The historical forerunner to the University of Girona, the Estudi General, was founded in 1446 by the King Alfonse the Magnanimous, who granted Girona the privilege of awarding degrees in grammar, rhetoric, philosophy and theology, law and medicine. The municipal syndics and the Church were responsible for the teaching but the classes did not start officially until 1572, in what is now known as the Les Àligues (Eagles) building, which was purpose-built as the seat of the university, The university studies spread with an excellent reputation until 1717. Then the University was closed because of the Nova Planta Decree and the loss of Catalonia’s political identity.
Throughout the 19th century, and as a result of the liberal revolution, the City Council promoted the so-called “Free University of Girona", which offered studies in Law and pharmacy until 1874.
The recent history of the University of Girona is linked to the Escola Normal de Mestres, a teacher training college, and especially to the initiatives carried out in the 1960s to re-establish university studies in Girona. That was when the University College of Girona and the Polytechnic School were created, attached, respectively, to the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona and the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya. The Estudi General was subsequently restored offering studies in business, the humanities, science and social sciences. Finally, on 12 December 1991, the Catalan Parliament approved Act 35/1991, creating the new University of Girona, with contributions from the different university cultures that have turned Girona into a multidisciplinary benchmark.
These 25 years of history represent a strengthening of the academic offering, an increase in the number of students (from 7,000 in 1992 to 14,000 in 2016), more research and a greater presence both internationally and in the region, as well as the expansion of the campuses, now located in the city centre, Montilivi and Barri Vell.