Every year, more and more residents of post-Soviet countries planning to obtain higher education abroad choose Spain for these purposes. This is facilitated not only by the low cost of studying in Spain compared to leading European powers, but also by its noticeably increased quality thanks to the introduction of advanced techniques and technologies.

If in the recent past quite a lot of graduates of Spanish schools sought to enroll in foreign universities with subsequent employment abroad, in recent years an opposite trend has emerged. In addition, since the end of the financial and economic crisis in Spain, the number of highly qualified teachers from other countries has increased in local universities, a number of which offer education in English (in some subjects, of which there are an increasing number) or in the International Baccalaureate program. The share of foreign students is 5%, with the majority of them having citizenship of China, Russia or Latin America.

As of 2020, there are 87 accredited universities in Spain, of which 36 are private and 15 of them are under the patronage of the Catholic Church. The most universities are in the Autonomous Community of Madrid, Catalonia and Andalusia, and the fewest (one each) are in Asturias, Extremadura and the Balearic Islands.


Higher education in Spain

It should be borne in mind that, in contrast to the secondary education system in Spain, public universities are rated higher. This is confirmed by the traditional annual rating from the newspaper El Mundo, which is considered the most complete, objective and reliable.

1.Universidad Autónoma de Barcelona (state) – 24 specializations in the ranking

2.Universidad Complutense de Madrid (state) – 23

3.Universidad Autónoma de Madrid (state) – 17

4.Universidad de Barcelona (state) – 16

5-6.Universidad Politécnica de Madrid (state) – 13

5-6.Universidad Carlos III de Madrid (state) – 13

7.Universidad Politécnica de Valencia (state) – 12

8-9.Universidad de Navarra (private) – 11

8-9.Universidad Politécnica de Cataluña (state) – 11

10.Universidad Pompeu Fabra (state) – 8

The cost of studying at Spanish universities varies between 1500-8000 euros per year (with rare exceptions) and is determined primarily by geographical location, reputation, quality of teaching and chosen specialization. Those wishing to study to become a doctor or lawyer, as well as receive education in such areas as pharmacology, applied biotechnology and biomechanics, will have to pay the most.

In addition to medicine, in which dentistry, implantology and orthodontics are the most popular, the highest competition takes place in faculties that train specialists in the field of information technology, engineering, law, linguistics, economics, journalism, as well as physical education and sports. Graduates with such diplomas can count not only on fairly quick employment, but also on wages of more than 1,500 euros with minimal work experience or, as in the case of programmers, even without it. In addition, about 60% of vacancies in the local labor market require higher education, and the unemployment rate among those with the most in-demand skills is one of the lowest in Spain.


Higher education in Spain

To enroll in Spanish universities, a foreigner who has graduated from high school in a country outside the European Union (except for International Baccalaureate programs), in addition to providing a standard package of documents, will need to homologate a certificate and pass entrance exams. Three of them – Spanish language and literature, foreign language, history of Spain – are standard for all specializations, and one more applicant can choose from the following list: mathematics, applied mathematics, in relation to social sciences – Latin, fundamentals of art. There is also the opportunity to improve your passing score and thus increase your chances of admission by passing 1-2 additional exams in specialized disciplines.



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