Would you like to know which are the most prestigious and top-rated universities in Spain? In this article we tell you everything
Spain is a very attractive country in terms of tourism and education, as it has a large number of universities ranked among the best in Europe and some of them are considered among the best in the world for some careers
The good climate and the cultural, gastronomic and historical richness of Spain, make it one of the main options to study for many university students from all over the world.
Do you want to know a little more about the best Spanish universities? Keep on reading
Top 10 Universities in Spain
1- University of Barcelona
The University of Barcelona (Catalan: Universitat de Barcelona, UB) is a public university located in the city of Barcelona, Catalonia in Spain. With 63,000 students, it is one of the largest universities in Spain. It is one of the oldest universities in both Catalonia and Spain, founded in 1450.
It is considered one of the best Spanish universities. Overall, UB has been ranked first in Spain in most rankings 2021-2022 and is ranked around 50th in Europe.
It has 106 departments and more than 5,000 full-time researchers, technicians and research assistants, most of whom work in the 243 research groups recognized and supported by the Generalitat de Catalunya
In 2010, the UB obtained 175 national and 17 European research grants, and participated in more than 500 joint research projects with the business sector, generating an overall research income of 70 million euros. The work of these groups is overseen by UB research centers and institutes, which collaborate with leading research institutions and networks in Spain and abroad
The UB is also home to three major research foundations: the Barcelona Science Park Foundation (PCB), which includes the Barcelona Biomedical Research Institute (IRBB); the August Pi i Sunyer Biomedical Research Institute (IDIBAPS); and the Bellvitge Biomedical Research Institute (IDIBELL). It is also a degree-granting body of the Institut Barcelona d’Estudis Internacionals (IBEI).
2- Autonomous University of Barcelona
The Autonomous University of Barcelona (Catalan: Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona), is a public university located primarily in Cerdanyola del Vallès, near the city of Barcelona in Catalonia, Spain.
As of 2012, the university consists of 57 departments of experimental, life, social and human sciences, spread over 13 faculties/schools. All these centers together offer a total of 85 degrees in the form of first degrees, diplomas and engineering degrees. In addition, almost 80 doctoral programs and more than 80 postgraduate programs are offered
UAB has more than 40,000 students and more than 3,600 academic and research staff. UAB is a pioneering institution in the promotion of research. There are many research institutes on campus, as well as other research centers, technical support services and service delivery laboratories, and the ALBA (synchrotron) located in the Barcelona Synchrotron Park is very close to UAB.
UAB is one of the best universities in Spain, along with the University of Barcelona, located in the same city, according to the 2022 QS World University Rankings, which ranked it 209th in the world. Its rankings by subject were: 27th in Veterinary Science, 72nd in Education and Training, 73rd in Linguistics, 78th in Sociology and 88th in Economics and Econometrics. UAB is also a degree-granting entity of the prestigiousInstitut Barcelona d’Estudis Internacionals (IBEI).
3- Pompeu Fabra University
Pompeu Fabra University (Catalan: Universitat Pompeu Fabra) is a public university located in the city of Barcelona, Catalonia in Spain.
It was created by the Generalitat de Catalunya in 1990, and is named after Pompeu Fabra, Catalan engineer, grammarian and main author of the normative reform of the contemporary Catalan language. In 2021, UPF was ranked the best university in Spain and the tenth best young university in the world by the Times Higher Education World University Rankings.
It is considered one of the most prestigious universities in Spain. It has been ranked first in the national ranking of scientific productivity since 2009. From an academic point of view, the university is known for its selective admission of students, as more than half of the degrees it offers have one of the highest university entrance grades (selectividad) in the Catalan university system.
The university stands out in national and international rankings, especially in economics, political science and law. UPF’s Economics studies have been ranked among the top 50 in the world, ranking 20th in Economics and Econometrics in the QS World University Rankings by subject in 2016 and 40th in Economics & Business in the Times Higher Education Rankings
The university’s Faculty of Economics and Business is the first and only faculty in Spain (public or private and in any discipline) to obtain the Certificate of Quality in Internationalization awarded by a consortium of 14 European accreditation agencies. UPF was designated as a“Campus of International Excellence” by the Spanish Ministry of Education in 2010.
