Wednesday, 8 June 2016

Study in Spain

Choose to study in Spain, and one thing is for sure: your friends will be very jealous! Stretching to the Pyrenees in the east, the Mediterranean in the south, the Bay of Biscay in the north, and Portugal in the west, Spain is one of the biggest countries in Europe – and also one of the most-visited.
Spain is consistently among the world’s most popular tourist destinations (third in 2014, according to the United Nations World Tourism Organization), welcoming an annual volume of tourists which considerably exceeds its population. It's also among the most popular destinations for international students, due to its winning combination of good universities, attractive lifestyle, and the fact that Spanish is one of the world's most spoken languages.
This is a country of contrasts, where the affluence and cosmopolitan bustle of Western Europe is mixed with a distinctly southern European extravagance and charm; where an expressive and flamboyant culture segues into afternoon naps and languid evenings in bars and cafés; and where distinct regional identities often take precedence over a unified national one. Of course, lifestyle alone isn’t enough to draw in the punters – you need to have good universities too!
If you like the idea of studying Spain, click on the tabs below to find out more about Spanish universities, popular student cities, and what steps to take next.

Spain has a long history of higher education, with its oldest university, Universidad de Salamanca, dating back to 1218. Its higher education system was overhauled in 2007 to embrace the three-cycle system of the Bologna Process, ensuring compatability with the European Higher Education Area (EHEA).
There are a total of 78 universities (or universidades) in Spain, 51 of which are run and funded by the state whilst 27 are private or run by the Catholic Church. 18 Spanish universities are featured in the QS World University Rankings® 2015/16, of which 12 are within the global top 500. The largest concentrations of leading Spanish universities are found in capital city Madrid and second city Barcelona.
Read more about the top six Spanish universities, all ranking within the world’s top 300:

University of Barcelona (Universitat de Barcelona) Universitat de Barcelona

The highest-ranked Spanish university, the University of Barcelona is placed at joint 166th in the QS World University Rankings 2015/16. Established in 1450, it's among the oldest higher education institutions in the world, with rich traditions dating back to the Medieval Ages. Today, more than 90,600 students are enrolled in a wide array of undergraduate and postgraduate courses, across the university's 18 faculties and 100 departments. The University of Barcelona ranks within the world’s top 100 for many of the subject areas covered by the QS World University Rankings by Subject.

Universidad Autónoma de Madrid 

A much younger institution, established in 1968 following extensive reforms in higher education in Spain, the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid (sometimes called UAM, or the Autonomous University of Madrid), is currently ranked at 186th place in the world.  It also comes ninth in the QS Top 50 Under 50, which highlights the world’s highest-performing young universities. The Universidad Autónoma de Madrid is home to more than 36,000 students across its eight faculties, and is especially noted for its Faculty of Law. It has three campuses, of which the main one, the Cantoblanco Campus, is located 15km (9 miles) north of Madrid. The Universidad Autónoma de Madrid prides itself in being the alma mater of His Majesty King Felipe VI of Spain.

Universitat Autónoma de Barcelona Universitat Autónoma de Barcelona

The Universitat Autónoma de Barcelona was also established in 1968, and ranks at 190th in the world, making it Spain’s third representative at international level. Ranking 10th in the QS Top 50 Under 50, the Universitat Autónoma de Barcelona teaches about 36,000 students among its 13 faculties. It is famous for being one of the few universities in Spain to have a centralized campus, created in order to promote a strong university community, with all the different academic, research, cultural and social activities in the same place. This integrated campus is located about 20km (12 miles) from the center of Barcelona.

University Complutense Madrid University Complutense Madrid

The oldest Spanish university, the University Complutense Madrid is in fact one of the oldest higher education institutions in the world. It dates back to 1293, when it was originally known as Estudio de Escuelas Generales de Alcalá, before receiving its current name in 1499. Today, the University Complutense Madrid ranks at 226th place in the world and within the global top 50 in the subject area of dentistry. More than 86,000 students study in the university, which was one of the first in the world to give a doctoral degree to a female student, in 1785.

University of Navarra University of Navarra

A private university, the University of Navarra was established in 1952 by Saint Josemaría Escrivá de Balaguer. More than 12,700 students are enrolled in the university’s undergraduate and postgraduate degree programs, with many international master’s students. The university’s main campuses are in Pamplona and San Sebastián, while its prestigious IESE Business School also has offices in Barcelona, Madrid, New York, Munich and São Paulo. At the start of 2015, the university inaugurated a new museum of contemporary art, designed by well-known architect Rafael Moneo. In the QS World University Rankings 2015/16, the University of Navarra ranks joint 265th.

Universitat Pompeu Fabra Universitat Pompeu Fabra

One of the youngest Spanish universities, the Universitat Pompeu Fabra features in the QS World University Rankings this year in joint 295th place, and is another Spanish representative in the Top 50 Under 50. It was established in 1990 and named after the famous Catalan philologist Pompeu Fabra. The university is located in Barcelona, across three separate campuses which each focus on a particular field of study: social sciences and humanities, health and life sciences, and ITC and communication sciences.
Studying a master’s or PhD? To find out about studying in Spain at graduate level, check out the latest QS Top Grad School Guide.


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