25 years of the world's first online university

The UOC was created in 1995 as the world's first university with a virtual campus, which allowed its students to study at any time from any location. The University continually uses cutting-edge e-learning research and innovation to refine the UOC methodology. This is possible thanks to UOC R&I and its 50 plus research groups, as well as the eLearning Innovation Center, which drives educational innovation at the UOC. Furthermore, as pioneers and leaders in education's digital transformation, we lend our knowledge and experience to education administrations in need of them. Find out how.

Moreover, with more than 100,000 graduates, it is now one of the biggest universities in Spain.




A global university with social impact

The Parliament of Catalonia unanimously approved the law that recognized the Universitat Oberta de Catalunya (Law 3/1995, of 6 April) as a university that would render a public service but organized in accordance with private management principles

Its mission is to let technology open the door to high-quality university education for everyone, with merit as the sole criterion.

We adopted the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development as our roadmap.

Active members of international networks

MIT J-WEL | Abdul Latif Jameel World Education Lab International Asssociation of Universities (IAU)
The UOC is a member of the MIT’s Jameel World Education Lab, which seeks to promote excellence and transformation in education.
European Association of Distance Teaching Universities (EADTU) Centro Interuniversitario de Desarrollo (CINDA)
  • Part of the "Virtual Mobilities" Working Group.
  • Contributors of specialised publications about inclusion initiatives based on e-learning.
  • The Rector of the UOC has chaired the Executive Committee of the CINDA Network since 2016.
  • Participation in different projects to promote mobility programmes.


Our educational model

A unique online methodology

The UOC's methodology – its proprietary learning model – combines learning activities and projects, customized teaching support, and teamwork. The students set their own pace in accordance with their needs, facilitating a good work-life balance.


faculty and research staff
of whom are full-time researchers
teaching support staff (course and adjunct instructors) and tutors


Our educational model

An internationally accredited learning model

Find out more

Research and innovation

Find out more

7 fields of knowledge

Arts and Humanities Arts and Humanities
Information and Communication Sciences Information and Communication Sciences
Health Sciences Health Sciences
Law and Political Science Law and Political Science
Economics and Business Economics and Business
Computer Science, Multimedia and Telecommunications Computer Science, Multimedia and Telecommunications
Psychology and Education Sciences Psychology and Education Sciences


Alliances with UN institutions

Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO)Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO)

This institution has provided support for the Master's Degree in Food, Society and International Food Governance.

United Nations Institute of Training and Research (UNITAR)United Nations Institute of Training and Research (UNITAR)

Joint programmes for the Master's Degree in Conflict, Peace and Security and the Master's Degree in International Affairs and Diplomacy.

World Health Organization (WHO)World Health Organization (WHO)

We collaborate with the WHO in the area of e-health and jointly launched the Cutaneous Leishmaniasis Programme in French.

#25yearsUOC promoting talent, generating and connecting knowledge

1995: a time when most people were still talking on landlines, ADSL had only just been invented and Google was yet to appear, our founding rector, Gabriel Ferraté, was given the job of creating a Catalan distance university. Instead of copying other models, he came up with the idea for the world's first exclusively online university.