10 best universities 2021 for international students in Spain

10 best universities 2021 for international students in Spain

When you choose universities in Spain, you get quality programs and excellent conditions for students. Spain is one of the largest countries in Europe and one of the most popular among tourists: according to statistics, in 2019 it was the second most popular tourist destination, is in the top 3 in demand among international students due to its prestigious universities, interesting lifestyle and the fact that Spanish is one of the most widely spoken languages.

Universities in Spain for students: the best universities and programs

Leading universities in Spain offer a wide range of undergraduate programs for foreigners in Spanish and English. The most popular destinations are:

  • Humanities.

  • Natural Sciences

  • Business and Law

  • Engineering

  • Social Sciences

  • Law.

Most Spanish universities offer Bachelor's degree programs in these areas, which can help you adapt to the study abroad system, gain fundamental knowledge and skills, and continue to the next level. Master's degree programs last 1-2 years: such programs allow you to get in-depth knowledge and master applied areas. Moreover, at Spanish universities you can complete doctoral programs in the humanities, medicine, law, social sciences, engineering, architecture and many other fields. It is noteworthy that the country has a huge number of master's degree programs in English.

The main language of instruction in most higher education institutions (especially public) is Spanish, so it is essential for those who wish to apply to public higher education institutions in Spain to be able to write, read and speak Spanish well. To master the language, many students go to preparatory language courses - education in them is not mandatory, but very useful. There are English-language bachelor's courses at universities, but not many.

10 best universities 2021 for international students

1.University of Barcelona

Various rankings of world universities have repeatedly called the University of Barcelona the best in Spain:

  • Rating of universities of academic performance 

  • Ranking of the world's best universities according to U.S. News & World Report for 2018

  • Academic ranking of world Universities in 2018

On a global scale, international university rankings (including such as QS World University Ranking and World University Ranking ) place the university among the top 200, and in some areas - in the first. 100.

It is a member of various international university associations, such as the Association of European Universities, the Coimbra Group, the League of European Research Universities, the Association of Mediterranean Universities and several others.

2. The Autonomous University of Barcelona is a public Catalan university established in 1968.

Its name dates back to the Second Spanish Republic, when the University of Barcelona (UB), in accordance with the new Law on University Autonomy, changed its name to the Autonomous University of Barcelona. In 1968, when this educational institution, until then the only higher educational institution in Catalonia, had already returned to its original name, the process of creating new Catalan universities began. In the same year, a new Autonomous University of Barcelona was established in Cerdagnola del Valles in Greater Barcelona. Its name was given in honor of the spirit of freedom and democracy that reigned before the Civil War.

Most of UAB's education  centers and additional academic services are located at the Bellaterra campus located in Cerdagnola. There are also education  centers in Sabadell, San Cugat del Valles, Manres and in the city of Barcelona. It has a residential complex Vila Universitària of 812 apartments, located on the same campus, with a capacity of 2,193 people, easily accessible by train and highway, just 25 minutes from the center of Barcelona. University Villa of the Autonomous University of Barcelona

UAB is a member of the Joan Luis Vives Institute University network, offering a set of 77 degrees, 328 postgraduate and master's degree programs, and 90 doctoral degrees.

3.Universitat Pompeu Fabra is a Catalan public higher education institution located in Barcelona. It was founded on June 18, 1990. Its name is given in honor of the outstanding Catalan linguist Pompeu Fabre. It has nine colleges and university schools throughout the city offering courses in the fields of social, humanities, medical and exact sciences. His courses in business and economics are among the most prestigious in Europe. According to the rating of the English magazine Times Higher Education in 2010, it is the second best Spanish university.

Its library El Dipòsit de les Aigües (translated from Catalan means "Water deposit"), designed by architect Josep Fonzere, is of notable interest in the magazine "Classical Buildings of the Library of the World". It was built between 1874 and 1880 to serve as a water reservoir for the fountain in the Park da Sidadela, which is located next door. Later it became a library, but kept the old name.

In 2010, the university received the qualification of "international level university campus", awarded by the Ministry of Education and Science of Spain.

4.The Autonomous University of Madrid is one of the best autonomous universities in Spain, better known by the abbreviation UAM. UAM is a Spanish state university founded in 1968 together with the Autonomous Universities of Barcelona and Bilbao (University of the Basque Country) during the Spanish educational reforms in Spain in the late 1960s-early 1970s.

Since 1971, the main campus of the university has been located in Cantoblanco, a rural area in the northern suburbs of Madrid. Despite the fact that the campus is part of the municipal district of Madrid, the university buildings are located closer to the cities of Alcobendas and Tres Cantos. Throughout its history, the university has repeatedly been recognized as one of the best educational institutions in the world. In 2012, the Academic Ranking of World Universities included the UAM Faculty of Mathematics in the list of the 51-75 best universities in the world (12 universities in Europe), the Faculty of Law is considered the most prestigious in Spain. Thomson Reuters acknowledged that researchers from this particular university were most often cited in scientific publications in 2011.

The academic buildings of the university are located mainly on Francisco Tomas y Valiente Street, and almost all of them are located outside the city limits.

