How university education emerged in Extremadura
On the cover of the daily newspaper “Hoy” on 4th November 1968, the day of the region’s first university centre opening (the Faculty of Sciences in Badajoz, belonging to the University of Seville) the following text, true to the style of the time, could be seen: “Throughout the long years of Franco, Extremadura has not witnessed a day of such historic importance as it is witnessing today. The University Centre, for which our current generation fought with such longing and determination, opens its doors to become the redeeming instrument of the region and the driving force that will promote its materials and culture.”
In 1971 the government approved the creation of the University College of Arts and Humanities in Cáceres, affiliated to the University of Salamanca. The approval of this University College was not exempt from impediments, from both the Ministry and the University of Salamanca itself that resisted its separation; and only thanks to the loyalty and perseverance of local authorities and citizens did it manage to overcome the obstacles that it was faced with. On October 16th 1971, at the secondary school “El Brocense”, an opening ceremony for the College took place, along with a customary blessing of the “Valhondo Calaff” building, which was the University College headquarters.
Other educational institutions (such as the Primary Teacher Training Schools in Cáceres and Badajoz) joined the University in 1972, as Teacher Training Colleges, following the introduction of the Decrees put forward and approved by the General Education Law of 1970. The College in Badajoz joined the University of Seville and the College in Cáceres became part of the University of Salamanca. The same happened with the Technical School of Agricultural and Technical Engineering in Badajoz, also founded in 1968, and which would go on to become the University School of Agricultural and Technical Engineering in 1972.
This, at that time, was basically the university panorama of the region prior to the creation of the University of Extremadura itself (UEx): two university centres that are dedicated today to long-cycle studies (the Faculty of Sciences in Badajoz and the Faculty of Arts and Humanities in Cáceres) and three University Schools, two for teacher-training and one for technical and agricultural engineering. The centres in Cáceres were attributed to the University of Salamanca and those in Badajoz to the University of Seville.