Zaragoza is a warm, lively and historical city, capital of the Aragón Region, in the Northeast of Spain, strategically located between Madrid, Barcelona, Bilbao, Valencia and Toulouse. The city was founded under Roman Emperor Caesar Augustus around 14 BC and offers a host of historical sights covering its Roman, Islamic, and Christian epochs. Nowadays it is the fifth city in Spain with over 700,000 habitants. The city welcomes visitors with its rich culture, shopping, eating, and sightseeing.
Zaragoza hosted Expo 2008 in the summer of 2008, a world’s fair on water and sustainable development. It was also a candidate for the European Capital of Culture in 2012. The city is famous for its folklore, local gastronomy, and landmarks such as the Basílica del Pilar, La Seo Cathedral and the Aljafería Palace. Together with La Seo and the Aljafería, several other buildings form part of the Mudéjar Architecture of Aragon, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Fiestas del Pilar are among the most celebrated festivals in Spain.
Despite a decline in the outlying rural economy, Zaragoza has continued to grow. During the second half of the 20th century, its population boomed as a number of factories opened in the region.
Like other institutions of the past and of other nations, the University of Zaragoza did not suddenly arise, but rather had its beginnings in what were known as the Ecclesiastical Schools. In the city these were later known as the School of Zaragoza, whose guiding spirit in the 7th century was the Bishop Braulio (which is the reason why in modern times he was made the patron saint of our University). Later, references from 1335 indicate there was a School of Arts (known as liberal arts, since the classics included in the “trivium and “quadrivium” were taught there. Between 1474 and 1476 this institution earned the category of General School of Arts, to become a university in the 16th century.
Although founded in 1542, the University of Zaragoza (with its 35,000 students in its 22 faculties spread among the different campuses in the provinces of Zaragoza, Huesca and Teruel) has not lost the beat of the times. Zaragoza University is the main centre of technological innovation in the Ebro Valley and enjoys a great prestige among the group of Spanish, European and International universities it has relations with.
Not only does it enjoy high prestige in Spanish as a Foreign Language, but also in fields as interesting to international students as Spanish Literature, Geography, Archaeology, Cinema, History, Biocomputation and Physics of Complex Systems (BIFI Research Group), Aragón Institute for Engineering Research (I3A), Homogeneous Catalysis Research Institute (IUCH) and Nanotechnologies among many others. Notable member of the University was Santiago Ramón y Cajal, awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1906 and is widely recognized as the father of modern neuroscience.
School of Engineering and Architecture – Aragón Institute of Engineering Research (I3A)
The School of Engineering and Architecture, located in the Campus Río Ebro in Zaragoza, enjoys high prestige for its training of engineering professionals, their degrees are widely recognised and highly valued in the national and international labour market, and the level of graduate employment is impressive. The School of Engineering and Architecture has been the result of the merge of two well-known and well reputed schools of engineering, the “Centro Politécnico Superior” and the “Escuela Universitaria de Ingeniería Técnica Industrial”.
In the academic year 2010-11, the university started the Bologna convergence process, offering 9 official Bachelor’s degrees and 8 Master’s degrees, fully adapted to the new structure. This offer comprises 6 degrees in the area of Industrial Engineering, 2 in the area of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) and a degree in Architecture.