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The University of the Basque Country (Basque - Euskal Herriko Unibertsitatea; Spanish - Universidad del País Vasco) is the only public university in the Basque Countrymarker, in Northern Spainmarker. It has campuses over the three provinces of the autonomous community; in Leioamarker, Bilbaomarker, Portugaletemarker and Barakaldomarker, in Biscay, San Sebastianmarker and Eibarmarker in Guipuscoamarker, and in Vitoria-Gasteizmarker, in Araba. It is the main research institution in the Basque Country, carrying out 90% of the basic research made in that territory.

History

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 Bilbaomarker 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.

On Vitoria-Gasteiz campus
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 Madridmarker, the dictatorial authorities wanted to keep the rebellious students away from urban areas..In 1977, additional campuses sprang up in Araba and Gipuzkoa. Finally, in 1980, the university was officially designated to be the University of the Basque Country.

After the Spanish transition to democracy, political controversy has not left the university. Some professors opposed to Basque nationalism have migrated or require bodyguards after threats by ETA or nationalist students. At the same time, the university has been criticized for allowing ETA prisoners to follow correspondence courses (most studying prisoners enroll in the Universidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia), notwithstanding the fact that they are entitled to it.

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 Spainmarker, both in terms of the number of degrees offered and the quality of the typical degree awarded.

The current rector is Iñaki Goirizelaia.

Symbols

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

Sports

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.

Other universities operating in the Basque Country



References



See also



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