AN agreement has been reached to establish a university in Estepona.
It will be the second private uni in Andalucia after the University of Loyola and the 12th higher education institution in total.
Official degrees will be offered, while there will also be a research programme.
Until a campus is built, the Centro Cultural Padre Manuel will be used, at the request of the Town Hall.
The building has been secured free of charge, following a deal with the Santo Cristo de la Vera Cruz Charity Construction Association.
Officials have said they will begin the legal proceedings necessary to build university grounds in Guadalobon, the area west of the H10 Estepona Palace Hotel.
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It comes after an agreement between the Institucion Internacional SEK and the Antonia Guerrero Diaz Foundation.
A spokesperson for the latter organisation said it would sell off 17 flats in the Playa de el Angel complex and other assets in the Saladavieja area to fund the university.
The project now needs the legal backing of the Junta.
It must meet the requirements of the Andalucian Law of Universities, which governs the location of institutions.
A Town Hall spokesperson said: “The university will contribute to the promotion of the social, cultural and economic development of the municipality, and will be a catalyst for change in the town in several respects.
“Creating a university in our municipality, incorporated into the Andalucian university system, not only benefits the potential students of Estepona who could pursue higher education in their own city, but also benefits the whole of our municipality and our neighbors.”
Town Hall bosses have been in talks for a university in Estepona since at least 1992.
This announcement follows a raft of other ambitious projects under Mayor Jose Maria Garcia Urbano.