The mission of the Public University of Navarra (UPNA) is to contribute to the progress of society through the generation, dissemination and transmission of cultural, scientific and technical knowledge, and the all-round development of the individual.
It defends the values of integrity, innovation, effort and responsibility towards the surrounding environment, and is driven by a vision of a dynamic university acting at regional, national and international levels, contributing prominently to the economic and social development of Navarre.
Created in 1987 by the Parliament of Navarre, the UPNA is a relatively small public university in Spain, with campuses in Pamplona and Tudela. Academically, it focuses on Engineering, the Natural Sciences, Health Sciences, Social Sciences and Law, and is a markedly technical university. It is one of Spain’s leading universities in terms of teaching, research and transfer, occupying, along with 16 other Spanish public universities, the upper quartile when it comes to overall productivity (2017 ISSUE ranking, BBVA-IVIE).
Another of its priorities is social responsibility, which it embraces in its fullest sense. Within this context, it implements numerous specific actions, some of which already have a long history. The UPNA was one of the driving forces behind the creation of the Spanish Network of Healthy Universities, which aims to promote healthy lifestyle habits, and stands out for having set up special programmes in this field. Its campuses are fully accessible, allowing the integration of people with disabilities, and it stands out for its commitment to equal opportunities for all.
Promoting values essential to a well-rounded education, solidarity and equality are two of the university’s pioneering initiatives. This is reflected in university development cooperation with more disadvantaged countries, a range of local and international volunteer programmes and the transferal of the university's educational and creative capacities to society as a whole.
The university’s commitment to teaching and the European Higher Education Area has led to the creation of 25 Bachelor’s degree courses (including 12 Bachelor’s degrees with foreign languages and 17 with specialisation), 6 double Bachelor’s degrees, 9 international programmes, 26 Master’s degree courses (5 of which permit access to regulated professions), 15 PhD programmes and 28 in-house qualifications.
The quality of the teaching at the university is highly valued by its students. 89% of its Bachelor’s graduates and as many as 92% of its Master’s graduates would recommend the UPNA to other people (Graduate Survey, 2014). In terms of the student-to-staff ratio, the university is ranked 15 out of 47 public universities (Comprehensive University Information System, SIIU, academic year 2015-16), meaning that it is able to provide the close, personalised teaching which has earned it fourth place in teaching productivity, alongside thirteen other Spanish public universities (2017 ISSUE ranking, BBVA-IVIE).
The courses on offer are tailored to the university’s socio-economic environment: 65% of Bachelor’s degree and 84% of Master’s degree graduates find work within two years of completing their studies (Graduate Survey, 2014), reflecting a high rate of employability. The university also offers a comprehensive, up-to-date range of in-house qualifications and specialisation courses for lifelong training.
Teaching, research and transfer are carried out through more than a hundred research groups, comprising more than 900 researchers. Teaching and research are structured around four faculties, two schools, a doctoral school and eleven departments.
In its drive for competitiveness, the UPNA has created 6 research institutes with more than 270 researchers: the Institute of Smart Cities (ISC), the Institute for Advanced Materials (InaMat), the Institute for Advanced Research in Business and Economics (Inarbe), the Institute for Innovation and Sustainable Development in Food Chain (IS-Food), the Institute for Advanced Social Research (ICommunitas) and the Institute for Multidisciplinary Applied Biology Research (IMAB). The university also forms part of Navarrabiomed (joint centre with the Government of Navarre’s Department of Health).
The UPNA conducts leading-edge basic research in many fields, stimulating the economic and social development of its immediate environment and helping to convert its research into innovation.
The results of this work place the university in the second highest quartile of Spanish public universities in terms of research productivity (Ranking CyD_U-Multirank 2017). The UPNA ranks just above average (8.7 compared to 7.97) when it comes to research excellence, understood as the percentage of works included in the 10% most cited. It also holds a prominent position —group of high-performing universities— in the quality index of university teaching staff devoted to research, measured by the ratio between the number of six-year research periods obtained and the number of potential six-year research periods. (2017 ISSUE ranking, BBVA-IVIE).
The UPNA is the base of the Group 9 Universities (G-9), an association of Spanish public universities which are the sole public universities in their respective autonomous communities: Cantabria, Castilla-La Mancha, Extremadura, Illes Balears, La Rioja, Oviedo, Basque Country, Public University of Navarre and Zaragoza. Altogether, the universities in the association account for some 170,000 students. The association's aim is to strengthen ties between the universities belonging to the group and promote teaching and research collaboration in the university community.
The UPNA also forms part, together with the universities of Zaragoza, La Rioja and Lleida, of the Campus Iberus, distinguished by the Ministry of Education as a Campus of International Excellence (CEI). This project is based on three areas of specialisation: materials and technology to enhance the quality of life (with two branches: technology for health, and energy and the environment); agrifood and nutrition; and memory, heritage and identities.
Meanwhile, in order to boost links with business and society, the UPNA and the University-Society Foundation have signed numerous agreements with institutions and social and business organisations. 493 companies took part in placement and internship programmes for students and graduates in 2017.
When it comes to internationalisation, one of the most relevant aspects of the university is the mobility of its students, teaching staff and service and administration staff. In their last academic years, some 350 undergraduates (5.2% of the total) study in universities in more than 50 countries around the world. For its part, the UPNA receives around 200 foreign students every year. Considering its size, these figures place the university in an impressive position among those Spanish universities with the highest level of international mobility.
It should also be noted that 27% of our graduates in the academic year 2016-17 took part in mobility programmes. The University has agreements with over 300 universities in 50 countries to allow students, teachers, researchers and administration and service staff to study and work abroad, including agreements with14 leading universities in China (including Sun Yat-Sen University, East China Normal University and Beijing Jiaotong University) and another 3 agreements with universities in Taiwan.
The UPNA’s research groups are in permanent contact with groups based in other countries, working together, releasing joint publications, creating patents and actively participating in international forums and conferences. All this places the UPNA in the second highest quartile of Spanish public universities in terms of the internationalisation of research, as measured by the percentage of publications with at least one foreign author. (Ranking CyD, 2017).
© Public University of Navarre