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Identity and History

The University of Deusto aims to serve society through its contributions with a Christian approach to today’s realities.

As a university, its guidelines are love of wisdom, desire for knowledge and rigour in scientific research and methodologies. Therefore, its main focus is on achieving excellence in research and education. Another objective is to provide the background for free persons, who are responsible citizens and competent professionals, equipped with the knowledge, values and skills needed to take on the commitment to foster learning and transform society.

The Deusto University Project

The firmly rooted Christian tradition supports the belief that faith in God not only gives meaning to life but also inspires and stimulates increasingly deeper and more critical knowledge of every authentically human cultural process. On the other hand, this vision acknowledges that culture, science and technology provide valuable instruments to update our understanding of Christ’s message to mankind. All of these factors make the university a place for meeting and dialogue between faith and knowledge, transcendental hope and the quest for a more human future for all. This is what makes it a Catholic university.

The University of Deusto has been closely linked to the Society of Jesus’s mission from its beginnings. This makes it part of a worldwide university network and a teaching tradition centred on the individual as the most valuable asset. Our university shares the belief that serving the faith implies fostering justice in today’s world. For this reason, our university has taken on the commitment to make its voice heard by reflecting on cultural issues and encouraging dialogue with social agents wherever man and society are forging their future. Our efforts focus on respect for life, implementing universal human rights, fair distribution of wealth, working for peace and protecting nature.

Within the universal scope of knowledge and general interest in mankind that make Deusto distinctive, our university feels especially close to Basque society. Our aim is to serve it as an education institution, responding to its cultural, social, technical and economic needs at all levels.

Placing people first means that we understand university life as a community of men and women striving to achieve a model of social commitment in which respectful dialogue fosters cooperation and friendship.

A Jesuit university

The University of Deusto shares the mission of serving people and society through its contributions to science and culture while participating in the mission of the Society of Jesus. Its challenge and fundamentals are therefore the fulfilment of its mission of service to the faith by serving science and culture, seeking the benefit of society and thus strengthening its very reason for being.

With the implementation of the new European Higher Education Area, which obliges to revise degrees and to redefine curricula, Jesuit universities and higher education centres will rethink the main objectives of their presence in the academic world, in light of their identity and mission. In September 2001, UNIJES (Jesuit Universities) elaborated a declaration which described the ultimate reason for belonging to the Society of Jesus Higher Education Centres. These reasons are linked to 'Reflections on i+m in view of new university challenges '. 

Faith, justice and culture

The Jesuit university’s mission also demands that its objectives (faith, justice and culture) be developed in a climate and dynamic of dialogue with the religious, cultural or social agents whose cooperation supports fundamental values such as peace, justice, harmony, human rights and respect, which are shared and shareable among believers and non-believers.

A more human world

Together with another eight institutions, the University of Deusto is a member of UNIJES (network of Jesuit universities, faculties and higher education institutes) created or statutorily linked to the Society of Jesus in Spain.

In recent years, Deusto has set out Strategic Plans which include activities shaped by a vision defined as future horizons. Our desire as individuals and as an institution is to make a positive contribution to building a fairer, more committed and human world, following the orientation of our Mission, as it is set out in the University of Deusto Project. The University has created the Deusto Pedagogical Framework as the horizon for innovation which is being installed to differentiate it from others.

Promote justice

The University of Deusto aims to serve society through its contributions as a university with a Christian approach to today’s realities. Justice, which forms part of our mission, must be a cross-cutting aspect of all university activities. There are also centres or specific services which seek to boost this endeavour. Some examples of them are as follow:

  • The Ethics Seminar
  • The Pedro Arrupe Institute of Human Rights
  • Gaurgiro
  • Gurya
  • The Student Guidance and Support Service
  • Cooperation Development

Faith, a driver of knowledge

As part of our firmly rooted Christian tradition, we believe that faith in God not only gives meaning to life but also inspires and stimulates increasingly deeper and more critical knowledge of every truly human cultural process.

Our university fulfils its role as a Catholic institution as it promotes theological reflection in European cultural debate. It also offers pastoral services so that students and staff have the option to experience the faith more deeply, from the perspective of Ignatian charisma. Some of the centres that seek to boost this are as follow:

  • Faculty of Theology
  • Higher Institute of Religious Sciences
  • Human and Religious Sciences Seminar
  • Pastoral Service (Bilbao and San Sebastian)

History

The University of Deusto was inaugurated in 1886. The concerns and cultural interest of the Basque Country in having their own university, as well as the interest of the Jesuits in establishing higher studies in some part of the Spanish State coincided in its conception. Bilbao, a seaport and commercial city which was undergoing considerable industrial growth during that era, was chosen as the ideal location.

Bilbao is the centre of a metropolitan area with more than one million inhabitants, a city traditionally open to Europe. It is also an important harbour and a commercial and financial centre of the Basque Country and the north of Spain. In September of 1997, the city underwent a significant transformation under the emblematic symbol of the Bilbao Guggenheim Museum. The central headquarters of the University of Deusto is located on the opposite side of the estuary, facing the Guggenheim Museum. In 1916, the "Universidad Comercial de Deusto" received a group of students who would be the first graduates in Economic Sciences in Spain, 25 years before this degree was officially recognised.

In 1963, the Institute of University and Technical Studies of Guipuzcoa in San Sebastian was formed by the integration of three already-existing entities. This institute, years later, would form a part of the University of Deusto. Therefore, the University is located on two campuses, in the two coastal capitals of the Basque Country: Bilbao and San Sebastian.

Beyond individual projects and research which is co-ordinated from chairs such as Law and the Human Genome, Leisure and Disabilities, there is a clear option for the social topics of interdependency, distribution of resources, migration, human rights, development, poverty and environment, ethics and society at the university. Studies on cultural identity (individual and collective), and European integration processes are being carried out by various international research groups.

The University of Deusto is striving for internationalisation, without excluding other regions, and demonstrates a clear commitment to Europe and Latin America, having signed agreements with more than 200 universities.

Approximately 1,300 students and 50 professors take part in mobility programmes. The faculties, institutes and schools are also involved in intensive programmes, European modules and joint curricular designs at various levels, as they participate in cross-border activities, integrated languages, ODL and Leonardo programmes. The entire University adopted the European credit system in 1994, and works to promote it and improve its quality. Deusto was the first European university to extend the European credits to all its faculties.

Historia de la Universidad de Deusto I

Historia de la Universidad de Deusto II

Historia de la Universidad de Deusto III

Historia de la Universidad de Deusto IV