The University of León is a relatively young institution that was founded in 1979. However, it has already achieved significant prestige as an academic institution in Spain. The university is based on two campuses in the cities of León and Ponferrada in northern Spain, and hosts more than 16,000 students. The former Prime Minister of Spain, José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, was a lecturer at the university
in the 1980s, before beginning his political career. The Veterinary Hospital of León is one of Spain’s leading veterinary clinics and is a faculty of the university. Since its founding, the university has focused on internationalization, going beyond regional borders to attract students and academic staff from other parts of Spain,
Europe and beyond. Over the last few years, the university has welcomed students from more than 40 different countries. Furthermore, local students can complete part of their study programs in one of the 300 partner universities all around the world, mainly in Europe and the United States but also in Australasia. In 2011, more than 400 students from León studied abroad for at least one academic year, while the university received more than 500 visiting students from countries outside of Spain. The university offers 38 first degrees and more than 30 postgraduate qualifications. These range from traditional degrees in English and Spanish to more technical courses such as the master’s in aerospace or renewable energies. The university also offers a wide range
of degree courses that are based in the area of earth sciences, such as veterinary science, biology and agricultural studies.