Few Education Updates about Spanish Higher Education System

Few Education Updates about Spanish Higher Education System

Posted on 12 May 2014 Views ( 861 )

In 2009 the Spanish government launched a policy initiative, Estrategia Universidad 2015, with a goal aiming to boost the competitiveness of Spanish universities. Internationalization is one of the main goals of the strategy, which: 

  • Offers quality assurance mechanisms for international recognition and accreditation of qualifications obtained in Spain.
  • Sets as a goal the increase of the number of students, researchers, and International professors.
  • Encourages cooperation with foreign universities.
  • Provides incentives for the launch of international PhDs and Masters, including programmes in English and French.
  • Provides a framework for the quality of services offered to international students and academics, including residence and language courses, and
  • Enhances integration into the emerging Latin American higher education space and European Higher Education Area.

Spain’s leadership is already proven in internationalization. According to 2010-11 data released by the European Commission last May, Spain sends and receives more Erasmus students than any other European country. Since its introduction in 1987, the Erasmus programme has transformed the culture of Spanish universities, incentivizing them to establish international offices and create their own exchange programmes with other regions apart from Europe, using Erasmus as a model. The launch of the Alfa Puentes programme will probably help them to increase their presence in Latin America.

Spain has invested heavily on Higher Education. In 1998 the nation spent less than the OECD average on higher education per student. Ten years on, it had managed to match the OECD average.

Spanish government aims to reduce public spending on education from 4.9% to 3.9% of GDP in five years, for a target saving of €10bn ($12.4bn).

Two changes seem to be essential in Spain: Internationalization and reform. In Spain these can be at state, regional, or at local rather than at National level.

According to the nature of Spanish governance, the states have extended powers in many sectors, including higher education.

In Spain, the autonomous government of Valencia (Generalitat Valenciana) has provided land and other means of support to Berklee College of Music to set up a branch campus in the city.

Spain fare very well in terms of International student recruitment. According to OECD data, Spain had 85,000 International students in 2009. The nation had a global market share of 1.2% in the year 2000, which increased to 2.3% in 2009.

Spain's comparative advantage is its access to the Latin American market.

Now Spanish Universities are thinking of expansion abroad. SDA Bocconi School of Management, Milan is the first university from a non-English speaking country to set up a branch campus in India.

In Spain there was a rise in the number of enrolments and applications in 2011 due to the crisis and surprisingly, this was predicted long before in the 2010 OECD survey reports.

Students are not able to study faster as they have to work at the same time and this has become a major concern in Spain. A student loan system might stimulate students to study instead of work and thereby reduce unemployment rates among younger people.