The Arts have been studied in Tarragona since the 16th century when Cardinal Gaspar Cervantes de Gaeta founded a university that provided courses in grammar, arts and theology. After the War of Succession, the School of Literature , which depended on the new University of Cervera , continued to teach courses until the middle of the 19th century. Subsequently, from the end of the 19th century to the 1930s, the Ecclesiastical University of Tarragona taught higher education qualifications in Philosophy, Theology and Canon Law.
This long tradition was taken up again in 1971-72, when the University of Barcelona started to teach in our city. The process culminated in 1983 when the Spanish government decreed that the nucleus of what we now know as the Rovira i Virgili University , the faculties of Arts and Chemical Sciences, should be created. This was carried into effect by the Catalan government in December 1992.
The Faculty of Arts is diverse and dynamic, and in the academic year 2008-09 19 different programmes of study will be taught here. Of these, 7 are first- and second-cycle qualifications, two of which have been selected as pilot programmes for the EHEA, three are second-cycle qualifications and 10 are official master's degrees.
The dynamism of the Faculty of Arts, our desire and vocation to be an active part of the society that surrounds us, means that the faculty itself, the departments and the students organize a wide variety of activities (congresses, seminars, symposia, extra-mural activities), thus ensuring that cultural life is promoted and spread throughout the southern regions of Catalonia . Likewise, we are constantly in contact with the local institutions and organizations. The Faculty is also open to the world, as can be seen from the Erasmus agreements, the agreements with American universities and the agreement with the University of Dalian, Nanjing and Sichuan (the People's Republic of China), which this year has led to the organization of a course in Hispanic language and culture specifically for the students from that university.
The Faculty is housed in two old buildings, emblems of the history of the city. The passage of time, however, has rendered them inappropriate to the new needs of university teaching and we shall soon be moving to a new building. The Faculty of Arts is fully committed to the process of teaching renewal that society requires, (Premi a la Qualitat Docent 2007 del Consell Social) and this can be seen in projects of teaching innovation and the process of adaptation to the European Higher Education Area.
Finally, the Faculty of Arts is now, as it was and always will be, fully committed to its surrounding area and we reiterate our commitment to preparing university students to the best of our ability, to revitalizing the culture of the area, and to shaping a fairer, more plural and more tolerant society.