The presence in the UB of an inter-university institute for Ancient Near East studies is justified by the nature of these studies themselves: they are highly specialized, extremely complex and require high levels of language and cultural training. The Institute of Ancient Near East Studies (IPOA) develops new curricula and research lines in important areas of the history of culture that generate great social interest. The studies complement and provide scientific specialization for the academic plans of the following departments: Semitic Languages, Classical Languages, Ancient History, Linguistics and Theoretical Philosophy.
IPOA aims to be a focal point for the inter-departmental and inter-university research specified in current legislation and the statutes of participating universities. It offers a series of courses that have been fully developed in terms of contents and methods. Due to their complexity, minority nature or novelty, such studies were not undertaken at the UB in the past and are, therefore, of great value. In addition to research tasks, the Institute aims to carry out essential social and academic functions.
After completion of the administrative procedures envisaged in the University Reform Law (11/1983), the Institute was officially founded by Decree of the Presidential Department of the Catalan government (Generalitat de Catalunya) on 24 November 1993.