The driving force of culture in Asturias

The University of Oviedo is, by tradition, one of the cultural motors of Asturias. Through its University Extension, the academic institution programmes an intense agenda of free activities that make music, theatre, conferences, exhibitions and cinema available to all.

More than a century ago, a group of intellectuals from the University of Oviedo, known as the Oviedo Group, following a model that already existed in other European countries, gave the initial impulse in our country to University Extension as a way to open up the university and make knowledge accessible to society as a whole. Its legacy spread throughout Spain and Latin America and, today, the role of universities in cultural life is increasingly active and important.

With the aim of building bridges and strengthening ties, the University of Oviedo collaborates with different public and private institutions to organise different events throughout the year, which try to reach all corners of the region.

A good example of this collaboration is the activities that the University of Oviedo carries out with the Princess of Asturias Foundation. Every year, different venues of the academic institution host events of international relevance. Many Princess of Asturias laureates have passed through the classrooms and buildings of the university. These include, to name but a few, the physicist Hugh Herr, the poet and singer-songwriter Leonard Cohen, the historian Mary Bird, the discoverers of the Higgs Boson, the father of the Neanderthal genome, Svante Pääbo, the sociologist Michael J. Sandel and the philosopher Gloria Steinem.

Cultural innovation has been one of the hallmarks since the 'Oviedo Group' launched University Extension more than a century ago. Today, the university is one of the most important cultural motors in the region with a universal and free offer of activities.

The Historic Building, an imposing building located in the heart of Oviedo, is the ideal setting for holding exhibitions, conferences, debates, academic events, film cycles, concerts and also for teaching in many of the specialised classrooms open to society.

But the commitment of University Extension is not limited to the big cities of Asturias: Oviedo, Gijón and Avilés. The university's cultural programme is committed to bringing a varied offer to smaller towns and villages far from the urban centres. Cycles of conferences, theatre and choir and orchestra concerts reach the east and west of Asturias thanks to the university, together with the continuous programming of the Aula Valdés Salas (Salas), the Casa de La Buelga (Ciañu) and the permanent collaboration with the Fundación José Cardín Fernández (Villaviciosa) and the Fundación Valdés-Salas (Salas).

Cultural innovation is another of the hallmarks of the University of Oviedo. Through its virtual gallery, GAUDEO, the Asturian academic institution has become a benchmark when it comes to enhancing its artistic heritage of more than four centuries of history. GAUDEO has made the institution's artistic treasures available to researchers and the public in an ambitious project based on the latest technology.