The University of Santiago de Compostela is a public university located in the city of Santiago de Compostela, Galicia, Spain. A second campus is located in Lugo, Galicia. It is one of the world's oldest universities in continuous operation.
The university traces its roots back to 1495, when the school was opened in Santiago. In 1504, Pope Julius II approved the foundation of the university in Santiago but "the bull for its creation was not granted by Clement VII until 1526". In 1555 the institute Began to separate itself from strictly religious instruction with the help of Cardinal Juan Alvarez de Toledo and started to work towards developing other academic fields, including the emerging science fields.
Today the university's facilities cover more than 1,300,000 square meters (~ 320 acres). In terms of human resources, the university have more than 2,000 teachers involved in study and research, over 42,000 students, and more than 1,000 people working in administration and services. Moreover, in 2009, the University received accreditation of the International Campus of Excellence by the Ministry of Education (Spain), Recognizing the USC one of the most prestigious universities in Spain.
The university ranks 5th in Spain's best universities ranking by the Complutense University of Madrid and IAIF and 4th amongst the public universities.