National Higher Education System

Spain has 75 universities (Universidades), 56 state-run and 19 private universities run by private enterprises or by the Catholic church. 88 per cent of students attend state-run universities.

The universities comprise both university schools (Escuelas Universitarias), generally the more traditional research-based universities, and university colleges (Colegios Universitarios)

Spain also has a number of non-university higher education institutes for art & design, physical education, civil marine, tourism and performing arts, plus a number of highly rated business schools (usually US-derived).


State-sector fees are low for residents and EU nationals, from €1,000 - €1300 a year, depending on the faculty and location.

Fees are significantly higher for private institutions.

Grants & Loans

Subject to conditions, generous student loans are available to EU citizens, but residence requirements usually apply

Application Process

For the public universities, you will usually need to apply to the Universidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia (UNED) to verify your qualifications, before you apply to a University

Once UNED verifies that you have the entry requirements for university, you apply directly to the university of your choice, enclosing a dossier of documents, the contents of which varies from university to university.

The admission requirements, processes and deadlines differ between institutions. Most universities select based on GPA (Grade Point Average) and, in some cases, this is at a level that requires you to sit the national 'Selectividad' (or. in Catalonia, 'PAU') entrance exam.