University of Gibraltar

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University of Gibraltar
The Arms of The University of Gibraltar.JPG
Motto Scientia est Clavis ad Successum
Motto in English
Knowledge is the Key to Success
Type Public university
Established 2015 (2015)
Chancellor Lord Luce
Vice-Chancellor Catherine Bachleda
Location ,
36°06′40.4″N 5°20′52.9″W / 36.111222°N 5.348028°W / 36.111222; -5.348028Coordinates: 36°06′40.4″N 5°20′52.9″W / 36.111222°N 5.348028°W / 36.111222; -5.348028

The University of Gibraltar is a not-for-profit independent tertiary institution that was established by The University of Gibraltar Act 2015. The Act provides for the establishment or designation of bodies to safeguard the academic standards of the university and to regulate the conduct of its affairs. The Act also grants the university the right and the power to award degrees (including research and honorary degrees), diplomas and certificates. The university curriculum portfolio specialises in areas that build on place and partnerships, with a focus on professional engagement and recognition of regional research policy and practice needs, as well as, the building of local capability. In addition, the university has the objective of contributing to Gibraltarian identity, history, current affairs and its role in the future economic, social and sustainable development of Gibraltar.


The University of Gibraltar follows the UK model of education and governance. It appointed Professor Daniella Tilbury[1] as its inaugural Vice-Chancellor and CEO in March 2015. Lord Luce was appointed as the inaugural Chancellor in September 2015. The University of Gibraltar Act 2015 explicitly defines the academic freedom and institutional autonomy of the university. It conferred degree and research degree awarding powers - making it the only institution on the Rock that can award degrees. The Act outlines the responsibilities of the Vice Chancellor and defines the faculties and core areas of specialism of the institution which include business, sports, health, tourism and hospitality as well as environment and life sciences, Gibraltar and Mediterranean studies. It defines the role of the Board of Governors. The university follows UK standards of provision and has adopted the UK Quality Code for Higher Education (QAA) as its framework.


2011 to 2015

The idea for the University of Gibraltar came about after the formation of the new Government of Gibraltar by the Gibraltar Socialist Labour Party in 2011. Plans for the University were officially launched in October 2014,[2] including its location on Europa Point.

The University of Gibraltar was formally established in July 2015, at a cost of approximately £10 million to build. The goal was to develop the campus during the first term of office. The campus was opened on 21 September 2015 by Gilbert Licudi, the then Minister for Education and Fabian Picardo, Chief Minister. The university officially opened in September 2015[3], also hosting the International Calpe Conference the same month.[4] At its opening, it became the first degree-granting university in Gibraltar.

In 2015, the university's Vice Chancellor, Professor Daniella Tilbury, represented the university along with Dr Liesl Mesilio-Torres at the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference.[5]

2016 to 2017

In early 2016 the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) set up a Centre of Excellence at the University of Gibraltar,[8] conducting training, analysis and research in customs and international trade. The University also hosted The University Educators for Sustainable Development (UE4SD) international conference. This event brought together 55 partners in 33 countries, aimed to change University education so that it can prepare students, regardless of course or specialisation, to understand and apply global responsibility.[6]

During the same year, the University of Gibraltar[7] brought together a number of groups, organisations and individuals to help identify the professional needs of various industries and groups in the community. These Key Advisory Groups (KAGs) which comprise professionals in each sector are tasked with contributing to shaping the academic and professional portfolio of the University. Current KAGs include Business, Law, Tourism and Hospitality, and Sport. The University also convenes a Silver Education KAG that advises on the learning aspirations of those aged over 55 years.[8] The Sports Key Advisory Group chaired by Reagan Lima, CEO of Gibraltar Sports and Leisure Authority[9] was established to guide decisions regarding programme and short courses which could be offered in this area. The group explores opportunities regarding formal degrees, professional body qualifications, practical skills and specialist training as well as leadership development offerings in the sports sector. Two Government of Gibraltar Departments (Department of the Environment and Climate Change and Department of Education) and the University of Gibraltar, have partnered together to advance the transition to a low carbon economy and support innovative practice in local schools. The project is funded by the European Commission under the INTERREG programme.[10]

2018 to Present

The Gibraltar Regulatory Authority was appointed as the regulator of the University of Gibraltar [1] [11]

Open day showcases University of Gibraltar [12] offering and saw members of the public enquire about studying at the University with a series of talks held outlining the different courses on offer.

University of Gibraltar is building an institution for student success [13] and Ellucian Quercus Technology is at the core.

The University of Gibraltar has appointed Professor Catherine Bachleda as Acting Vice-Chancellor. [14] Professor Bachleda was formerly the Deputy Vice-Chancellor. Her appointment comes after Professor Daniella Tilbury left her post as the University's Vice Chancellor & CEO; she's become the Government's first Commissioner for Sustainable Development.

