/2007 came from Europe and 1.5% from the rest of the world. These figures are also rising steadily in our doctorate programmes where 14% of students are of European origin and 35% from the rest of the world, especially from Latin America (second only to U. Pablo Olavide and the UPC) (Source: The University in Figures 2008).
The University of Salamanca is the European university with the ninth largest number of incoming Erasmus students and ranks number five among Spanish universities, following UPV, Seville and Valencia. However if we consider the importance of Erasmus students in relation to the size of our university, they represent 4.75% of the total number of students, this is in fact, the highest percentage among medium to large public universities.
The University of Salamanca welcomes thousands of foreign students annually, providing many different educational exchange programmes. Furthermore, the university controls the concession and academic development of the DELE certifications (the fixed model of evaluation of Spanish competency in foreign students) and counts as one of the largest training centres for foreigners worldwide, International Courses. In the course of 2006/2007 more than 7000 students of Spanish passed through our halls.
The University of Salamanca begins the commemoration of its first eight centuries, a process which will reach its culmination in 2018. It will signify ten years of work, preparation and achievement of concrete goals in a path directed towards the consolidation of work , prestige and promotion of the University of Salamanca to the world. The Spanish government, in accordance with the ministerial recommendation given on February 1st 2008, has considered the celebration of VIII Centenary of the University of Salamanca an event of both national and international importance, founded on the collaboration of the university and businesses of all sectors.