The University of Valladolid, the first university in the Spanish-speaking world, has managed to survive from the 13th to the 21st century, through a wide variety of circumstances that were at times friendly and at others, hostile. From its medieval beginnings to the splendour of the 16th century, when our institution, one of the three Major Universities of the Crown, attracted a great many students; from 18th century decadence to the liberal restructuring of the 19th; from the 1857 Law of Public Instruction by Claudio Moyano (a former rector of Valladolid) to the autonomy recognised by the 1978 Constitution. The vitality of these centuries, in which the institution has worked ceaselessly, has been possible thanks to its resolute ability to adapt to changing circumstances and its permanent commitment to progress and modernity.
For this reason, the University of Valladolid is not just another historic university. It has not only succeeded in maintaining the importance of the more traditional disciplines (law, medicine, and the arts) but has also incorporated an extensive roll of new areas in social and natural sciences as well as technology. Nowadays, teaching is enriched by academic research, technological innovation and connections to the world of business and industry. Our aim is to be a university that is aware of the needs and requirements of modern-day society, as well as one that does not forget its history.
This capacity for adapting is most evident in geographical terms. Over the last thirty years, the University of Valladolid has lost its centres in Cantabria, Burgos, Vizcaya, Guipúzcoa and Álava, in many of which it had invested substantial material resources as well as human effort. However, the university has managed to overcome these losses by growing, through the creation and incorporation of new centres in Palencia, Segovia and Soria, and has continued to carry out productive and leading research work, which now includes the participation of the generations that modelled their education on the alma mater of Valladolid.
This page is a modest summary of the mark left by centuries of service to a society that is becoming increasingly dynamic, and which requires of our institution all its capacity for innovation and progress. Studying at the University of Valladolid, on any of its four campuses and at its many centres, also ensures contact with the true essence of the history of Spanish-speaking countries, with the birthplaces of kings and revolutions, the home of splendid palaces and cathedrals as well as modern, functional buildings at the service of teaching and research. These are places where the mark of time can still be seen, the distant echo of former interests still heard and where there is a clear commitment to ensuring that today?s extensive and highly recognised teaching and research will in turn leave its own mark when it becomes part of the memory of the future, and no longer belongs to us.