In many countries of the world, education systems have a lot in common. Children first enter primary school, from where they move to secondary school, which serves as a preparatory stage before entering the university. The next stage is a higher education institution, and then the possibility of postgraduate studies. But in the process of choosing a foreign educational institution, difficulties often arise, since another type of educational institution may be hidden behind the same name - in Spain, for example, the word "college" can mean not only a school, but also a university division.
There are several English schools in Spain, which are called colleges here. These include the Royal College of Madrid, Aloha College in Marbella and Caxton College in Valencia. But the word "college" in this case is more of a formality, it does not imply a fundamental difference from other English schools such as the British School or the Kensington School in Barcelona, which are classified as the best English schools in Spain. In all these schools, education continues until the age of 18.
top 15 colleges in Spain
1. University of Navarra
The University of Navarra is an institution of Christian inspiration, promoted by Saint Josemaría Escrivá de Balaguer, founder of Opus Dei. Its mission is to seek and transmit the truth, contribute to the academic, cultural and personal formation of its students; promote scientific research and healthcare activity; offer adequate development opportunities to its teachers and employees; and carry out extensive work of cultural extension and social promotion, with a clear purpose of service.
And among its main functions are those of imparting scientific teachings, promoting research, individually advising the student, organizing updating and specialization teachings for university graduates, carrying out a task of cultural dissemination and university extension, among others.
2. Complutense University of Madrid
Known for a long time as “la Docta”, the Complutense University of Madrid was —from the end of the 19th century to the beginning of the 20th— the only Spanish institution authorized to grant the title of doctor. Its history precedes it and, to this day, it is considered one of the most prestigious and important in the country.
Among its academic virtues, it has a Vice-Rector for Quality, which offers its entire university community information and programs that allow the establishment of a system of guarantees and trust in the teaching, research and management activities carried out. For this reason, it develops quality evaluation programs, certification and accreditation of centers, and conferences and congresses on quality in Higher Education institutions.
It also has an Equality Unit whose main objective is to build a culture that allows the university community to participate in the development of the principle of equal treatment and opportunities between women and men. And it is that this institution considers that excellence is only achieved by incorporating the gender perspective in teaching, research, innovation and knowledge transfer, for which it is necessary to develop active policies that allow a transformation of the institution , emphasizing conciliation and co-responsibility, while deconstructing the imaginary that perpetuate inequality.
3. University of Santiago de Compostela
The University of Santiago de Compostela is a public institution of higher education and research endorsed by more than 500 years of antiquity. This institution is recognized for its academic prestige and excellence in research, as well as for being at the service of the economic, social and cultural development of Galician society.
Its mission is to continue standing out for its academic solvency with an attractive offer, capable of attracting the best students, and for supporting an innovative research activity, of excellence and connected with the demands of environment to project itself as an international benchmark university. It also seeks to remain firmly committed to society and to be a fundamental part of the engine of its well-being.
Its fundamental values are freedom, equality, justice, pluralism, sustainability and ethical commitment; and make it an institution committed to sustainable development, transparency and social responsibility. As well as with a strong defense of equality between women and men.
In addition to classes for its students, this institution develops activities aimed at the rest of the members of its community (teachers, researchers, service administration personnel) and society in general to encourage their comprehensive education , promote Galician culture, and spread the word about it. research work. It also has an internationalization policy aimed at positioning it with a vitally important agent at the global level.
4. Autonomous University of Madrid
In its half century of life, the Autonomous University of Madrid has established itself as a prestigious institution at the national level. The quality of teaching and research have made it grow as a state-of-the-art public university. Its main academic and social values are reflected in solidarity, environmental, health and cooperation projects, which guide its important service to society through a humanistic vocation.
It is currently immersed in a strategic plan for change whose mission is to update its teaching according to the challenges presented by the world in which They live. To do this, it develops a multidisciplinary education model oriented towards finding solutions for problems related to the environment, through the promotion of knowledge, values, attitudes, skills and behavior patterns committed to sustainable development.
5. Nebrija University
The philosophy of the University of Nebrija is to learn by doing, which is a vital experience in the transformation of the student towards global knowledge, to star in and lead the changes in which he is immersed.
