The University of California (UC) founded in 1868 and today, comprised of ten campuses, is one of the leading public universities in the United States. UC recognizes the importance of sharing its educational and research resources with the rest of the world. Through its education abroad program, students from the UC attend universities in over 100 countries. In return students from many of these countries study at the campuses of the UC. This interaction is also seen in research programs that are joint with universities throughout the world. These partnerships bring an international flavor and understanding to the UC and to the State of California that are essential in the modern world.
The Mediterranean area is one of the areas where UC has focused its attention. The climate and the history of this region are similar to that of California. Further the countries of the Mediterranean are known to have great economic disparity. Such disparity creates political unrest and economic disadvantages to trade and to peaceful coexistence. The conflict in the world today emphasizes the importance of UC's link with the Mediterranean area. Hence the University will continue to have an extensive interaction with the Mediterranean region and with the countries closely affected by the conditions there.
Today the UC and the State of California interact with most of the countries surrounding the Mediterranean including Egypt, Israel, Tunisia, Morocco, Syria, Greece, Turkey, Italy, France and Spain. One of our most extensive interactions during the past years has been with the Autonomy of Catalunya. In 1986, an agreement was signed between the regents of the University of California and the President of the Generalitat of Catalunya establishing the Gaspar de Portola Catalonian studies program. In 1987 the Senate of the State of California and the Parliament of the Region of Catalunya established a sister state relationship.