University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria

University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria
Universidad de Las Palmas de Gran Canaria
Type Public
Established 1989
Rector José Regidor García
Students 21,134[1]
Location Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Province of Las Palmas, Spain
Nickname ULPGC

The University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, also known as the ULPGC (Spanish Universidad de Las Palmas de Gran Canaria) is a Spanish university located in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, the capital city of Gran Canaria island. It consists of five campuses: four in Gran Canaria (Tafira, Obelisco, San Cristóbal and Montaña Cardones) and one in the island of Lanzarote, with Tafira being the largest. The University was created in 1989 after many years of petitions from the people of Gran Canaria. The university was incorporated through the University Reorganization Act of 1989. ULPGC was created as the aggregation of the teaching centers of former "Universidad Politécnica de Canarias", focused on engineering (industrial, civil, electronics and computer), and the centers from neighboring Universidad de La Laguna that were located in Las Palmas province.

Academic programs

The university offers 55 grade titles, 19 Master, and 41 Ph.D. programs to over 24,000 students.[2]

The fields offered are heavily focused towards technical and engineering studies (Civil Engineering, Architecture, Software Engineering) but also include health-related grades (Medicine, Nursery or Veterinary medicine) and Humanities (History, Law, Social Sciences). ULPGC was one of the first universities in Spain to offer a specific title in "Sea Sciences".

The university has a Moodle-based virtual campus giving service to all traditional classroom-based teaching and specially to 5 fully on-line grade titles and 4 post-graduate programs.[3] According to a popular Spanish newspaper (El País), the ULPGC uses their online platform in an outstanding way.[4]

According to a popular newspaper ranking, the ULPGC placed 34th out of the 48 public universities in Spain (El Mundo newspaper study). In Spain, public universities overtake the private ones.[5]

Teaching and research staff

The majority of university teachers with doctoral degrees have completed both undergraduate and graduate work at the ULPGC (a tradition not looked badly upon in Spain [6][7] ) and which may increase endogamy, a recognized problem at the ULPGC.[8] and, in general, in Spain. Particularly problematic is the disproportionate number of permanent teaching staff lacking doctoral degrees, and the university administration's willingness to place on permanent contract underqualified teachers as a cost-saving measure. ULPGC counts with over 2000 teacher/researcher staff, 58% on permanent positions (tenured) and 42% on temporal contracts, many of whom lack higher degrees.[9]

The university conducts research in several fields, especially in biomedicine, electronics and computer sciences, and marine sciences.[10] Since 1989, research groups at ULPGC have been awarded approximately 2000 research grants (competitive funding from Spanish government and from international sources, mainly EU Science programs, a living testament to its academic achievement). As a result, the university has produced more than 3000 articles in peer-reviewed and non peer-reviewed journals, as well as a number of books and magazine articles.[11]

University Institutes and Excellence in research

ULPGC Research Institutes

The university institutes are the highest body of research management at the university. ULPGC highlights in international research in various fields such as marine science, health, energy, economy and tourism, water and ICT around the sea, as evidenced by the granting of the mention of Campus of Excellence “Tricontinental Atlantic Campus” by the Government of Spain.

The Institute of Tourism and Sustainable Economic Development -Tides- leading the tourism research at the ULPGC has contributed to rank the ULPGC among the top 4 in Europe and top 30 in the world universities in tourism research scientific productivity.[13] ULPGC is the 5th university in Europe and the 1st in Spain in Hospitality research scientific productivity. In tourism research, ULPGC highlights in this ranking in some specific research topics: "Destination Marketing and Management", 2nd in the World (sharing the position with 4 more universities); and "Image and Branding", 4th in the World [14]


ULPGC is the main host and co-host of several international conferences. Mainly:

In 2005, this university hosted the MoodleMoot Spain conferences.[15] Many universities have followed the example of the ULPGC in online education.[16]

In 2009, the ULPGC has been the co-host for the GUADEC and Akademy 2009 conferences, joining these two leading software conferences in the same place for the first time.[17][18]


Most of the ULPGC students decide to stay in the Canary Islands after finishing their studies. A growing number of students decides to take an Erasmus Scholarship to study abroad in a European University for a period between 6 months and 1 year.


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