Universities and Higher Education in Spain Essay

Types of institution Spain Higher Education institutions have been around for centuries. Spain’s universities are some of the oldest institutions in the world. One of Spain’s institutions was founded in the earlier years of the thirteenth century. Higher education in Spain is mainly comprised of universities. There are currently around 75 universities where there are approximately 56 state owned and 19 private universities that are ran by private enterprises or by the Catholic Church. Hampshire, 2003 p. 1) Spain’s higher education institutions had experienced a fast growth in student population due to a huge influx of high school graduates or “secondary school leavers. (Mora, n. d. , p. 1) In Spain’s history the nineteenth century was a critical year because of the French Revolution and the huge impact it made on higher education institutions. One of the impacts that it made was the changing of the structure of the state.

Under the Napoleonic system of higher education, adopted by Spain, the universities were entities hat were totally regulated by laws and norms by the State at a national level. (Mora, n. d, p. 1) Professors were considered civil servants and they were to move from one institution to the next. All of the academic programs were unified amongst the universities and they even carried the same syllabi. “Higher Education performs the dual function of training skilled labor and screening students through the double filter of admissions and graduation standards. (Gilboa, Justman, 2005, p. 107) Back then, universities were only attended by the elite and their main goal was to educate the ruling groups of the State and out of that group the civil servants especially. The way in which Spanish institutions taught was by having a strong professional orientation and transmitting skills essential to the development of professions. Moving forward in history Spanish institutions have made a lot of transformations. Under the University Reform Act, which is also known as the Ley de Reforma, formed the process of emancipation of higher education from control of the state.

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Under this reform there were a lot of changes that were made which include universities becoming more autonomous entities, professors belonging to the university, institutions beginning to receive public funds and allowing of creating private universities. According to Jose’-Gines’ Mora of Technical University of Valencia, the government decided to create a new reform on some of the different areas of the Reform Act, one of which universities will become more autonomous for designing diplomas and their curricula.

Spain breaks their Universities up into four different types of institutions. There are university schools, where you have short -term three -year courses, university colleges, where they have the first three years of studying leading to a Licenciado is completed, faculties, where long-term courses are offered in all the academic disciplines (except for the technical courses) and higher technical schools of engineering and architecture, where long-term technical courses are completed. Hampshire, 2003, p. 1) Out of Spain’s four types of universities, they are divided up into three different categories. The categories are first cycle, which is also a three-year diploma. In this category students who complete a three-year vocational course receive a diploma. The second cycle diploma is called a Licenciatura or a tesina that is awarded to students who have completed five or six years of study at a faculatad and this diploma is equivalent to an American Masters of Arts degree.

The third cycle is a PhD (doctorate) program which students can earn the title of Doctor en Filosofia y Letras. Financial Aid According to my research, finding money for college does not seem to be an issue. Most Spanish universities are inexpensive for residents of the country although there are grants and scholarships that are available to students. From some of the articles that I have read, there is a large population of students who still stay at home with their parents while attending universities so they do not have to pay the extra fees of the institution.

There was not much in depth information on financial aid but I am going to continue to look for some stuff… References Gilboa, Y, & Justman, M. (2005). Academic admissions standards: implications for output, distribution, and mobility. Journal of the European Economic Association, 3(5), 1105-1133. Hampshire, D. (2003, Octobr 20). Higher education in spain. Retrieved from http://www. expatica. com/es/education/higher_education/higher- education-in-spain-1896_11005. html? ppager=4 Mora, J G. (n. d. ). Higher education in spain. Retrieved from Spain – Higher Education


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