Our principles and mission

The Abat Oliba CEU University is a university institution based on the ideals of the Asociación Católica de Propagandistas (Catholic Propagandistic Association), founded on 2003 with its headquarters in Barcelona.

About us
More than 40 years of history


In the preamble of the Rules of Organisation and Functioning of Abat Oliba CEU University published in BOE no. 266, of 4 November 2011, this institution is defined as follows:
“Abat Oliba CEU University is a private non-profit university, part of the San Pablo – CEU University Foundation, an initiative of the Catholic Association of Propagandists (ACdP).

It takes the legal form of a foundation, with the name of Fundació Privada Universitat Abat Oliba CEU, which was constituted on 23 November 2002 and registered in the registry of foundations of the Government of Catalonia on 23 June 2003.

Abat Oliba CEU University is an academic institution recognised by Law 20/2003, of 4 July, of the Parliament of Catalonia, in accordance with Article 27.6 of the Spanish Constitution and Article 172.2 of the Statute of Autonomy of Catalonia, and in the framework of Article 101 of Law 1/2003, of 19 February, on the universities of Catalonia.

Abat Oliba CEU University was born out of the Centre for University Studies (CEU), set up by the Catholic Association of Propagandists, to reflect Father Ayala’s thinking on the education of people endowed with spirit and a moral ideal, at the service of the common good, under the decisive impulse of the Servant of God Ángel Herrera Oria.”


Definition of the mission

Inspired by the Catholic intellectual tradition, Abat Oliba CEU University trains and educates students to be morally responsible individuals who think critically and act wisely, with the professional competences and skills to serve society by promoting the common good.

The mission of Abat Oliba CEU University is to provide students with a comprehensive education based on excellence. We achieve this objective through teaching and research, with an ethical commitment based on Christian humanism, allowing students to learn more about their society and fully integrate into the world of work. 

In order to fulfil this, Abat Oliba CEU University pursues work along the following key areas:

Firstly, personalised care in their learning process. In our educational project, the key to comprehensive formation is to generate an academic and human relationship between teachers and students. This personal relationship develops specific learning objectives and requires a series of specific attitudes on both sides. The teacher establishes an attitude of true appreciation for the students, motivates them in their relationship with knowledge , and helps them to develop their intellectual abilities and personal virtues. In order to grow as people and as professionals students need a desire to learn, curiosity and a healthy intellectual ambition. These qualities, which encourage a critical spirit and personal growth, are based on the recognition of the scientific and human authority of teachers.

As such, in addition to teaching, UAO CEU’s educational model includes an academic tutoring and mentoring programme. 

This fundamental area is backed up by the high degree of student satisfaction, as reflected in surveys. 

The second main area is employability and the professional development of students in the labour market. This objective is pursued through comprehensive training based on achieving competences and skills that allow our graduates to meet the professional demands in terms of specialisation in their chosen studies.

This second aspect is backed up by our graduates’ high rate of employability. This is also confirmed by the employability studies carried out by the AQU (Agency for the Quality of the University System of Catalonia), whose latest graduate careers study placed us above the Catalan average.

The final part of our mission involves offering students programmes aimed at fostering a vocation of service to others the necessary tools. As such, we offer leadership training, and encourage students to take part in voluntary work and care for the needy. We award specific prizes for end-of-degree projects that tackle social issues, etc. 

Even though it is difficult to measure the success of this aspect of UAO CEU’s mission, we are proud to say that our graduates stand out for their vocation of public service, which can be seen in their wide-reaching participation in political activities (in the last electoral cycle, UAO alumni were elected as representatives in local, regional, national and European candidacies of five different political formations), in the active participation of our alumni in civil society organisations and, as an example, a higher than average rate of preparation for competitive public examinations.



The educational and research activity carried out at Abat Oliba CEU University is based on a concept of reason open to transcendence, in which the search for and communication of truth, and the certainty of already knowing the source of truth, are existentially combined. This dialogue between faith and reason will guide academic activity at all levels, while respecting the specific nature of each discipline. 

It is part of the commitment of all members of the Abat Oliba CEU University community to respect a spirit of freedom and responsibility linked to nature. These are part of the mission and purpose of the founding ideology of the institution.



The principles that inspire our mission are outlined in the NOF of Abat Oliba CEU University (GOV/138/2011, of 11 October, which approved the Rules of Organisation and Functioning of Abat Oliba CEU Official Gazette of the Government of Catalonia No. 5984 of 14 October 2011), and they are:

“In line with its founding inspiration, Abat Oliba CEU University bases its mission and work on the following principles:

The creation of a university community in accordance with the common consecration of truth, based on the vision of the dignity of humanity and the message of Christ, which gives the university its distinctive character.

The forging of a close relationship between teachers and students, fostering the personal side of the teaching profession, a natural space in which to promote human intelligence and freedom.

Excellence in teaching at all levels of university and in all disciplines

The commitment to conduct research, in accordance with the methods of each discipline.

The study of the truth of things will be guided by: research into the integration of knowledge; a dialogue between faith and reason; a particular concern for the moral implications of the methods and results of scientific and technical research; and recognition of the irreplaceable sapiential role played by Catholic theology.

Abat Oliba CEU University makes a contribution to society as a whole and provides an effective and generous policy of scholarships and grants for study for those who do not have sufficient financial means of their own. This policy is implemented in accordance with criteria of merit and ability, helping students to achieve their goals. In the implementation of this policy, special attention will be paid to situations of dependency and disability where requested”.