4- Autonomous University of Madrid
The Universidad Autónoma de Madrid (UAM), commonly known as the Autónoma, is a Spanish public university located in Madrid, Spain. The university was founded in 1968 along with the Autonomous University of Barcelona
UAM is widely respected as one of the most prestigious universities in Europe. According to the prestigious QS World University Rankings 2022, UAM is ranked as the best university in Spain.
The university’s campus sprawls over a rural expanse of 260 hectares, mostly on the outskirts of the Madrid metropolitan area. Founded in 1968, its main campus, Cantoblanco, is located near the cities of Alcobendas, San Sebastián de los Reyes and Tres Cantos
The Cantoblanco Campus of the UAM houses most of the university’s facilities. It is located 15 km north of Madrid and covers an area of more than 2,200,000 m2. Of this, almost 770,000 m2 are developed and about a third are landscaped areas
It offers 94 doctoral programs in all university studies. It also offers 88 master’s degrees. According to a study conducted by the newspaper El Mundo, in 2013, the UAM was the best university in the country to study biology, nursing, medicine, physics and law, within the 50 careers with the highest demand.
5- University of Valencia
The University of Valencia (in Valencian: Universitat de València; also known as UV) is a public research university located in the city of Valencia, Spain. It is one of the oldest surviving universities in Spain, and the oldest in the Valencian Community. It is considered one of the leading academic institutions in Spain.
The University was founded in 1499 and currently has about 55,000 students. Most courses are taught in Spanish, but the university has promised to increase the number of courses available in Valencian. In addition, part of the teaching in some degrees is in English.
It is located on the Spanish Mediterranean baseline, in the city of Valencia which is the capital and most populous city of the autonomous community of Valencia and the third largest city in Spain, with a population of 829,705 in 2014. One of its campuses is located in the metropolitan area of Valencia, in the municipalities of Burjassot and Paterna.
6- University of Granada
The University of Granada (UGR) is a public university located in the city of Granada, Spain, and founded in 1531 by Emperor Charles V. With more than 60,000 students, it is the fourth largest university in Spain. In addition to the city of Granada, the UGR also has campuses in Ceuta and Melilla.
In the 2012/2013 academic year, almost 2,000 European students were enrolled at the UGR through the Erasmus Program, making it the most popular European destination The university’s Center for Modern Languages (CLM) receives more than 10,000 international students each year. In 2014, the UGR was voted the best Spanish university by international students.
The UGR is composed of 5 Schools, 22 Faculties and 116 Departments in charge of teaching and research in specific subject areaswhich are spread over five different campuses in the city of Granada(Centro, Cartuja, Fuentenueva, Aynadamar and Health Sciences), plus two other campuses located in the cities of Ceuta and Melilla, Spanish territories in North Africa.
According to several rankings, the University of Granada is among the top ten Spanish universities and ranks first in Translation and Interpreting studies. It is also considered a national leader in Computer Engineering. The UGR also plays an important role in scientific production, ranking at the top of the national ranking and being one of the best universities in the world in computer science and mathematics studies.
7- Complutense University of Madrid
The Complutense University of Madrid (Latin: Universitas Complutensis Matritensis) is a public research university located in Madrid
Founded in Alcalá in 1293 (before moving to Madrid in 1836), it is one of the oldest operating universities in the world
It is located on an extensive campus that occupies the whole of the Ciudad Universitaria district of Madrid, with annexes in the Somosaguas district in the neighboring town of Pozuelo de Alarcón. It is named after the ancient Roman settlement of Complutum, now an archaeological site in Alcalá de Henares, east of Madrid.
