The University of Alicante was founded in October 1979 on the site of the UNIVERSITY STUDIES CENTRE (CEU), which opened in 1968. Alicante recovered in this way its own university studies center, closed in 1834, when, after two centuries of existence, its precursor, the University of Orihuela was closed.
In this latest phase, university studies were resumed in academic year 1968–69, despite there being only 230 students. Currently, this number has increased to nearly 33,000, making the University of Alicante the university with the highest proportional growth of students of all Spanish universities.
After almost twenty years of existence, the University of Alicante has developed very significant potential for socio-economic development in the province, becoming the fourth university (ranked by total GDP) of Spain. The University of Alicante includes approximately fifty study programs, over seventy university departments, and research groups in the areas of Social Sciences and Law, Experimental Technology, Humanities, Education and Health Sciences, and five university research institutes developing the most outstanding research activities in the country.
Apart from the strong commitment to innovation and technology, the University of Alicante reaches prestigious heights through its firm commitment to culture and heritage. One of the finest European university museums, the Alcudia archaeological site, the best Valencian Renaissance building, a university that spans two centuries in Orihuela (1610–1808): the historical University of Orihuela, the medieval Palace of the Counts of Cocentaina, the Benissa Palace-Houses... such resources give the university its growing national and international reputation.
Within this setting, the University is working to set up the world's best science parks. It aims to gradually materialize the investments required for teaching and research equipment and infrastructure, in order to achieve a top University infrastructure within a European setting.