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Universities are centuries-old institutions that in recent times have undergone important changes as a result of the expansion of the system of higher education, the diversification of social demands on the university, and the increase in public spending on higher education. In this new context, universities have the opportunity to show their capacity for adaptability and their social and intellectual leadership, reacting to the new situation in a creative manner. But to do this they must accept the quality challenge, that is, the responsibility for showing that they can do things right and meet society's demands with the highest levels of quality and efficiency. This paper presents how this challenge must be approached in Spanish universities.