Studying in Spain



Spain is a major destination for foreign students from different parts of the world. The EU state boasts of universities that have long years of history, some dating back to the 8th century. Spain has 76 universities, 24 of them are privately-run. Most of the country’s top schools are located in the major cities of Madrid and Barcelona.

Most of the world’s oldest universities are in Spain including the University of Salamanca, which has been in existence since the 8th century. It is also the oldest tertiary educational institution in the world. In the Philippines, the Pontifical and Royal University of Santo Tomas is the first university in Asia. It was established during the Spanish colonial rule in the Philippines.

Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona or the Autonomous University of Barcelona (UAB) in Catalonia is currently the top university in Spain. The state-funded institution ranked 177th in the 2013 World QS ranking. Founded in 1968, UAB is the pioneering institute for research in the country. Non-Spanish speaking students may apply for International Undergraduate or Masters Degrees in English.

The state-funded University of Barcelona in Catalonia (UB) is the leading research centre in Europe and was ranked 178th among the world’s top universities. It was established in 1450 through the royal prerogative of King Alfonso V of Aragon. The UB, the fifth oldest school in the world, is known for its research programs and contributions to science. Students with foreign university degrees may apply for masters or UB-specific degrees. Applicants are required to present the proof of the higher degree of standardization and the admission to the graduate program chosen.

Universidad Autonoma de Madrid or the Autonomous University of Madrid (UAM) ranked 195th in the latest survey of top universities in the world. The state-funded school was established in 1968 and is located at Tres Cantos in Madrid. To harness its competitiveness in research studies, UAM established an Integrated Research Management Service which liaises between funding entities and researchers as well as other partners within the university community.

Note de corte or “cut-off grade” is the basis of admissions for Spanish universities. It is achieved through a two-year bachillerato (bachelor’s degree) which may be taken up after obtaining a Educacion Secundaria Obligatoria certificate or its secondary education equivalent in other countries. Schools in Spain use Spanish and English as their media of teaching, in contrast to other European countries which require foreign students to learn their native language. Foreign students wishing to enrol in a Spanish school or training centre are required to obtain a student visa and an authorization to stay during the specified time once in the country.


KEYWORDS: Spain, University, Education