On the 16th of October 1979, the Plenary Senate approved the bill for the creation of the Universities of Alicante, Cadiz, Leon, and the Polytechnic of Las Palmas. With this measure, finally, the university vocation that the province of Cadiz had been showing since centuries ago, materialized.
Preceding the new university were, for example: the College of Pilots of the Seas of the East and West Winds created in the fifteenth century, the Astronomical Observatory (the first built in Spain) or the Assembly of Friends and Literature preceding the Academy of Sciences. The Royal College of Surgery of the Navy, operating since 1748, the Free School of Law, since 1873, and the School of Commerce are other signs of inspiration in education and research in Cadiz.
On the 30th of October of 1979 the law which unlinks the educational centre of the province with the University of Seville, is activated. This law states:
The University of Cadiz is established, initially consisting of the Faculties of Science and Medicine, University Schools of Business Studies, Teachers Training for General Basic Education, Industrial Technical Engineering, Naval Technical Engineering and Nursing, present in Cadiz, and those of Industrial Engineering in Algeciras and of Business Studies in Jerez de la Frontera, all of which are currently dependent of the University of Seville and of the Faculty of Philosophy and Letters Arts and that of Law (the latter based in Jerez de la Frontera), recently created.
To take charge of this new institution Felipe Garrido was elected, until then Vice Chancellor for Cadiz from the University of Seville. Professor Garrido served as President of the Management Committee, and remained so until the first elections for rector, in 1984. He was joined by as vice presidents González Vilches, Eduardo Zamora and Jose Jordano, and General Secretary, Professor Antonio Caballero.
During these four years, the University took its first steps. In 1980, the Minister González Seara inaugurates the new building of the Faculty of Science of Puerto Real, and the House of Five Guilds, which until then was part of National Heritage, given up to house the building of the Rectory.
The University of Cadiz was also provided with 30 chairs, most of them in the Faculties of Law and Philosophy and Letters. For its part, the Puerto Real Hospital received one billion pesetas for the first phase of adaptation.
In May of 1980, the Faculty of Philosophy and Letters produced the first publication of the UCA. In October of this some year, for the first time, students enrolled directly to the University of Cadiz.
Jose Maria Pemán opened the Summer Courses of the year 1980, which although not yet belonging administratively to the University, are closely linked to it. In November 1981, the first course in connection with the UCA was given.
The project of construction of the new School of Industrial Engineering of Algeciras began in 1982. Around the same time, the drafting of the Faculty of Philosophy in Puerto Real, started. This would be the final location of the Marine Sciences building.
During this period the University of Cadiz invested as honorary doctorates Professor William Glenn (1981), Professor Trincker (1982) and Andres Segovia (1983), who offered a concert in the Falla Theatre to confer the vote of confidence. Just before the creation of the University, the Nobel Prize winner in Medicine Andrew Schally, had been nominated with an honorary doctorate from the University of Seville in a ceremony celebrated in Cadiz, and had chaired the Infant Margarita de Bourbon, representing the King. In actual fact, it was His Majesty the King who received the first Gold Medal awarded by the UCA in 1984.