Universidad Nacional del Litoral (UNL) was established under National Act Nº 10.861, which was enacted on October 17th, 1919. The university is the result of the 1918 university reform movement in Argentina, which advocated for the creation of democratic and self-governing institutions to provide free, open, and public higher education. These ideas eventually spread to much of the rest of Latin America.

The Universidad Nacional del Litoral (UNL) has more than 140 undergraduate degrees and programs (comprising Refresher Courses, especially aimed at students with a non-university degree; Associate Degrees, which take 2 to 3 years to complete and Bachelor's or Bachelor's Degrees, which take 4 to 6 years to complete be completed), more than 90 postgraduate programs, and more than 15 double degree programs (undergraduate and postgraduate) with institutions in Germany, Brazil, Spain, France and Italy.

The ecosystem of the university is composed by more than 53,000 undergraduate students, 2000 pre-university students, 3,500 postgraduate students, and 6,600 academic staff, researchers, and non-academic staff.