Andalusia Tech, Attracting talent to a unique campus
The origin of the University of Seville was the Santa María de Jesús School, founded by archdeacon Rodrigo Fernández de Santaella in the late 1460´s. The five centuries leading to the modern University can be divided into five fundamental stages.
First Phase: The 16th Century, From School to University.
In the 16th century, 1505, a papal bull from Pope Julio II granted the school campuses with inferior university degrees in Theology, Philosophy, Law, Medicine and Art.
In 1551, the town council passed a Royal Provision that granted general studies; the Official Maese Rodrigo Foundation became the University and enjoyed all the privileges of other universities in the kingdom.
In the 1621 statutes, it was concluded that the University of Seville would be made up of four campuses: Theology, Canons and Laws, Medicine and Art. The University would also offer degrees in high school, licensing and doctorate programmes in all campuses, along with Masters programmes in the School of Art.
Second Phase: The Enlightened Reform, Making the University Independent.
During the ruling of Carlos III, the reforming zeal of the 18th century took place. This is when the University was granted a new location, on Laraña Street. It was the meeting place for the recently expelled Society of Jesus, and in modern times it is the Fine Arts Campus.
During the Enlightened Reform, the Olavide Study Plan developed at the University of Seville in 1768. At this time the idea of the University as a public service came about, and courses appeared such as Mathematics, which were in line with the focus at that time on scientific teachings. In conclusion, it can be said that this was the origin of the concept of the modern University, although this model was not reaffirmed until well into the 19th century.
Third Phase: The 19th Century Integration of the University of Seville in a National Project.
Throughout the 19th century, education in Spain was in a crisis. Conservative and liberal interests were confronting in order to control culture and education. Although there were various attempts at educational reform, the conservative sectors began to halt bourgeoisie aspirations of secular education, which served as a channel to bring its ideologies to the State.
At the beginning of the century the 1807 Plan took place. It was generally passed in all Spanish Universities with the objective of placing these learning centres on par with others around Europe.
This homogenisation was accompanied by the adaptation of new orders and regulations in education. As a consequence, studies such as Public Law and Political Economics were included, and new department and faculty positions were created, as were seminars and special libraries. The Theology campus was eliminated.
Additionally, lower-level universities were also eliminated and there were eleven universities left in Spain. In Andalusia, the Osuna and Baeza Universities were closed and their profits and undergraduate degrees were added to the University of Seville.
Yet the 1845 Pidal Plan determined that all universities were to follow the same legal orders. This culminated into a centralised process and a loss of previous autonomy. However, this period did not last long as the signing of the Concordat with the Vatican returned education to the ecclesiastical domain.
A new progressive era occurred after the 1868 Revolution. The army declared that education at all levels was free and studies in the Christian Doctrine, Sacred History, Religion, Christian Morals, etc. were withdrawn.
Fourth Phase: Democracy Confirms Autonomy of the University.
During the first years of the 20th century, and despite its growth, the University, along with other Spanish universities, was permanently gripped by excessive bureaucratisation and numerous orders and rules that stifled all initiatives and isolated attempts to favour modernisation and progress.
Subsequently, the first Civil War and the following dictatorship of Franco halted any progressive launches and the Institute of Education was tilted.
Despite the impression it gave of contemplating a certain desire of autonomy, the law of University Regulation of 1943 led to strict ministerial and ideological control.
In 1948 a new University location was decided on. The chosen place was the old Royal Tobacco Factory, a magnificent building created by engineer Van der Beer during the ruling of Fernando VI. Currently, the US governing offices are still there.
In the 1960´s the Higher Education Schools of Technical Architecture and Industrial Engineering were created. In the next decade Pharmacy and Economics were added, the Science Campus was divided into Biology, Physics, Chemistry, and Mathematics, and the Rábida School was created. The implementation of new studies came with the geographical decentralisation of the University, with the creation of centres in Badajoz, Cadiz and Cordoba, which still exist today.
With the implementation of Democracy, the 1978 Constitution revised the traditional centralist Spanish university regime, and recognised the autonomy of the universities. At the same time, the new territorial organisation of the State implied a distribution of university competencies among different public authorities.
With the University Reform Law of (L.R.U.) passed in 1983, university autonomy was established as a fundamental right. This regulation framework views the University as a pubic service that refers to general interests, guaranteeing the participation of its government in diverse social forces..
More recently, the Organic Law of Universities of 2001 reviewed the regulation framework of the University with the intention of boosting the coordination and cohesion of the university system, as well as extending the abilities of the Autonomous Communities regarding higher education, increasing the degree of autonomy of the universities, and establishing the necessary channels to strengthen relations and reciprocal ties between the University and society.
Precisely, with the use of the abilities conferred by the Organic Law for Universities, the parliament of Andalusia passed the Andalusian University Law in 2003 with the objective of developing the functions given to the autonomous communities, and strengthening the development and coordination of the university system in Andalusia.
The principle of university autonomy is that each university is involved with the transforming actions that determine their positions in higher education. The development of this principle implied the creation of university statutes. The University of Seville created its statute in 2003 and it was passed by a decree of the Andalusian Council on 25 November 2003, and published in BOJA 25 (the Official Bulletin of the Andalusian Council) on 5 December of that same year.
Fifth Phase: The European Project, The University Integrates in a Supranational Initiative.
On 25 May 1998, with the Ministers of education from France, Italy and the United Kingdom united, the Declaration of Sorbonne was signed. This was the first step in the political process of long-term changes for European higher education.
The process continued in 1999 with the Bologna Declaration . The project was considerably extended, and signed by 30 European states, including Spain. It was not limited to the EU since it included countries from the European Economic Area, and countries from eastern and central Europe.
The foundation of the Bologna Process was made to construct the European Higher Education Area , organised with certain principles of quality, mobility, diversity, and competition, and geared at obtaining, among other strategic points, growth in employment in the European Union, and the conversion of the European Superior Education, making it attractive for students and professors from other points of the globe. The Declaration established biennial phases to make the transition to the European Higher Education, which cumulated in 2010.
All University of Seville degrees are adapted to the European Higher Education Area. Likewise, in 2010, the year of the convergence of European Knowledge, the University of Seville was recognised as a Campus of International Excellence, thanks to the Andalucía Tech project , promoted with the University of Malaga.