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Education: Higher Education

There are 73 recognized universities in Spain, of which 23 are private institutions. The Catholic Church owns seven of these. Details of some of the more significant universities are given below.

Major Universities
School Location
(Main Campus)
Complutense University of Madrid (UCM) Madrid
University of Granada (UGR) Granada
University of Valencia (UVEG) Valencia
University of Barcelona (UB) Barcelona
University of Seville (US) Sevilla
Polytechnic University of Valencia (UPV) Valencia
University of Salamanca (USAL) Salamanca
University of Alicante (UA) San Vicente del Raspeig

Universidad Complutense de Madrid (Complutense University of Madrid)
Ciudad Universitaria
Avenida Séneca, 2
28040 Madrid
Tel: +34 91 452 0400

Complutense University of Madrid (UCM) can trace its origins back to 1293, making it one of the oldest universities in the world. The largest university in Spain in terms of student enrollment, UCM occupies a large urban campus in the center of the capital. This prestigious university is regarded as the country’s top academic institution and ranks in the top 20 in Europe on several world university ranking systems. Complutense is noted for its courses in Spanish language, history, pharmacy, and optometry.

UCM is considered to have played a key role in Spanish political life, as senior ministers in all of Spain’s governments over the past 200 years have graduated from the university. It has also attracted a significant number of the world’s top academics as guest lecturers on its courses, including Albert Einstein in 1930.

Universidad de Granada (University of Granada)
Avenida del Hospicio, s/n
18071 Granada
Tel: [34] 95 824 3000

The University of Granada (UGR) was founded by Papal decree in 1531 for the teaching of theology and canon law. It is spread across five campuses in the historic city of Granada and also has two campuses in Ceuta and Melilla, both Spanish territories in North Africa.

The modern university has 17 faculties covering most major disciplines. It has developed a strong international reputation with the well-regarded European Erasmus student exchange program. Among the hundreds of European universities participating, UGR is the most popular with over 2,000 student placements annually. In addition, the university's Centro de Lenguas Modernas (Centre for Modern Languages) enrolls over 10,000 international students each year, which represents around 15 percent of the total student population.

Universitat de València (University of Valencia)
Avenida Blasco Ibáñez, 13
46010 València
Tel: [34] 96 386 4100

The University of Valencia (UVEG) operates from three campuses, one in the metropolitan area of Valencia, and two others in the municipalities of Burjassot and Paterna. The 18 faculties offer degrees in most major academic fields, including arts and humanities, engineering, health sciences, sciences, and social sciences.

In addition to strong links across Europe, UVEG has strived to develop connections with universities in North America and Asia. The university has partnered with International Studies Abroad, a study-abroad provider based in Texas bringing inbound exchange students from the US and Canada. The university’s Confucius Institute promotes Chinese language and culture, and supports local Chinese teaching and student exchange.

Universitat de Barcelona (University of Barcelona)
Gran Via de Les Corts Catalanes, 585
08007 Cataluña
Tel: [34] 93 402 1100

The University of Barcelona (UB) was founded in 1450 as an extension of a medical school that had operated for the previous 50 years. Medical sciences have continued to be important at UB, and the Faculty of Medicine now has three campuses, 11 hospitals, and 22 primary care centers. New faculties have been added over time with major expansion in the 1950s adding economics, law, and business studies. There are now over 100 departments spread across 18 faculties.

Universidad de Sevilla (University of Seville)
Calle San Fernando, 4
41004 Sevilla
Tel: [34] 95 455 1445

Founded in the 15th century, the University of Seville (US) is set among historic buildings within the city. The main campus building is known as the Old Tobacco Factory, reflecting its original use. Built in the 18th century, Seville's tobacco factory was the largest industrial building in the world at the time and was also the setting for the internationally renowned opera, Carmen.

The modern University of Seville is well known for its research and courses in technology and science, and is regarded as a center of culture not only for Seville, but for all of Andalusia. In addition to technical courses, the university also hosts a languages institute and a business school.

Universitat Politècnica de València (Polytechnic University of Valencia)
Camino de Vera, s/n
46022 Comunitat Valenciana
Tel: [34] 96 387 9000

The Polytechnic University of Valencia (UPV) is a modern institute originally founded as a polytechnic in 1968, and upgraded to full university status just three years later. The majority of its courses are in various fields of science and technology. Specialist schools of agricultural engineering, as well as cartography and surveying, are popular. UPV has also developed courses in fine arts and business administration.

Universidad de Salamanca (University of Salamanca)
Patio de Escuelas Mayores, 1
37008 Salamanca
Tel: [34] 92 329 4411

The University of Salamanca (USAL) was founded in 1143, making it the oldest university in Spain and one of the world’s oldest. For many years, USAL developed as a series of distinct colleges in the style of Oxford and Cambridge in the U.K., but these were destroyed by Napoleon during invasions by the French army, and the university has subsequently developed as a more typical university.

The modern University of Salamanca is an important center for the study of humanities and is particularly noted for its language studies. Its Spanish courses for non-native speakers are known worldwide, attracting more than 2,000 foreign students each year. USAL also undertakes medical research of a high standard and operates institutes of cancer and neuroscience.

Universitat d'Alacant (University of Alicante)
Carretera San Vicente del Raspeig, s/n
03690 San Vicente del Raspeig
Tel: [34] 96 590 3400

Founded in 1979, the University of Alicante (UA) is a modern university offering more than 50 degree programs. Some of its most popular include social sciences, law, experimental science, technology, liberal arts, education, and health sciences.

The university also offers Spanish language courses for foreign students throughout the year. These courses are extremely popular with the large number of Europeans that have migrated into this area in recent decades.