URL history

Universitat Ramon Llull was created on March 1st, 1990, and approved by the Parliament of Catalonia on May 10th, 1991. URL was founded as a not-for-profit private university with Humanist and Christian ideals, dedicated to providing public service. Its founding members include the current Faculty of Philosophy, whose origins date back to the last century; IQS, founded in 1905; Fundació Blanquerna, founded in 1948; and La Salle, which traces its history back to 1903.

On October 10th, 1989, these institutions, under the Presidency of Cardinal Narcís Jubany and jointly with the Fundació Cercle d’Economia and backing from distinguished representatives of Catalan civil society, established the foundation which would lead to the creation of Universitat Ramon Llull Fundació. This foundation currently represents the URL’s maximum governing body through its Board of Trustees.

After its creation, Universitat Ramon Llull incorporated new federated institutions, including the Ebro Observatory University Institute, ESADE, Pere Tarrés Faculty of Social Education and Social Work, Vidal i Barraquer University Institute of Mental Health, Borja Institute of Bioethics and the ESDI Higher School of Design (as an affiliated centre).

URL’s structure is federal in nature and encourages the individual personality of its member centres. The university’s pedagogical model is based on the students’ integral education with small classes and close relations with faculty, providing them a quality education centred on people.

With the university’s evolution, new schools and centres have been created, expanding the offer of educational programmes. URL currently offers 33 undergraduate degree programmes, 58 university Master’s and 13 PhD programmes, all of which are completely adapted to EHEA standards.



  • The Faculty of Philosophy was created in Tortosa, though it later moved to Sarrià and Sant Cugat del Vallès, the precedent for today’s Faculty of Philosophy.


  • La Salle launched its technical programmes specialising in electronics, mechanics and chemistry, the precursors to the La Salle School of Engineering (the first phase lasting up to 1934).


  • The Ebre Observatory was founded.


  • The Laboratori Químic de l’Ebre was created. It later moved to Sarrià in 1915 and was from then known as the Chemical Institute of Sarrià (IQS).


  • IQS inaugurated


  • The Escola d’Assistents Socials for social workers was created, the first of its kind in Spain. In 1979 it incorporated the Institut Catòlic de Cièncias Socials de Barcelona (ICESB) and became the Escola Universitària de Treball Social in 1983.


  • The Escola de Magisteri de l’Església Sagrat Cor for teachers was founded, the precursor to the Blanquerna Escola de Mestres.


  • The Escola Superior d’Administració i Direcció d’Empreses (ESADE) was created.


  • La Salle re-launched its university programmes, leading to the creation of the La Salle School of Engineering (start of the second stage).


  • Official recognition of IQS as a Private Superior Technical Education Centre.


  • Merger between the Escola de Magisteri de l’Església Sagrat Cor and the La Salle Escola de Magisteri Sant Joan. In 1972, the Escola de Magisteri Sant Joan Bosco was incorporated. In 1974, the Blanquerna name was adopted.


  • The Borja Institute of Bioethics was created under the guidance of Dr. Francesc Abel.


  • The new Faculty of Philosophy was established.


  • Creation of the Escola Superior de Disseny Tèxtil i de la Confecció en Sabadell. In 1992 it became the ESDi Higher School of Design and an affiliated URL centre.


  • Universitat Ramon Llull created.


  • URL’s creation approved by the Parliament of Catalonia.
  • The IQS School of Economics created.
  • The Blanquerna Faculty of Psychology and Pedagogy founded.
  • Ebro Observatory University Institute incorporated into URL.
  • Dr. Josep M. Coll is named president of URL rector team.


  • The Blanquerna Faculty of Nursing and Physiotherapy created.
  • The Social Education section created within the Blanquerna Faculty of Psychology and Pedagogy though managed by the Pere Tarrés Foundation.


  • Fundació ESADE integrated within the URL Board of Trustees.


  • Creation of ESADE Law School.
  • Creation of the Blanquerna Faculty of Communication Sciences.
  • On July 11th, Dr. Miquel Gassiot is named URL Rector.


  • ESADE integrated within URL.