It has more than 86,000 students, which makes it the third largest European university by number of students
It is one of the most prestigious Spanish universities and is consistently ranked among the best universities in Spain, along with the University of Barcelona, Pompeu Fabra University, UAM and UAB, in international and European rankings and surveys
Since its foundation, it has attracted numerous academics, intellectuals and students from all over Spain and the world, establishing itself as one of the leading international centers of learning.
By Royal Decree of 1857, the University of Madrid was the first and only institution in Spain authorized to grant doctoral degrees throughout the Spanish Empire. In 1909, it became one of the first universities in the world to grant a doctoral degree to a woman.
8- Polytechnic University of Catalonia
The Polytechnic University of Catalonia (Catalan: Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya, UPC), now called BarcelonaTech, is the largest engineering university in Catalonia, Spain. It also offers programs in other disciplines such as mathematics and architecture.
UPC’s objectives are based on internationalization, as it is one of the European technical universities with the most international doctoral students and the university with the highest proportion of international master’s students. It aims to achieve the highest degree of engineering/technical excellence and has bilateral agreements with several top European universities.
UPC is a member of the Top Industrial Managers for Europe network, which allows student exchanges between leading European engineering schools. It is also a member of several university federations, such as the Conference of European Schools for Advanced Engineering Education and Research (CESAER) and UNITECH. It is also a parent institution of the Institut Barcelona d’Estudis Internacionals (IBEI).
The university was founded in March 1971 as the Polytechnic University of Barcelona through the merger of engineering and architecture schools founded in the 19th century
As of 2007, it has 25 schools in Catalonia located in the cities of Barcelona, Castelldefels, Manresa, Sant Cugat del Vallès, Terrassa, Igualada, Vilanova i la Geltrú and Mataró. In the 2017-18 academic year, the UPC has more than 30,000 students and more than 3,000 teaching and research staff, 65 undergraduate, 73 graduate and 49 doctoral programs.
9- University of Navarra
The University of Navarra is a private research university located on the southeastern edge of Pamplona, Spain
It was founded in 1952 by St. Josemaría Escrivá, founder of Opus Dei, as a corporate work of the apostolate of Opus Dei. It has been consistently ranked as the best private university in Spain
In 2021, the University’s Law School was ranked the best in Spain and 44th in the world by the Times Higher Education international ranking.
Through its six campuses(Pamplona, San Sebastian, Madrid, Barcelona, Munich and New York), the University confers 35 official degrees, 13 double degrees and more than 38 master’s programs in 14 faculties, 2 university schools, 17 institutes, its graduate business school, IESE (“Instituto de Estudios Superiores de la Empresa“; in English: “International Graduate School of Management” or “Instituto de Estudios Superiores de la Empresa”), ISSA (“Instituto Superior de Secretariado y Administración”; in English: Higher Institute of Secretarial and Administrative Studies), and other centers and institutions.
The university also manages a university hospital, CUN, where 2,045 qualified professionals treat more than 100,000 patients each year, and a medical research center, CIMA, which focuses on four main areas: Oncology, Neuroscience, Cardiovascular Sciences and Gene Therapy and Hepatology.
10- University of the Basque Country
The University of the Basque Country (Basque: Euskal Herriko Unibertsitatea, EHU; UPV; UPV/EHU) is a Spanish public university in the Basque Autonomous Community
Heir to the University of Bilbao, it initially consisted of the faculties of Economics and Business Studies in Sarriko (1955), Medicine (1968) and Science (1968). As a result of the General Education Act (1970), the Nautical School (1784), the School of Business Studies of Bilbao (1818) and the Technical Schools of Engineering (1897) were incorporated, until it became the complex of thirty centers that make up the University today.
It has campuses in the three provinces of the autonomous community: Vizcaya Campus (in Leioa, Bilbao, Portugalete and Barakaldo), Gipuzkoa Campus (in San Sebastian and Eibar), and Alava Campus in Vitoria-Gasteiz.
It stands out as the main research institution in the Basque Country, carrying out 90% of the basic research carried out in that territory and benefiting from the good industrial environment of the region.
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