It has a firm commitment with companies for the development of education in professional skills, which guarantees quality practices for the student, so that he / she joins with his ambition to grow vitally and intellectually during his university stage. Its students know how to fully articulate their knowledge and capabilities with the national and international society in which they will develop their professional skills.
Its main pillars are employability and orientation towards different professions; academic excellence, which is achieved through personalized teaching; internationalization through bilingualism and the inclusion of international students; and pedagogical innovation. And its values are based on quality teaching and research to create knowledge, with comprehensive education in capacities, competencies and abilities of all its students. These are key principles to achieve the development of individual talent and the best opportunities for professional integration.
6. San Pablo-CEU University
CEU San Pablo University is a pioneering Catholic institution in the development of innovative educational projects based on the pillars and values of Christian humanism to transmit a criterion of thought and action that seeks to improve society. It is defined as a global, innovative and entrepreneurial university, and without these attitudes, which it seeks to transmit in its university community so that it, in turn, transmits them to the rest of society.
This institution is committed to an academic model aimed at excellence and the comprehensive education of its students. From practical education and with the best resources and teachers, its graduates obtain the best preparation at the national and international level and have, from the beginning, direct contact with the world of work.
7. Pontifical University of Comillas
The Comillas Pontifical University has more than 100 years of history, through which it has gone from the formation of minorities to a more universal social mission. Among its objectives is to cultivate and transmit scientific knowledge through the growing and shared cultivation of research in all the specialties offered, as a basis and progress of knowledge. Furthermore, careers are constantly adapting and evolving. Not only in the scientific aspect, but from a systematic approach to reality in all its complexity.
In this institution it is not only educated within the classrooms. Outside of them, the university spirit that favors the integral formation of its students is also transmitted, through values such as will, human sensitivity, ethics and aesthetics; education in capacity for reflection and responsibility.
The Universidad Pontificia de Comillas also has as bases of its education the interdisciplinary search for the truth, the assimilation of fundamental values and a deep knowledge of social reality. Foundations guarantee a human, global critical sense and the balanced exercise of it. The critical sense that develops must serve to discern any human manifestation. And all this focused from a Christian vision with which it tries to achieve the objectives and cultivate theological and philosophical sciences, and humanism.
8. University of Salamanca
If the University of Salamanca has something, in addition to a long list of famous alumni, it is history. His beginnings date back to 1218, when Alfonso IX founded the Salamanticae scholas to offer higher studies in his kingdom. For his first study, he had a teacher in laws, another in decrees, two decretals, two in logic, two in grammar, two in physics or medicine, one in organ, an apothecary, a librarian and two curators. Thus, the University of Salamanca became, together with Paris, Oxford and Bologna, one of the first European universities and today it is the only Spanish one that has maintained its activity through the centuries.
It currently has a strategic plan that seeks to guide efforts towards shaping the society of the future, responding to its needs for higher education, creation and transfer of knowledge. All this, taking into account technological, social and regulatory changes.
9. University of Seville
With several centuries of experience, the University of Seville is an institution that provides a public service of higher education through study, teaching and research, as well as the generation, development and dissemination of knowledge at the service of society and of the citizenship.
It also has a strategic plan that lays the foundations for a more open, flexible, innovative, intelligent and integrated institution in the city, which is committed to a renewed image; and with which it is intended to be an avant-garde institution at the head of the Spanish public university system and that stands out among the most recognized and reputed in Europe.
Its history and experience have consolidated it as a great general university, with an important and extensive education offer of quality in undergraduate, postgraduate and double international degrees.
Today it faces new challenges that it faces to configure itself as a more open, modern and intelligent academy. It has an important commitment to equality and entrepreneurship in all sectors of the university community. To achieve this, it has a Unit for Equality that works to raise awareness to reduce the gender gap, and the USemprende program through which it enhances skills and provides mentoring to ideas with more projection.
10. European University of Madrid
From the European University they seek to provide students with a comprehensive education, to educate leaders and prepared professionals who are capable of responding to the needs of a global world, and who add value in their different branches to contribute to the development of society in their set.
Academic excellence is one of its pillars, which is why they base their educational model on the principles of the European Higher Education Area, which focuses on the holistic learning of the person. In this model, the teacher is a reference and also a counselor who accompanies the student throughout their university life. The student, on his part, traces his own educational path developing the knowledge, competencies, skills and values that today's society demands. Their model places special emphasis on the maturity and autonomy of the student, so that he learns to adapt to an increasingly complex and ever-changing world.