  • ICESB integrated within URL.
  • Creation of the Business Science programme within the IQS School of Management in collaboration with Fundació EMI.
  • Blanquerna Faculty of Psychology and Education Sciences created based on the merger between the Blanquerna Escola Universitària de Mestres and the Blanquerna Faculty of Psychology and Pedagogy.


  • Creation of the Blanquerna Faculty of Labour Relations.
  • Creation of the La Salle School of Architecture.
  • Creation of ESADE TSI Tourism Sant Ignasi school.


  • Creation of the Pere Tarrés Faculty of Social Education as part of the Social Education Section’s development.


  • Launch of the Nou Can Caralleu sports campus, co-managed between URL, Fundació Claror and the Centre Escursionista de Catalunya.


  • Vidal i Barraquer University Institute of Mental Health and Borja Institute of Bioethics incorporated into URL.
  • New Rector’s Office and Board of Trustees building inaugurated.
  • Lesseps Residential Hall, managed by RESA, launched.


  • ICESB now managed by the Fundació Pere Tarrés.


  • Launch of the Blanquerna Faculty of Nursing and Physiotherapy’s new facilities.
  • As of April 16th, with the implementation of classes at the Blanquerna Faculty of Psychology and Education Sciences to obtain the degree in Physical Activity and Sports Sciences, the school was afterwards called the Blanquerna Faculty of Psychology, Education Sciences and Sport.
  • On September 27th, Dr. Esther Giménez-Salinas named the URL’s new Rector, thus succeeding Dr. Miquel Gassiot.


  • Inauguration of the La Salle Engineering Technology and Architecture Innovation Park (Technova).


  • Inauguration of the new Pere Tarrés Faculty of Social Education and Social Work facilities.


  • URL became the first university in Catalonia and the second in Spain to achieve the European Credit Transfer System Label (ECTS) and the Diploma Supplement Label (DS) from the European Commission.
  • Launch of official postgraduate programmes within the new European Higher Education Area academic structure.


  • URL integrates all ESADE Master’s programmes in business administration.


  • In January, the Government of Catalonia recognises ESDi Higher School of Design’s (Fundació per al Disseny Tèxtil) affiliation to Universitat Ramon Llull, becoming the first centre in Spain offering official undergraduate degrees in design.
  • As of December 23rd, the Blanquerna Faculty of Nursing, Physiotherapy and Nutrition is officially known as the Blanquerna Faculty of Health Sciences.


  • As of January 14th, the Pere Tarrés University Schools of Social Work and Social Education are known as the Pere Tarrés Faculty of Social Education and Social Work.
  • In May 2010, Universitat Ramon Lllull joins with Deusto and Comillas universities within the framework of the joint “Aristos Campus Mundus 2015” project presented to the Spanish Ministry of Education’s “Campus of International Excellence” call for proposals.


  • Universitat Ramon Llull celebrated its 20th anniversary on May 10th.
  • As of November 17th, Escola Tècnica Superior IQS is known as the IQS School of Engineering, and the Facultat d’Economia IQS is called the IQS School of Management.



  • On September 1st, TSI Tourism Sant Ignasi is integrated within Fundació Xavier, consisting of the Society of Jesus, ESADE, IQS and Universitat Ramon Lllull.
  • On October 1st, Dr. Josep Maria Garrell i Guiu is named URL Rector, taking over for Dr. Esther Giménez-Salinas.


  • As of April 2th, the Blanquerna Faculty of Communication Sciences is known as Blanquerna School of Communication and International Relations and the TSI Tourism Sant Ignasi School is known as School of Tourism and Hospitality Management Sant Ignasi.
  • La Salle-URL Residential Hall, managed by RESA, launched, in september.
  • Blanquerna School of Communication and International Relations celebrated its 20th anniversary.


  • ESDi Higher School of Design (affiliated center) celebrated its 25th anniversary.


  • Ramon Llull University celebrated its 25th anniversary on October 6th with an Eucharist in the Basilica of Santa Maria del Mar followed by an act in the Llotja de Mar in Barcelona.



Ramon Llull University
Claravall 1-3. 08022 Barcelona
T. (34) 902 053 010 | (34) 936 022 200
F. (34) 936 022 249 | info@url.edu
NIF G-59069740

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