The University of Murcia (UM) is a one-hundred-year-old institution that can trace its origins back to the thirteenth century. It is an international institution and a reference center for higher education in the Region of Murcia (south-eastern Spain). The UM strives for academic excellence and plays a key role in research, teaching and innovation. At the same time, it is an essential social engine that reaches out through the Mediterranean basin thanks to its international excellence Campus Mare Nostrum (CMN). The UM is also a pioneer in e-government, with its clearly defined digital university strategy.
The UM’s academic and cultural activities are undertaken in twenty-one Faculties seventeen of which are located on the Espinardo campus (to the north of the city) and the remainder on La Merced campus in the heart of the city, Health Sciences, in El Palmar and Lorca, and Sport Sciences at the coastal resort of San Javier. Today, the UM has over 30,000 students, some 3,000 researchers/lecturers, and over 1,200 administration staff. The UM is a public and comprehensive university that offers 54 undergraduate, 70 master and 35 doctoral programs in the fields of Arts and Humanities, Engineering, Health Sciences, Sciences, Social Sciences and Law. The Faculties enjoy international recognition and boast important quality certifications. The Veterinary Faculty is one of the few in Spain to have been awarded the European Association of Establishments for Veterinary Education (EAEVE) accreditation; the Faculty of Education has been recognized with the ECA Certificate for Quality in Internationalization (2016); the Computer Sciences, Biology and Veterinary Faculties have all received the national AUDIT accreditation.
The UM promotes research and innovation in all areas of knowledge and works closely with national and international businesses and companies. There are 347 research groups and 4 research institutes and centers involved in a wealth of research activities (7000 articles have been published in indexed journals in the last five years according to Thomson Reuters WOS). Biomedical research is carried out at the three UM-affiliated hospitals and at the Biomedical Research Institute (IMIB, http://www.imib.es/), with 414 ongoing clinical trials. The Institute has been accredited by the Carlos III Health Institute.
The language of instruction at UM is primarily Spanish, but the university does offer some graduate and postgraduate courses in English, such as Computer Sciences, Business, Primary Education, Law and Veterinary studies. Students have the opportunity both to pursue intellectual development and to acquire professional skills. Several Libraries with “historical archives”, Sports facilities and Cultural activities are also available, while the Language Center offers courses in 10 different languages, including Spanish.
The UM ranked in position 101-125 in the Times Higher Education Student Survey in 2018 (https://www.um.es/web/umu-en-cifras/ranquines/the-world-university-rankings). Students at UM mainly value the abundant opportunities to interact with teachers, the access to materials and to the environment during the learning experience; they would choose the UM if starting again and they highly recommend the university to others. Indeed, it is one of the highest rated universities in Spain. Our alumni hold positions in world renowned companies across all sectors: biomedicine, law, business and economics, finances, computer sciences, and government, among others.
The UM has taken significant steps in recent years in incorporating technologies to foster renewable energy, savings and efficiency as well as improving environmental management of its facilities through its SUSTAINABLE CAMPUS. Actions have been carried out to improve of the environmental quality of the buildings and university facilities, with integral management of the waste generated by the University, the proper use of essential aspects such as water and air, the management of traffic, the promotion of alternative transport, and the management of biodiversity on university campuses. All of this is certified under the integrated systems that guarantee the quality and safety of its actions and backed by the international standard ISO 14001: 2004.
The UM is also involved in the 2030 Agenda with a special program named 17ODSesiones (ObsessionSDG) (https://www.um.es/web/17odsesiones/). Under this, every school will promote monthly one Sustainable Development Goal to raise awareness of the various goals within the university community and the rest of the region. The UM is the second university in Spain to integrate a greater number of students with disabilities and it participates in the “Inclusive Campus Program: Campus without limits” funded by the Spanish Government, ONCE and REPSOL foundations.
Based in the south east of Spain, the UM can boast a superb location, mild weather all year round, low living costs, a safe environment and a friendly city for students, not to mention and a wealth of cultural and tourist offers. The UM was awarded the Study Portal as one of the best universities in Europe with Outstanding International Student Satisfaction (9.5) in 2016. The UM has a very diverse student body, with more than 50 nationalities represented on the campuses, thanks to the ERASMUS Program and to specific agreements with universities from Latin America, North America, Africa and Asia.
The UM International Office is also accredited in quality management systems with the EFQM seal. The UM has signed agreements with over 900 universities around the world. It is a reference center for the European Commission due to the large number of international projects coordinated by our institution. There is a considerable number of programs, with an annual mobility of more than 2,000 people (incoming and outgoing), making our institution the best representative of internationalization in our Region and a key player in the Mediterranean area. It is a doorway to the rest of Europe.
The UM International Welcome Point provides information on issues like admission procedure, securing accommodation and legalization. The UM offers a wide range of services, including the “Lola Chatbot” with artificial intelligence to help students to choose undergraduate studies and to answer questions in the admission procedure.