The UNED is the biggest public university in Spain in terms of both number of students and academic offerings, as well as the largest campus in Europe and has been 50 years committed to universalize quality Higher Education through an online and blended learning model leader in its sector.

The more than 200,000 students who trust in the UNED each year endorse an innovative learning system that combines online teaching and on-site support backed by a constantly evolving technological platform that offers a flexible model adapted to the individual needs of each of its students. An active system applied in all the studies of its wide academic offer, in which the student becomes the main character of his or her own learning, as established by the European Higher Education System. All this, in addition, without cut-off marks and adapting the course to your work schedule, personal situation, family and professional obligations.



Ensuring access to University under conditions of equity and equality has been the mission of the UNED since its creation in 1972. From this spirit stems its vision as a university of reference, open to the world and to society, as well as its values of excellence, scientific rigor and vocation for public service.

With equality as its hallmark, the UNED has especially promoted the incorporation of women into the university and the labor market. It is no coincidence that in 1982 Elisa Pérez Vera was elected rector of the UNED, the first woman to hold such a position in a Spanish university. It was also the first public university with two female rectors. UNED is a university from all to all, with specific adaptation programs for people with disabilities and disadvantaged groups.

Safeguard the access to University in full equity and equality

We are a benchmark university, open to the world and to society, which offers a unique blended learning model 

Commitment to equality, excellence and scientific rigor steer our public service vocation



The UNED was founded in 1972 by Decree Law 2310/1972 of August 18, 1972, which created the National University of Distance Education. At that time, only three offices in the center of Madrid constituted the structure of what was to become the largest university in Spain.

The history of UNED is marked by a continuous growth in geographic expansion, technological innovation and educational offerings.

Geographic expansion

Moved by its vocation to universalize Higher Education and facilitate access to the University to anyone regardless of their location or their work and family situation, the UNED begins its geographical expansion with the aim of bringing its offerings to the population centers farthest from the major metropolises.

This is how the UNED Centers were born, which will establish the unique teaching method of the university together with the exclusive figure of the supervising professors. Promptly, the UNED focuses outside its borders and begins its international expansion both in Europe and America, exporting its educational model.

Technological innovation

From its origins, in which teaching materials were sent by ordinary mail to the students’ homes, to the current platform that supports its hundreds of thousands of students by hosting a countless corpus of multimedia content, through the commitment to the use of radio and television in the first decades of its existence, the UNED has experienced a real technological revolution that has now reached its peak with the development, through its technology centers, of its own resources with which supports its own needs and in which numerous national and international institutions trust.

Educational offering

Undoubtedly, one of the areas of greatest growth of the UNED has been its academic offer, which increases every year with new degrees, adapting to the demands of the Knowledge Society with the creation, to name a few examples, of the Combined Degrees or the recent Micro-Degrees, pioneers in Spain and that respond to the European commitment to Short Learning Programs.



The unique characteristics of UNED are captured in its structure, adapted to its essence, function and needs. The university’s headquarters are located in Madrid and are spread over four campuses. The Rectorate, in the center of the city, Ciudad Universitaria campus, shared with other important universities in Madrid, Senda del Rey campus and Las Rozas technology campus. All the Faculties and Schools are located here, as well as other central services, such as the Library. The extensive Teaching Staff and research personnel centralizes all of the university’s teaching and evaluation work at these sites.

The UNED also has a network of centers in Spain and abroad that allows students to study from anywhere in the world. The UNED Centers perform the face-to-face part of its methodology, with online or face-to-face tutorials given by the supervising professors, a figure exclusive to the UNED, as well as administrative support. The UNED Centers also play an important social role in the regions in which they are located, where they organize activities of various kinds and promote local development and employability in the area.

With a presence in 17 countries and a strong international vocation, UNED students can take exams in 80 centers, located in more than 75 different cities.



The UNED has various collegiate governing and representative bodies.


+ 30 Bachelor’s Degrees

+20 Double/Combined Bachelor’s Degrees

+80 EHEA Master’s Degrees

20 International Doctoral Programs

+16 Microdegrees/ Microcredentials

+800 UNED’s own qualifications

+500 free online courses (MOOC)

+3’5 millions € in Research Transfer contracts

+150.000 students
on regulated education


+3.000.000 alumni

+100 UNED (national and international) Centers

17 countries