Overview of Huelva University

The UHU was born in 1993 “as an instrument of social transformation, guiding and leading the economic and cultural development of the society of Huelva”, as established in the Law that created the institution. UHU is a public institution and as such believes that public universities are a guarantee of the democratisation of science, knowledge and culture, in a commitment to justice, dignity and equality between men and women. Since 2017, for the first time in its history, the UHU is leaded by a woman Rector, the Professor of Contemporary History María Antonia Peña (23% of women Rectors in Spain).

The open and innovative spirit of Huelva is already evident throughout its long history (more than 3000 years), as the city was born as a port from where the minerals inland the province were exported to the different areas of the Mediterranean, establishing trade relations and cultural exchanges with different cultures. Our province also played a fundamental role in the first voyage of Christopher Columbus, in which he encountered the new continent, since this trip set sail from the port of Palos de la Frontera. This historical event changed the history of Huelva, generating a relationship with Latin America that continues to this day.

The university has just over 11,000 students. It is worth highlighting its role in the lifelong learning provided to more than 500 students over the age of 50, who study in the Senior Classroom, which teaches in eight municipalities of the province. The UHU has 930 lecturers and 430 administrative and technical staff, who carry out their teaching, research and management activities on four campuses: El Carmen, La Merced, Cantero Cuadrado, belonging to the municipality of Huelva, and La Rabida, located in  Palos de la Frontera, seven kilometers away from the city.

The academic offer is made up of 39 degrees (30 degrees and 9 double degrees), 40 Masters (4 of them double Masters) and 11 PhD, as well as 34 non official degrees, focused on lifelong learning and frequently designed and taught in collaboration with different companies. The UHU includes nine faculties: the School of Engineering; Law;  Social Work, Education, Psychology and Sports Sciences; Humanities;  Business;  Labour Relations; Experimental Sciences; and Nursing. Due to its importance for this project, it is worth highlighting the Erasmus Mundus Master on Urban Climate and Sustainability, which has been taught at the UHU since 2018 jointly with the universities Glasgow Caledonian (UK, coordinator), LAB Applied Sciences in Lahti (Finland), and Applied Sciences Dresden (Geemany).

One of the initiatives to strengthen the relationship with the social, institutional and business environment is the External Chairs programme (Cátedras Externas). Companies, institutions and other entities contribute, through collaboration in the creation of this Chairs, to the generation and dissemination of knowledge and the training of future professionals in areas of common interest. The UHU currently manages eleven external Chairs, being of particular interest for the Alliance:  Aguas de Huelva  (Water Management), Andalucía Industrial Tourism, Extenda for promotion Abroad, Gabitel on Hydrogen or Fertinagro Biotech on Agri-food Sustainability.

Research is one of the priorities of the UHU, an activity carried out by 99 research groups that are grouped into eight centres, with the following being of particular interest for the Alliance: Natural Resources, Health and Environment; Research in Technology, Energy and Sustainability; Historical, Cultural and Natural Heritage; Contemporary Thought and Innovation for Social Development; or Sustainable Chemistry.

The University of Huelva is strongly committed to internationalization, that  develops not only through mobility, but through our V Internationalisation Plan that includes 38 Calls  also covering  Internationalisation at home, Language Policy and Cooperation for Development. In terms of mobility, the UHU is very well positioned especially  through the Erasmus programme, but also counting on other mobility programms such as Banco de Santander, PIMA, AUIP or Elcano Grants. Each year we receive around 700 international students, that together with outgoing students and the mobilities of teachers and administrative  staff, reaches 1300 exchanges per year. The UHU has been very successful in the Erasmus K171 program for non European mobility, with 26 agreements approved in 2022, including countries such as Senegal, Cameroon, Guatemala, Palestine, Bolivia, Ecuador, Bhutan, Philippines, Kazakhstan or Canada. These mobility agreements have been used as a basis to develop stronger relations with the non European institutions, including research or cooperation projects or different academic exchanges (Master thesis, PhD, international weeks, etc) The case of Senegal is an example of a very rich and growing cooperation, which helps us to build an increasingly open and diverse community.

The University of Huelva occupies the first position in the national transparency ranking DYNTRA; it is already a member of the EFQM Club and is in the process of evaluation for the European EFQM excellence certification; furthermore, the UHU is also working in achieving the European seal of excellence in research HRS4R.