Barcelona beckons: the allure of Catalonian universities
Catalonia has twelve universities, seven of which are public, four which are private and one which is both public and private. Seven of these academic institutions are located in the immediate Barcelona area. Catalonian universities have a total enrolment of about 233,000 students, with about 20,000 of them coming from outside the region.
|Catalonian name||English name||Location|
|Universitat de Barcelona||University of Barcelona||Barcelona|
|Universitat Pompeu Fabra||Pompeu Fabra University|
|Universitat Ramon Llull||Ramon Llull University|
|Universitat Oberta de Catalunya||Open University of Catalonia|
|International University of Catalonia|
|Universitat Abat Oliba
|Abat Oliba CEU University|
|Universitat de Vic||University of Vic||Vic|
|Cerdanyola del Vallès|
|Universitat de Girona||University of Girona||Girona|
|Rovira i Virgili University||Tarragona|
|Universitat de Lleida||University of Lleida||Lleida|
The universities of Barcelona offer more than five hundred educational-programme options. The languages of instruction are Catalan and Spanish in most universities, but many academic institutions also offer programmes in English. For instance, the University of Barcelona delivers two of its 73 undergraduate programmes in English, while at Pompeu Fabra University, the ratio between the programmes in English and in Spanish is 1:1. Usually, the universities have
Spain ranks fourth by the number of "new" higher education institutions in the Times Higher Education World 2016 Ranking, listing only the universities founded less than fifty years ago. The Spanish universities listed in the ranking include four in Catalonia.
Public university tuition fees are determined by the Catalonian authorities. The government of the autonomous community annually issues a brochure containing tuition fees for different categories of students and programmes. Private universities determine their tuition policies independently.
The average tuition for undergraduate students in the universities of Catalonia is about €2,500 per year. The tuition fees for
Degrees in medicine, bioengineering, IT and telecommunications are the most expensive.
Educational programmes in business, administration, management, economics, or liberal arts can be several times cheaper in some cases.
How to enter
To enter a Catalonian university, international applicants need to prepare the required documents beforehand. The secondary education certificate must be apostilled, translated into Spanish and certified at Spain´s Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport (Ministerio de Educación, Cultura y Deporte). The originals and certified copies of the secondary education school certificate and transcript must also be provided.
Subsequently, you can get the necessary documents to the university either in person or via email. You also need to provide photos and passport copies together with the application. All the documents must have Spanish translations and be notarised.
Additionally, you may need a motivation letter and proficiency test results for the language of instruction. Lastly, international applicants must take an entrance exam (Prueba de Acceso a la Universidad o Selectividad, or PAU).
The exam for foreign nationals is held by the National University of Distance Education (UNED). The test is administered in Catalan or Spanish and consists of two parts: the language proficiency examination that includes a general aptitude test and major subject tasks. The admission score is the sum of the examination scores and GPA.
Student life and residence
According to the 2015/16 QS Best Student Cities Ranking, which assesses the largest cities around the world by how attractive, comfortable and livable they are for students, Barcelona was among
Living and renting a residential property in Barcelona is indeed cheaper in comparison with London or Paris.
Some universities allow their students to live in residence halls (los colegios mayores and las residencias universitarias). It's better to discuss the availability of accommodation in advance, as they are typically fully occupied by the beginning of the school year. Moreover, in Catalonia, being able and ready to spend up to €1,100 per month on meals, entertainment, commuting and other expenditures is recommended.
Julia Gushchina, Tranio.com