Academic profile

The University of Gibraltar uses the UK model of education and offers programmes in four faculties:

  • Business
  • Health studies and sports science
  • Life and earth sciences, and Gibraltar/Mediterranean studies
  • Tourism and hospitality

The university's faculties are developed from internationally recognised as well as locally developed courses. It also has classes for qualifications in Gibraltar Tax and Gibraltar Law and includes a centre for research and an Institute of Professional Development and Continuing Education. The university also provides classes for English as a foreign or business language. The university is an approved and accredited centre for professional bodies including the Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT) and the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives (CILEx).

Masters programme

The University of Gibraltar offers Master's level programme:

Master’s in Marine Science and Climate change


The University offers two doctoral routes; by research and by publication.[15]

By research

Students can propose any Gibraltar and Mediterranean related subject with priority given to specified research themes: Neanderthals; Culture, Ecology and Extinction; Species, Climate Change and Conservation; Education for Sustainability and Energy Efficiency; The Constitutional Development of Gibraltar; Gambling and Responsible Behaviour; The Impact of Sport in Small Nations; Urban-Adapted Wildlife Species in Gibraltar; Marine Protected Species and Conservation; Education: Developing Pedagogies; Cultures and Identities of the Mediterranean; Archaeology of the Fortress town of Gibraltar and Gibraltar and Brexit; Challenges and Opportunities

By publication

PhD by publication is aimed at individuals who, during the course of their lives, have made a significant authoritative contribution to the body of knowledge in a Gibraltar and/or Mediterranean-related specific subject area and have peer-reviewed published works.

Professional learning

The university delivers professional body qualifications courses and continuing professional development for graduates and working professionals in the following courses:

  • Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT)
  • CILEx Level 3
  • Professional Certificate of Competence in Gibraltar Law
  • Professional Certificate of Competence in Gibraltar Tax
  • Professional Certificate of Competence in Sport Management
  • Professional Skills Course
  • Sports Coaching Award
  • Short Courses on Business

Friends of Gibraltar Heritage Society Bursary

In June 2016 the university announced a postgraduate bursary scheme supported by the UK-based Friends of Gibraltar Heritage Society. The bursary scheme was created to support the work of any postgraduate student of the University who is undertaking history (including natural history) and heritage-related study and research. This annual bursary is open to students studying across a range of disciplines. The first bursary of £1,000 was awarded in March 2017.

Commonwealth scholarships

The University of Gibraltar offers a Commonwealth Scholarship[16] [17]which is funded by HM Government of Gibraltar. Launched in April 2017[18], this Scholarship provides an opportunity for researchers who are citizens of the Commonwealth to study at the University. It aims to support excellence in higher education, enhance individual teaching and research capacity, leading to increased institutional capacity in academic and other sectors in Commonwealth countries, and to contribute to Gibraltar's higher education and research, by attracting international candidates and encouraging links and collaboration. Candidates must demonstrate leadership as well as academic potential.

Library facilities

The University of Gibraltar's library houses the new Gibraltar Repository. This repository is a collection of Gibraltar-related material that is currently being collated. It is intended that the Repository will eventually represent the sum total of published material on Gibraltar or by Gibraltarians.

The University established the Gibraltar Libraries Forum in 2016. The Forum includes nine libraries and information holding institutions to which all students have access:

Garrison Library; Gibraltar Botanic Gardens and GONHS Library; Gibraltar Health Authority Library; Gibraltar Heritage Trust; Gibraltar Museum; Gibraltar National Archives; John Mackintosh Hall Library; University of Gibraltar Library

The forum is seeking to adopt the Legal Deposit Libraries Act 2003 & 2013 which will effectively make it a legal requirement that a copy of any material published on Gibraltar is deposited with the Library Forum. It will mean that the Forum would act as a legal depository in the same way as the British Library does in the UK.

Centre of excellence

A UNCTAD Centre of Excellence was established at the University of Gibraltar in 2016. The Gibraltar Centre of Excellence provides specialist training programmes for high level international governmental and private sector officials on Customs related matters. It also organises international events related to the following:

  • E-Government and M-Government solutions Customs reform and organisation Enforcement Trade facilitation

The Centre also offers integration of solutions for the implementation of international conventions and works closely with the following organisations:

  • Control of tobacco products (DCTA) Drug precursors (UNODC) Intellectual property rights (WCO/WIPO) Ozone Depleting Substances (UNEP) Trans boundary Movement of Waste and Environmental Protection (UNEP) Protection of Cultural Heritage (UNESCO)


The University of Gibraltar is located further south than any other in Europe with a clear sight of five lighthouses in three countries: Gibraltar, Morocco and Spain and two continents, Europe and Africa. The Europa Point campus is based in two military buildings dating back to the 19th century, including the original fort (the Bomb-house) with its brick-vaulted ceiling. The later Defensible Barracks were designed as accommodation for the soldiers and now hosts most of the University's teaching spaces. Both structures are now joined by a purpose-built modern atrium. The campus is in close proximity to both a mosque and a Catholic church

Associate campuses

The University of Gibraltar has developed five Associate Campuses[19] that support research programmes: the Gibraltar Museum; the Gibraltar Health Authority; the Gibraltar Botanic Gardens; the HMGOG Department for Environment and Climate Change; and the Garrison Library. Research students are able to access collections that include: bibliographic, historical, archaeological, museological, natural historical and other additional support facilities via these Associate Campuses.

