The University of Navarra is a private pontifical university based at the southeast border of Pamplona, Spain. It was founded in 1952 by St. Josemaría Escrivá de Balaguer, the founder of Opus Dei as a corporate work of the apostolate of Opus Dei. It is widely considered Spain's top private university, and is also ranked among the most distinguished institutions of higher education in Europe.
Through its four campuses (Pamplona, San Sebastián, Madrid and Barcelona), the University confers 27 official degrees and administers more than 300 postgraduate programs (including 33 doctoral programs and 13 master's programs) through 10 schools, 2 superior colleges, 2 university schools, its world-renowned graduate business school, IESE ("Instituto de Estudios Superiores de la Empresa"; in English: "International Graduate School of Management" or "Institute of Higher Business Studies"), ISSA ("Instituto Superior de Secretariado y Administracion"; engl.: Superior Institute of Secretarial and Administrative Studies), and other centers and institutions. The university also runs one of Spain's most distinguished teaching hospitals and the largest medical research center in Spain called CIMA in addition to various community outreach and volunteer initiatives.
The institution began as Estudio General de Navarra on October 17, 1952 with the inauguration of its School of Law with 48 students and eight professors under the direction of Josemaría Escrivá. The founder wished the future university "... to be a place where people acquire a high level of learning and a Christian outlook on life. We want it to be a place which encourages deep thought and reflection, so that learning is soundly rooted in true principles, and shines its light along all the paths of knowledge."
After the founding its School of Humanities and Social Sciences in 1955 and its graduate business school, IESE, in 1958, the Estudio General de Navarra was established as a university by The Holy See on August 6, 1960, and received official accreditation from the State of Spain on September 8, 1962.
Since gaining university status, the university has gone by the name of Universidad de Navarra and has established several other schools and academic centers.
During all its years functioning it has suffered six terrorist attacks with bombs carried out by ETA being the last one the 30 of October 2008, that left 17 people injured.