Rovira I Virgili University - History

History

University education in the Tarragona area goes back to the 16th century when Cardinal Gaspar Cervantes de Gaeta founded a university to teach Grammar, the Arts and Theology. This Universitas Tarraconensis was practically wiped out by the reprisals of Philip V after the War of Succession. University education did not return to the Tarragona area until the second half of the 20th century, when three different paths converged to form the Universitat Rovira i Virgili: The Universitat Laboral (Technical College), created by the Ministry of Employment in 1956, started to teach technical courses for the first time in 1961-62 with specialities in mechanical, electrical and chemical engineering. It depended on the Terrassa School of Engineering. Later, in 1972, the title of "Engineer" was changed to "Technical Engineer", and the Universitat Laboral ceased to depend on Terrassa and dropped its mechanical and engineering courses.

In 1973, the Universitat Laboral, now known as the University School of Industrial Engineering became part of the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya. In 1971, the Universitat de Barcelona set up local branches of the faculties of Philosophy and Letters, and Sciences in the city of Tarragona. From the very beginning, the aim was for these new courses to achieve the highest possible university recognition. As early as 1972, a request was made to convert these branches into a university college so that they could provide complete first-cycle courses. In 1977, medical courses began in Reus, and in 1983 the Spanish Parliament established the Faculty of Philosophy and Arts and the Faculty of Chemistry in Tarragona.

In 1991, the Catalan Parliament created the Universitat Rovira i Virgili from the university centres already existing in Reus and Tarragona and which depended on the Universitat de Barcelona. The 16th-century Tarragona University was thus recovered. Since then, the University has gradually increased the number of courses on offer by creating such new campuses as Sescelades and Catalunya in Tarragona, and Bellissens in Reus.

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