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University of Deusto

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.

Honoris Causa Doctores

Adela CortinaAdela Cortina, philosopher

  • Award date: 20/10/2016
  • Awarding Faculty: Economics and Business Administration, Bilbao campus
  • Field of study: Professional Ethics
  • Patron: Fernando Gómez Bezares
  • For serving science and society through teaching and research in the field of business ethics.


RavassiCardinal Gianfranco Ravassi

  • Award date: 04/03/2014
  • Awarding Faculty: Theology
  • Patron: Mario Iceta, Bishop of Bilbao
  • For his relevant contribution to promoting dialogue between faith and culture, particularly through the international dissemination of the Atrium of the Gentiles, a forum for dialogue between believers and non-believers that has had and still has a great social, cultural, ecclesiastical and media impact in the cities in which it has been held.

Jon SobrinoJon Sobrino, theologian

  • Award date: 10/12/2009
  • Awarding Faculty: Faculty of Law and the Human Rights Institute
  • Patron: Eduardo Ruiz Vieytez
  • In recognition of his academic merits and his university commitment to human rights defence, especially the right to life of the impoverished majorities of El Salvador and of the world, as a member of the UCA’s team of fellow martyrs.

Michael Porter Michael E. Porter, professor at Harvard University


  • Award date: 18/05/2007
  • Awarding Faculty: Economics and Business Administration, San Sebastian campus
  • Patron: José María Guibert
    In recognition of his significant contribution to strategic management theories, economic development, clusters theories and innovation systems analysis.


Peter SengePeter Senge, expert in learning organisations

  • Award date: 01/10/2003
  • Awarding Faculty: Economics and Business Administration, Bilbao campus
  • Patron: Susana Rodríguez Vidarte

In recognition of his work in the field of management and organisational learning.



ZavalaAntonio Zavala Echeverria, researcher

  • Award date: 17/11/1999
  • Awarding Faculty: Arts
  • Patron: Rosa Miren Pagola
  • In recognition of his work on behalf of popular Basque literature.







DelumeauJean Delumeau, renowned French thinker

  • Award date: 22/03/1996
  • Awarding Faculty: Arts, San Sebastian campus and Ignatius of Loyola Institute
  • Patron: Juan Plazaola
  • In recognition of his contribution to the knowledge of religious mindsets in Europe.


TindenmansLeo Tindemans, former Member of European parliament

  • Award date: 03/05/1991
  • Awarding Faculty: Political Science and Sociology
  • Patron: Nicolás Mariscal
  •  In recognition of his work in defence of freedom, equality and solidarity




Ruiz Gimenez Joaquín Ruiz Jiménez, former ombudsman

  • Award date: 31/03/1987
  • Awarding Faculty: Law
  • Patron: Ernesto Martínez Diaz de Guereñu
  • In recognition of his work in defence of democratic coexistence.




BarandiaranJosé Miguel Barandiaran, Basque anthropologist

  • Award date: 20/10/1986
  • Awarding Faculty: Arts
  • Field of study: Ethnology, archaeology and Basque anthropology
  • Patron: Juan María Apellániz
  • In recognition of his merits on behalf of Basque culture.


ZubiriXavier Zubiri, philosopher

  • Award date: 01/10/1980
  • Awarding Faculty: Theology
  • Patron: Luis María Armendariz
  • In recognition of his philosophical thinking, one of the most consistent and rigorous thinkers in our country.


Rafael CalderaRafael Caldera, former president of Venezuela

  • Award date: 01/10/1980
  • Awarding Faculty: Law
  • Patron: José Antonio Obieta
  • In recognition of his pursuit of social peace and his contribution to the university world.


ReneRené Savátier, Law professor at the University of Poitiers

  • Award date: 08/05/1970
    Awarding Faculty: Law
    Patron: Ricardo de Angel
  • For being one of the main values of global private law, maintaining it within the strictest limits of the Christian civilization and for his exemplary behaviour.


History of Deusto University I

History of Deusto University II

History of Deusto University III

History of Deusto University IV