Research institutes

The university has two research institutes: the Institute for Gibraltar and Mediterranean Studies (IGMS) and the Institute of Life and Earth Sciences (ILES).

The Institute for Gibraltar and Mediterranean Studies

Focuses on areas such as colonial and postcolonial studies exploring identity, ethnicity, self-determination and nationalism, as well as, the historic convergence of three separate and intertwined cultures: Christianity, Judaism, and Islam, in Gibraltar and the region.

The Institute of Life and Earth Sciences

Focuses on biology, geology and the environmental sciences and connected disciplines such as ecology, evolution, palaeontology and geomorphology.

The main areas of activity of the Institutes include interdisciplinary research in themes closely wedded to Gibraltar and the surrounding region; the supervision of students; engagement with other research associations; seeking funding and projecting the University of Gibraltar's research presence internationally.


The University hosts a weekly Gibraltar History Lecture Series. Some of the topics covered by the different speakers to date include: the Northern Defences; Treaty of Utrecht; and Painting the Great Siege.[20] In 2016, the University launched the Beacon Lecture Series with the objective of bringing speakers from the worlds of academia, business, arts and civil society to share their thoughts, ideas and experiences.


The motto of the University of Gibraltar is Scientia est Clavis ad Successum, which means “knowledge is the key to success”. The use of the metaphorical Clavis echoes the historical interpretation of Gibraltar as the key to the Mediterranean – as symbolised by the key that hangs from the castle in Gibraltar's flag. The castle and key are also depicted in the university's coat of arms.[21]


  1. ^ Elmes, John. "Q&A with Daniella Tilbury". Times Higher Education. TES Global. Retrieved 5 October 2017.
  2. ^ Release, Press. "PLANS FOR THE UNIVERSITY OF GIBRALTAR FORMALLY LAUNCHED" (PDF). HM Government of Gibraltar. Government of Gibraltar. Retrieved 5 October 2017.
  3. ^ CLAPPERTON, GUY (22 September 2015). "The new campus on the Rock – part 2". New Statesman. Progressive Digital Media. Retrieved 5 October 2017.
  4. ^ ""Redefining the Neanderthals" at this year's Calpe Conference". GBC. Government of Gibraltar. 25 September 2015. Retrieved 5 October 2017.
  5. ^ "Dec 07 - Gibraltar Delegation At COP21 Paris Climate Conference". Your Gibraltar TV. Fourth Estate Limited. Retrieved 5 October 2017.
  6. ^ "University of Gibraltar to host an international conference in Higher Education for Sustainable Development". The Sustainable University. 2016-04-14. Retrieved 5 October 2017.
  7. ^ Mascarenhas, Alice (7 March 2016). "University seeks community feedback". Gibraltar Chronicle. Gibraltar Chronicle. Retrieved 5 October 2017.
  8. ^ Lancaster, Analiese (7 June 2016). "Open Day at The University of Gibraltar". Gibraltar Panorama. Panorama. Retrieved 5 October 2017.
  9. ^ Staff, Chronicle (6 May 2016). "SPORTS KEY ADVISORY GROUP ESTABLISHED". Gibraltar Chronicle. Gibraltar Chronicle. Retrieved 5 October 2017.
  10. ^ Staff, Chronicle (14 February 2017). "Gib attends Interreg international partners meeting". Gibraltar Chronicle. Gibraltar Chronicle. Retrieved 5 October 2017.
  11. ^ "GRA appointed Regulator".
  12. ^ "Open Day".
  13. ^ Missing or empty |title= (help)
  14. ^ "Vice Chancellor".
  15. ^ Mascarenhas, Alice (19 September 2016). "Gib university 'flagship' PhD research programme receives glowing review". Gibraltar Chronicle. Gibraltar Chronicle. Retrieved 5 October 2017.
  16. ^ Staff, Chronicle (7 April 2017). "Gib and the Commonwealth family". Gibraltar Chronicle. Gibraltar Chronicle. Retrieved 5 October 2017.
  17. ^ Peralta, Gabriella (April 8, 2017). "Commonwealth initiative will open doors for Gib University". Gibraltar Chronicle. Gibraltar Chronicle. Retrieved 5 October 2017.
  18. ^ "University of Gibraltar launches Commonwealth Scholarship". The Association of Commonwealth Universities. The Association of Commonwealth Universities. Retrieved 5 October 2017.
  19. ^ Peralta, Gabriella (3 August 2016). "University formally establishes partnerships with local institutions". Gibraltar Chronicle. Gibraltar Chronicle. Retrieved 5 October 2017.
  20. ^ Staff, Chronicle (24 February 2017). "University of Gibraltar history lecture series prove popular". Gibraltar Chronicle. Gibraltar Chronicle. Retrieved 5 October 2017.
  21. ^ Elmes, John (18 June 2015). "Q&A with Daniella Tilbury". Times Higher Education. TES Global. Retrieved 5 October 2017.

External links

  • Official website
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