The Faculty of Law of this university is considered the most prestigious in Spain, graduates of this faculty become the highest paid lawyers. In addition to law, UAM has six other faculties: scientific, economic, philosophical and literary, pedagogical, medical and psychological.

The Autonomous University of Madrid also accepts international students under the ERASMUS program. To participate, it is necessary that the applicant's university is a participant in the program and has proposed the candidacy of its student for an educational exchange. The application can be submitted from April 15 to May 31.

For studying at UAM, there are requirements for knowledge of the Spanish language, at some faculties, the presence of a DELE certificate is a mandatory requirement.

5.The University of Valencia is a higher educational institution in the city of Valencia.

It was founded in 1499. One of the few European universities with its own Constitution. Over its more than five-century history, it has trained hundreds of thousands of specialists in various areas of classical university education. The University of Valencia has been accepting foreign students for many years and is very willing to accept them. Student exchange agreements have been signed with more than 300 universities around the world. Contacts have also been established with many well-known educational institutions of the world for the exchange of teaching staff.

The university has about 60,000 students. Many foreigners prefer to study at the University of Valencia not only because of the high quality of education, but also because the city is located on the Mediterranean coast, and its beaches of La Malvarrosa and Las Arenas are known as the best resort areas in Spain.

The structure of the university includes various colleges, institutes, research centers, schools, clinics, libraries, there are more than 100 of them in total.

The university's campus consists of three city buildings, an administrative building, a botanical garden, a science park, a historical museum, student dormitories, and canteens. It offers education  in 67 specialties.


  • Law

  • biologу

  • maths

  • physics

  • economic

  • chemistry

  • history

  • geography

  • philosophy

  • philology

  • social sciences

  • psychology

  • pedagogical 

  • medicine

  • pharmaceutical

  • physical culture

6. The University of Granada is a public university in Granada, Spain. It was founded by papal decree of Clement VII in 1531 on the basis of a madrasah that existed since 1349 and originally had three faculties: theological, artistic and church law. Currently, it has more than 80 thousand students and 3641 teachers. One of the largest and most prestigious universities in the country. education  is conducted at 17 faculties. In addition to Granada, the university has campuses in Ceuta and Melilla. It  is a member of the Coimbra Group and the Association of Mediterranean Universities.

The faculties and schools of the University of Granada are located in 5 campuses, which are located in different districts of the city.

  • School of Civil Engineering

  • Architectural School

  • School of Engineering (Civil Engineering)

  • School of Information Technologies and Telecommunications

  • Faculty of Fine Arts (1986)

  • Faculty of Sciences

  • Faculty of Sports Sciences

  • Faculty of Education

  • Faculty of Business and Economics

  • Faculty of Political Science and Sociology (1988)

  • Faculty of Medical Sciences

  • Faculty of Social and Labor Studies

  • Faculty of Communication and Documentation (1982)

  • Faculty of Law (1859)

  • Faculty of Pharmacy

  • Faculty of Humanities and Philosophy

  • Faculty of Medicine

  • Faculty of Dentistry (1986)

  • Faculty of Psychology (1992)

  • Faculty of Social Work (1962)

  • Faculty of Translation

7. The Complutense University of Madrid is one of the oldest in the world. Founded by Cardinal Francisco Jimenez de Cisneros in 1499, it originates at the University of Alcala in Alcala de Henares. This state university, located on the campuses of Ciudad Universitaria de Madrid and Somosaguas, has more than 79,153 students.

It is one of the most prestigious European universities. According to ranking, it tops the ranking of national universities with faculties of philosophy, Spanish literature, History, Pharmacy, Journalism, psychology, political science and sociology. Its motto is "Libertas Perfundet Omnia Luce".

8. Universidad de Navarra, a private university founded in Pamplona (Navarre), Spain in 1952 by Saint Josemaria Escriva de Balaguer. The University is the work of the corporate apostolate of Opus Dei, the personal prelature of the Catholic Church, whose goal is to promote the pursuit of holiness through professional work and the current realities of life.

The University of Navarre strives to ensure that in all its activities there is an awareness that work testifies to the supremacy of man over material realities, is a means of developing one's own personality, a bond of union between people and a fundamental way of contributing to a common cause. the progress of mankind. - St. Josemaria Escriva de Balaguer

The University of Navarre offers 27 official degrees and more than 300 postgraduate programs in 10 faculties, 2 higher schools, IESE (Institute of Higher Studies of the Company), 2 university schools, ISSA (Higher Institute of Secretarial and Administration) and other centers and institutions. It includes a University clinic, which employs 1,700 qualified specialists who serve more than 100,000 patients a year. In 2004, the Center for Applied Medical Research (CIMA) was opened, where 300 researchers are engaged in biomedical research.

9.The University of the Basque Country is the only public university in the Basque Country, an autonomous community in northern Spain. It has branches in three of its provinces: the Biscay campus, the Gipuzkoa campus and the campus in the province of Alava. The University is the main research institution in the Basque Country, carrying out 70 % of the main research in the autonomous community.

10.The University of Cantabria is a public higher education institution with headquarters in Santander, Torrelavega and Comillas, Spain. Founded on August 18, 1972 under the name of the University of Santander, in 2017 it had 11,862 students and 1,273 teachers. Its current dean is Angel Pasos Carro.

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