This institution has a Diversity Attention Unit, which aims to promote the inclusion of those students who have specific needs, equip them with opportunities, encourage their development of skills and their full participation in the educational and labor society.
11. University of Almería
The University of Almería (UAL) is a public institution of higher education created and designed to effectively and efficiently exercise a quality teaching and research function that contributes to the economic and social development of its environment through the transfer of knowledge.
This academy wants to be defined by a transparent and participatory government, focused on the comprehensive satisfaction of the student and the recruitment of talent, through excellence in teaching quality, the transfer of knowledge to society and a greater degree of international recognition, especially in the agri-food and environmental field.
Its values and principles are respect for all people, their opinions and their competences, without any exclusion; the participation of all sectors of the community in decision-making; transparency and responsibility in management; the assessment of merit, ability and work; and independence and autonomy.
In addition, the University of Almería takes on the challenge of reducing its negative environmental impact and acquires the commitment to contribute to the advancement of the sustainable development of society through teaching, research and innovation.
Beyond sustainability, other fundamental lines of action for this institution are interaction with society, internationalization and constant innovation.
12. Alfonso X El Sabio University
The Alfonso X el Sabio University is a university with strong moral convictions and committed to independence, freedom, environmental principles and, above all, to innovation, progress and human development. For this reason, they carry out open investigations within different branches of knowledge, with a scientific and social interest character. The students of its faculties have the opportunity to participate in the one that best suits their interests and needs.
For this institution, the mobility of its teaching staff within and outside the countries of the European Union is essential. In this way they are kept in constant renewal. It is not surprising that 75% of its staff have a postgraduate or master's degree, that 58% have a doctorate and that 60% remain in professional practice outside the academy.
13. CEU Cardenal Herrera University
With almost 50 years of experience, CEU Cardenal Herrera University is the first non-state University in the Valencian Community. An institution of public service and private management that from its origin has been characterized by its pioneering nature (they were the first to offer university studies in Valencia such as pharmacy, journalism or veterinary medicine; and offer double degrees). As a result of its innovative development strategy, it has already become the most international university in its environment, with more than a quarter of international students enrolled (26%) from more than 70 countries and with a clear orientation towards preparing for a Global world.
Their philosophy is based on the student as the center of their activity, through which they prepare them to face the challenges of discovering, knowing, understanding and going further. All this through a different education experience that not only stays inside the classroom, but also transfers the learning outside of the classes and all this so that their students learn to think and do.
14. Carlos III University of Madrid (UC3M)
The Carlos III University of Madrid was created in 1989 and, since its birth, it has had the vocation of being an innovative public institution, with reduced dimensions, of quality and with a priority orientation towards research. Its first rector was Professor Gregorio Peces-Barba, who was the one who guided it in its mission of contributing to the improvement of society with quality teaching and advanced research in accordance with demanding international criteria.
This university aspires to excellence in all its activities, with the aim of becoming one of the best European and world universities. For this reason, it promotes the development of the people who make it up within the framework of the public service of higher education. And it guides its activities by the values of merit, capacity, efficiency, transparency, equity, equality and respect for the environment.
To give the best education to its students, UC3M promotes the continuous education of its teachers and encourages teaching innovation. For this, it launches numerous programs such as MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) on prestigious international platforms such as edX and miriadaX and provides its teachers with the support of the UTEID (Unit of Educational Technology and Teaching Innovation) for the development of their Projects.
15. ESIC University
Founded in 1965 by the priests of the Sacred Heart of Jesus under the name of Escuela Superior de Ingenieros Comerciales (ESIC), it later changed its name to ESIC Business and Marketing School. During its beginnings it was a center attached to various universities such as Rey Juan Carlos, in Madrid; Rovira i Virgili, in Catalonia; Miguel Hernández, in the Valencian Community; and San Jorge, in Aragon. However, in 2019, the Madrid Assembly approved a bill authorizing the creation of ESIC University, from which point the institution could begin to issue its own degrees.
With a ratio of teachers / students of 1 / 7.5, ESIC University offers a personalized education in the degrees offered (Business Administration and Management, Advertising and Public Relations, Marketing, Digital Business and International Business) and also in its doubles degrees in which the aforementioned degrees are combined.